Now that I’m a healthy weight I still find myself hopping on several times a week and the thought of throwing them out fills me with dread and I know that I’m not alone.
Much like the oft ‘cited reasons of worried mothers switching to Formula milk, we’re a culture obsessed with what we can see and measure. We’re also a culture obsessed with weight. It makes sense, then, that the scale would fast become an essential bathroom fixture in most western households. Often, they cause more harm than good with many feeling depressed and demotivated when the scales don’t tell them what they hope to see. For some, they can even break a previously healthy eating plan as a result. So, do we really need them?
When people seek to lose “weight”, what they really mean is that they need to lose “fat” and scales are not an accurate measurement of this. Dependent upon your diet, you could be losing water, muscle, or even organ tissue! In fact, a positive result on a scale can be incredibly misleading as it may be a very unhealthy result overall. A gain doesn’t always mean a bad result, either, as many gain muscle as part of their healthier lifestyles.
An alternative way to approach fat loss measurement would be to make use of a tape measure, a mirror, or even just going by your clothes. If you’re looking to be trimmer, healthier and to look better in your clothes then the scales aren’t what you need to be looking at. You need to be looking at yourself. Progress can happen quickly or it can happen slowly, fluctuations are normal dependent upon what time of day you’re weighing yourself, what you’ve eaten, what you’re wearing and even your latest bowel movement! True motivation needs to come from within.
You don’t have to be overweight to have a poor relationship with the scale and your self-image. Many women struggling with being underweight or being lighter than they would like, hoping to gain some muscle or fat, are equally guilty of torturing themselves over every pound.
What happens when you step on that scale and you see a number that you don’t like? If you’re like me, you’ll be thinking bad things about yourself and what good does that do? You are more than a number on a scale.
Just as important, your health status isn’t directly related to the number on the scale.
Since we can track our weight progress and health status more efficiently through other means, I’m going to challenge anyone who has a toxic relationship with their scales to throw them out. After a small dilemma over which of our many coloured bins our scales belonged in, I reluctantly tipped ours in this morning – feeling rather nervous.
My bottom line is this: If I am happy with what I see in the mirror and I feel healthy, then I don’t need them anyway. If not, there’s nothing they can really tell me about it.