When you are trying to lose weight, get in shape, or make some healthy lifestyle changes, please do something for yourself: Throw out your damn scale.
I used to weigh myself every morning. Then I would pee and weigh myself again. Then I would strip down and stand on that sucker again, hoping for a different result.
One day it would say I was down 3 pounds, and I’d feel like a rock star.
The next it would say I was up 5 pounds. Sometimes I would blame the bag of chips I ate the day before, but there were days or weeks I knew my eating and exercise was tight, or I hadn’t changed a thing, and the number that would stare back at me made no sense.
I became a servant to the damn thing, and it wasn’t serving me back — at all. The only thing it was doing was making me want to snap it in two over my knee and cuss like a sailor. I would get frustrated and was letting it dictate how I felt about myself for the day. And in doing this, I was disrespecting my body.
It would leave me feeling discouraged and ready to give up. I realized I had to break up with my scale. It was a one-sided relationship. There I was baring my soul (and my bare ass) to it every single morning, and in return, it was giving me a big fat middle finger. I think it even laughed at me once. So I took my power back by throwing it away because it wasn’t telling me the whole story, and no one likes a withholding liar.
We have been doing this far too long. During your last days, you certainly are not going to count what the scale said to you every day as a blessing, so why do it now?
Women’s bodies are complex. We are multifaceted creatures and need to have our worth determined by the way we feel inside — not by some damn machine spitting a number at us, making us question our food choices and second-guess our awesomeness because it’s not giving us what we think we need in order to feel confident with ourselves and our bodies.
We have hormones playing ping-pong inside of us. Our weight is supposed to fluctuate depending on how much water we drink, the time of day, the time of month, and certain medications.
Let’s face it: Sometimes we reach that magic number, thinking it should be the gateway to our happiness only to continue to put the pressure on ourselves to lose even more weight. We start to think we need a new goal, a new number, then we will be happy.
You don’t need a scale to let you know you are doing a good job and making better choices, especially if you’ve started exercising or changed your physical routine. By doing things like weight training, pilates, kickboxing, or yoga (to name a few) your body will gain muscle. These forms of exercise make you longer and leaner, and you aren’t necessarily going to be able to tell they are working by hopping on the soul-crusher every morning, so don’t.
If you turn 1 pound of fat into 1 pound of muscle, it takes up five times less space. Really.
So maybe the scale doesn’t budge, but your clothes feel and fit better. Perhaps you can sit down in your favorite skinnies and your vagina isn’t eating them. That, my friends, is a huge victory.
If you have more energy, are feeling fabulous, or look in the mirror and see your sexy, reflection smiling back at you, regardless of your size, that speaks louder than some stupid number.
Throw the damn scale away. It is not a reliable way to measure our fitness or our self-worth, so why are we giving it so much power? It is outdated, and you are better off without it.
Last I knew, women didn’t need small, cold, judgy things to tell them if they were good enough. When you really think about the times you feel confident and happy, I am willing to bet they are based on internal things, like relationships and practicing self-care, because that is what’s important in life, not how much you weigh. Bye bye, scale. You won’t be missed.
This post first appeared on Scary Mommy