The scale is a weird thing, man. Somewhere along the way we started letting the number of pounds we weigh dictate our lives. I’m guilty of it, most women I know have been affected by this, and even the closest men in my life can get caught up in it.
Furthermore, I have a client who dropped an inch and 1/4 off her waist last week, but she couldn’t celebrate her victory because her weight didn’t change. I also have a really close friend in my life who has a BANGIN’ body and is super strong, but the scale showed she was up 4 pounds and now she’s struggling with some eating disordered behaviors.
So here’s a friendly reminder… the number on the scale does not reflect if you are fit or healthy enough. Your weight, your gravitational force on earth, is just one form of measurement. It cannot measure you strength, your metabolism, your happiness, your effort, your confidence, or your purpose.
Use the scale to promote health, not judgement.
I began developing a better relationship with the scale when I started learning about what information it is actually giving me versus what it is not showing. Even though weighing yourself regularly can be a slippery slope, the scale actually can be a good tool to assess health and progress. But that’s all it is. It is ONE tool. And it’s not even the most accurate one.
The scale is an accurate representation of weight in the long term scenario. Using it to see short term success is bound for disappointment. Weight fluctuates all the time. Hydration, sodium levels, hormones, exercise, heat, time, and even your bowel movements can affect weight. People do not gain or lose weight day to day. It happens over time with consistent healthy habits. So using the scale day to day isn’t an appropriate way to gauge success. Using the scale weekly and viewing it as a trending graph is a more sensible approach that delivers helpful feedback.
Side Note: If you weigh yourself daily and that’s what holds you accountable and you feel good with that, then just ignore me and keep doing your thing! Everyone has a different path to health.
Better Ways To Measure Success
The number one way to measure success is assessing how you feel. If you’ve started a new fitness or nutrition program I highly recommend keeping a journal or at least checking in with yourself. Notice how your work outs make you feel. Do you feel stronger or faster? Do you have more energy? Do you feel good about yourself afterwards? Same with your nutrition. Are you feeling satiated after you eat? Are you more focused? Are you less stressed? Are you sleeping well? These are the questions that truly matter and promote a better quality of life. And that’s why we try to lead healthy lifestyles anyways, right? The scale won’t give you those answers.
If you’re the type of person who needs a more verifiable way of measuring; then pictures, tape measurements, and the fit of your clothes are the next best way to track your progress. Pictures are great because when you look at yourself every day, it’s hard to see change. When you compare pictures from a couple of weeks apart, you’ll notice a difference if you’ve put in the work! And it’s always nice to have pictures when you’ve “plateaued” to see how far you’ve already come to stay motivated. When you build muscle, your weight will likely increase because muscle weighs more than fat. If you have been routinely strength training and your clothes are fitting better and your waist measurement has improved, your body composition (fat vs muscle) is changing and you should celebrate! But if you just simply stepped on the scale, it could show an increase in weight and leave you feeling defeated.
Your worth isn’t measured in pounds.
If I could talk to my younger self, this would be one of the first discussions I’d have with her. I would tell her to focus on healthy habits. I would tell her to pay more attention to her relationships with friends and family. I would tell her to use her time to help herself and the people around her instead of obsessing over a number. However you choose to use the scale, whether you ditch it completely or use it with the proper caution and intent, never let it define who you are.
Let me know how you measure your progress towards your fitness and nutrition goals!
Love and Light,