I vaguely remember the first time the bathroom scale went over 100 pounds. I was about 12 and the scale changed the way I saw myself when the number hit three digits. The day before I felt like a little girl. The day after I remember noticing my heavy footsteps. My weight hadn’t changed but the scale’s power sure did. Not a lot had changed… until today.
I weigh myself about once a week. Today, I walked into the bathroom feeling strong and lean. I found myself worried the number would disappoint me so I stopped. I didn’t step on the scale for a minute or two and decided once and for all what that number really means. I thought to myself, the scale just registers a number. The scale does not yell out terrible things like…”Hey! you’re too fat!” or “Whoa, too many potato chips this week”. That’s all the inner critic showing up. I’ve crushed myself due to a weight gain and been elated by a 1/4 pound loss. I gave a simple machine power over how I feel about my body. Today I stopped all that nonsense. I’ve put that scale back in it’s place. It’s a simple machine that computes a simple number.
I decided today I’m strong and lean despite whatever number appears. I stepped on the scale. My weight today is 143.2 lbs. I’m up 1 pound. Another day, I would have been disappointed. Today, I’m happy that I’m strong, lean and 143…point 2 pounds.
Should you toss your scale?
The number on the scale is not worth fixating on—but that doesn’t mean weighing yourself is a complete waste, says May Tom, RD, an in-house dietitian at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California. “Having objective data to look at can help move people toward change,” she says. Research backs her up: Two recent studies have reaffirmed that people who step on the scale regularly tend to lose more weight than those who weigh themselves less frequently or not at all.
So how often should you weigh in? Once a week at most, says Tom. “That’s my usual recommendation if people feel like [the scale] keeps them on track and accountable,” she explains. “Any more than that and you can become frustrated if you don’t see progress.” — Jacqueline Andriakos
What a difference a little perspective makes!! I’d like to maintain or lose weight as I get stronger. The scale is only one tool of many I have other ways to measure my success. I can feel myself running faster, my pants are loosening up, I have energy to hit the gym and I feel better.
A year ago I was 9 pounds heavier and completely out of shape. Today I’m stronger, leaner and happier. I call that an early win for the year.
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