Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why I am Vehemently Opposed to the Scale

Here is why I would advise all humans to stop weighing themselves:
Every time I step on a scale, I become a slave to it.

Maybe you are better than me. Maybe you can get on a scale, look at the number and not proceed to spend the rest of your day (and several more that follow) analyzing what has led you to that number. Maybe you can step on the scale, see the number and then leave it there, not carrying it around with you until the next time you step on a scale. Maybe you can step on the scale and then not beat yourself up (or reward yourself with a yummy treat) because the hard work doesn't ever seem to reveal itself on that inanimate monster, anyway (or I've worked so hard for so many days that I deserve a little treat). 

Maybe a photo journey through my life speaks more strongly than my words can:

Me at 15.
I was preoccupied with my weight. Weighing myself daily, sometimes more than once a day. Some days eating little more than a serving of soup and a few bites of dinner. 
Me at 16.
Smiling, but still unhappy with myself. This was at my heaviest. I watched the number on the scale continue to grow; I refused to weigh myself after I passed 150. By this time the years of restricting food has shifted to the other extreme. I was unhappy, so I ate binged to feel better. Then I felt miserable. Then I ate more. If I didn't loathe vomiting, I would have been bulimic. 
A healthier me at 21. By this time I was not living and dying by the number on the scale... as much. Not binging until I couldn't eat anymore, and then punishing myself by fasting or working out. I was working out regularly and had shifted my diet to healthier choices. But I still over-indulged often in sweet treats.
Me in 2012. At my healthiest "skinny" weight. Two years and 3 marathons had transformed me into a lean athlete. Yes, athlete. I was finally choosing my calories, not based on losing weight, but because I wanted to sustain a healthy, athletic lifestyle. My weight was about 120. 
Me, summer of 2013. I'm quite happy to say that I can't tell you exactly how much I weight. Last time I stepped on the scale a month or so ago, I was at 135. Near my heaviest, but wearing the same sized clothes as in the picture above when I was at 120. The difference in weight is lean muscle.  
So, all of that to say... the scale may tell you a number, but it's not a measure of your fitness. Of your health. Make healthy food choices. Train your body well. You won't find your happiness in the number on the scale. 

2 comments:

  1. I am on a 'healthier me' journey. I use a scale and have used a scale since beginning this journey in January 2012. For the first year or so all my victories were measured by the scale. That all changed when I lost my job (down sized!!) in February of this year. I finally had the time on my hands that I never thought I would, time to think about something other than what the clock was telling me to prepare for next. I finally had time to do a longer workout, walk further, etc. I quit measuring success by the scale and started measuring success by how I felt. I still weigh ~ weekly ~ as one who has been overweight all my life I am looking forward to being at my goal weight (I am about 16-20# away from my goal weight) and would like to know when I have reached the magical number, even though I have already reached my "oh I can not believe how wonderful I feel~can not believe what I am capable of now" goal.

    Blessings!
    Pam

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    1. Awesome, Pam! It sounds like you have a much healthier relationship with the scale-- and more importantly your body than I have had. Great job!

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