For years, I was chained to the scale, measuring my success and worth as an individual by the numbers that flashed back at me. Sometimes I would weigh myself multiple times per day to assess if there were any detected changes, and I would always adjust my eating and exercise plans for the day accordingly.
My weight became something I could obsess over and control, at the expense of things in my life that really mattered. As I found my way through a healing journey of making peace with food and my body, I learned the power of giving up my scale completely.
Redefining Your Health
The truth is, the number that is your weight is simply a measurement of your body in relation to gravity. There is no merit attached to how much you weigh, no magical number that will prove you to be healthy, happy or successful. We give so much value to what we weigh that we fail to neglect everything else in life that encompasses health and fulfillment.
How much have you given up for the fear of not being at your ideal weight? What have you put on hold or sacrificed while you struggled with your weight? What promises have you made if you reach your goal weight?
A Case For Giving Up the Scale
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. Your goal weight will never be enough. As long as you reinforce the practice of measuring yourself by the numbers on a scale, you will never know what it’s like to be at peace with your body. It will always be a love-hate relationship, and your body (and ultimately, your life), will suffer in the process.
Which is why I want to encourage you to ditch your scale for good.
1. Health is not measured by weight
Contrary to what we have been conditioned to believe, our health is NOT a reflection of our weight. Food has become the enemy, and we fall into a trap of thinking that we are one bite away from eating ourselves unhealthy. The truth? Our health is defined by the quality of our well-being.
How do you nurture yourself, physically, emotionally, psychologically and in relationships? Are you neglecting other areas of your life for the sake of maintaining a certain weight? Health is not following a rigid standard of how to eat and exercise. Health means eating a variety of foods, moving your body in a way that feels good, and finding joy and pleasure in the way you care for yourself. There is nothing that weight can tell you about these aspects of your life.
2. Your eating habits should not be dictated by how much you weigh
How many times have you weighed yourself, only to be disappointed by the number on the scale? How many times has your weight dictated how you treat your body the rest of the day? You may swear off eating or limit yourself to eating minimally in attempt to recalibrate the numbers you see on the scale. This can lead to a vicious cycle of unhealthy eating habits, which can ultimately sabotage how you treat and care for your body.
Our weight is a dynamic and fluctuating number, a range that is influenced by a variety of factors, not just how or what you eat. This is all the more reason to trust the innate wisdom in your body for guidance on how to eat intuitively rather than relying on an external number. Do you want to start finding peace with food? Begin by listening to your body rather than having your food choices dictated by the scale.
3. Liberate yourself from a limiting mindset
Think about someone you love and adore. Does their weight play any part in how you feel about this person? Do your feelings for this person change based on their weight? I am guessing your response would be, “No way!” Then why are things different when applied to yourself? Choosing self-compassion and kindness to yourself shouldn’t be things that are determined based on your weight that day.
Your thoughts about your body may change from one day to the next, but this doesn’t mean your decision to follow through with self-care should waver. On your good and bad days, you are deserving of respect, compassion, and self-care. This includes meeting your basic needs with respect to how you eat and exercise.
4. Find the freedom and space to focus on what really matters
Many of the women that I am privileged to work with are terrified to let go of their scales, mostly because it feels like losing control over something tangible. I completely get that. I also understand the freedom that comes with giving up a toxic aspect of your life.
When you are no longer hindered by weighing yourself and the choices in your life are not dictated by your scale, you will find that you do have more time, energy, and space to focus on things that really DO matter. Reclaim the joy in your life by creating space to receive it. This happens when you let go of the things that are holding you back from truly living.
5. Begin to understand your worth outside of a number
Numbers are tangible things to focus on, so naturally, weight becomes an easy way to measure “success” or even “failure”. But when we hyperfocus on it, points, calories, pounds, and all the like can easily become a way by which we define our worth, and this is where the danger lies.
You may be stepping on the scale each morning to measure your worth, but subconsciously, you may be learning to define your value based on the numbers you see. This may be a conditioned behavior that has been reinforced over years of dieting, or because you received praise and acceptance when at a certain weight. Your worth as a human being has nothing to do with your weight, and you deserve love, respect, and acceptance regardless of what you weigh.
So what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to measuring yourself by a futile standard and say hello to a life defined by self-love, compassion, respect, and kindness. Toss that scale and don’t look back.