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It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. you sleep in a bit & then wake up to get in a workout. You’re well rested & happy to have a day ahead to fill with the things & people that you love. Last night was date night (or girl’s night) & you enjoyed your favorite food with a glass (or two) of wine with the one(s) you love. You decide to do a workout without worrying about the time constraints of getting ready for work or getting dinner on the table. You push yourself & feel great during your workout. You down a bottle of water & are feeling great.
You go to shower before your Saturday brunch plans & just before you hop in the shower you see it– your scale. You decide to hop on. Sure, you indulged last night, but you just worked out & you’re feeling strong & good! You wait those daunting three seconds as the scale comes up with today’s number. You instantly wonder what is the longer three seconds? Treadmill seconds, microwave seconds, or scale seconds. You don’t have time to decide, because the results are in.
You see a number that is more than you thought. It’s more than you feel. Are you sure it’s right? You double or triple check. It is. You’re disappointed. Frustrated. Annoyed. You get in the shower feeling shame for your indulgent night last night. You feel regret for not working out longer this morning. You begin questioning. Did you drink so much water during your workout that the number inflated a bit? Is it almost that time of the month? You search for an answer that makes and helps break you out of your funk.
WHY I DON’T OWN A SCALE
Does the above sound familiar? Once upon a time, the above was me more times than I’d care to recall or admit. The second I think of weight & the desire to lose a few pounds I can’t hep but think of Mean Girls. Because, let’s be honest, all good references come back to Regina George. The moment when she says, “I really want to lose three pounds.” It’s laughable. Three pounds.. ok, go for it girl. First, you look amazing & who cares. Secondly, will that help everything else going on?
A few years ago I finally decided to ditch this pattern of weighing daily, weekly, or even monthly. I decided to stop allowing a number to dictate my mood, how I felt about my health, or my day. Today, I’m sharing more about why I don’t own a scale.
My post today is just about personal experience & what has worked for me. Just like when I shared my decision about why I’ve been trying to be more plant based, this post is not meant to persuade or bash or do anything other than share a personal experience with making a change that has had a positive impact on both my physical & mental health.
WHY SCALES ARE MISLEADING
If you’re a woman (or man) reading this story then I’m sure you’ve struggled with true body satisfaction. Obviously, we are our own worst critics. If you’re like me, then you always can find room for improvement, something that is both a blessing & a curse. I consider my twenties my truly formative years where I completely evolved. As I took time to truly come to terms with my physical appearance & health, I discovered a rather alarming pattern of how I felt that at times, seemed dependent upon a measurement tool.
I can recall a few times of comparing weight to friends, whether it was when we were either proud or frustrated. There were times that I would weigh the same as a friend, but our pant sizes varied by two or even three sizes. This was so shocking to me at the time because we literally weighed the exact same, but our bodies were completely different, as were our workouts & diets. I got to thinking, the number on the scale is really misleading. I could find myself going down a pant size & yet the scale would barely budge. A scale doesn’t tell you so many things, yet we often find it being the holy grail picture of our health & how we feel.
SCALES AREN’T A PICTURE OF HEALTH
A scale may give you a number that gives you a decent starting point on where you stand with your physical health, but scales aren’t a picture of health. They do not measure muscle versus fat. They do not measure heart health, gut health, or even mental health. Scales do not tell you your cholesterol levels, your glucose levels, if you’re eating enough veggies or more importantly, eating enough at all. They also don’t tell you if you are overeating. Scales give you a single number, not a full view into your health. If you rely on one small piece of information as your source instead of considering all influencing factors, you’ll miss the overall picture. This is true in all aspects of life, not just in relation to your weight and physical health.
I CARE ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN POUNDS
I personally care more about how I look than what I weigh. My best measure of this is in fact my measurements. I’m not usually one to take out a measuring tape, because that can get a little slippery as well, but I focus on how my clothes are fitting. If a pair of jeans are a litttttle tight & I didn’t just wash & dry them, I try to check in with myself. If they are increasingly tight for a few weeks & eventually barely (or don’t) button, then it may be time to really evaluate. I care about a lot of things other than pounds, because they just don’t really define my body or me.
More than anything, I care about my mental health. I am an intelligent woman who can overcome her insecurities, self-doubt, and setbacks to focus on self-improvement. I realized that more than anything, putting my sense of health or self-worth in a number was not good for my mentality. Above all, as long as I feel both mentally & physically healthy, & most of all, happy with myself, then why should anyone or anything else make me feel otherwise?
LONG TERM GOALS > SHORT TERM NUMBERS
I am ALL about progress monitoring & making smaller, more attainable goals that lead me towards my big picture. I think making small changes over time has a big impact. Unfortunately, when it came to the scale, it wouldn’t help me towards my more long-term goals, but it would distract me from it. I’d lose sight of what I knew about small results over time leading to lasting change. I would be more concerned about meeting or maintaining a certain scale number that I would be trying to achieve that rather than keeping big picture goals in mind. To me, long-term goals are always more important to focus on. I keep the same mindset now with enjoying myself on the weekends & indulging on vacation, because those short term set backs don’t really impact my progress for that month, quarter, or even year.
I’M MORE THAN A NUMBER
Similar to my post that I am more than my hair after chopping over ten inches off of it in early 2018, I am more than a number. I am more than a number on a scale. I am more than my age, than my income, than the square footage of my house, or than the number of followers I have. A scale does not measure my overall health as I touched on earlier, but it also doesn’t measure the size of my heart, the mental state of my mind, the motivation that fuels my work ethic, or the intelligence I have. A scale does not and will not define how I feel about myself. It will not get me down on my day or have me convincing myself that I enjoyed life too much. I will not allow myself to be defined in such small terms. Ultimately, I do not own a scale because I know that I am so very much more than a number.
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Currently, I don’t own a scale & I have no plans to. I only hear my weight when I’m at the doctor & even then, I pay little to no attention to it. I am constantly working towards self improvement while increasing the amount of grace I give myself. I have learned to look big picture and long-term. I am the most self-confident in myself in my early thirties than I can remember being ever in my life. I also would argue that I am the most healthy I have ever been.
I hope that this post helped shed a little more light on why I don’t own a scale. I hope that you feel empowered to find your self worth outside of a tool of measurement & not allow a fluctuating digit to decide your mood, how healthy you feel, or anything else. As women, I think we have extraordinarily unrealistic standards to do it all & that often includes extremely challenging to reach physical goals. I hope we all give ourselves & each other a little more grace. I like to think that we are all doing are best. As long as we are learning, growing, & trying to improve, while knowing how to apologize & regroup along the way as needed, I think we’re all on the right track. XO