It’s Time to Stop Obsessing Over the Scales
Alarm goes off. You stumble out of bed. Go to the toilet. Strip off and jump on the scales, bleary eyed but anxious to see what will beam back up at you. The tone of your day has just been set. An improvement sees you feeling chuffed with yourself; an increase sees you feeling deflated and like a failure.
You start thinking about all the things you ate the day before.
“Did eating that apple last night or the extra serving of yogurt mean I gained another kilo?”
“I knew I shouldn’t have had that muffin at morning tea!”
“Why can’t I just drink loads of water and lose weight? Everyone else does!”
The number that you see on the scales is heavily affected by so many different factors – water retention, muscle mass, hormones, your monthly cycle. This is why it can fluctuate so much in just a 24 hour period. And why weighing yourself too frequently is detrimental to achieving your goals.
Most people want to get up in the morning and have a great day. So why stand on the scales and potentially not achieve that purely because you don’t like what you see? Especially given how unreliable they are. And if you feel like you’ve been eating well and moving your body, you should be proud of that! Not made to feel like you’ve failed based on a number. You are more than a number on the scales.
There are a few things you can do to help break the obsession so you can love yourself for who you are, not what the scales say.
1. Put the scales away. Out of sight, out of mind. Most people have their scales in the bathroom where they’re easily accessible and therefore it’s easy to jump on them at any given time. By putting them away (in a cupboard, wardrobe, drawer) you will be less likely to get them out simply because of the hassle.
2. Start your day with a positive ritual. Now that you’re not hopping on the scales first thing in the morning, how about doing something else that’s positive? Listen to an upbeat song to get you in the right frame of mind, write down your goals for the day, read a positive quote. Whatever you do, take a few minutes to get yourself in the right frame of mind to make healthy choices for the day.
3. Use other forms of measurement. Rather than measuring your health using the scales, try other things! Get your tape measure out and record your bust, waist, hips, thighs, and arms on a monthly basis. Track your water intake, sleep, stress levels, resting heart rate. All of these will give you an idea of where you are at and what could be improved to make you healthier.
4. End your day positively. It’s so easy to berate ourselves and think “I shouldn’t have eaten that cake” or “I should’ve done my workout”. At the end of your day take a few minutes to reflect on the positives and what you can be grateful for. Write down one thing you achieved or one thing you love about yourself. Then write down three things you’re grateful for, big or small. Taking time to reflect gives you perspective and you’ll soon realise that minor slip ups are not the end of the world.
5. Weigh in (if you feel the need) monthly. Breaking the habit of weighing yourself frequently is hard, so rather than going ‘cold turkey’, weigh yourself after a month. If you’ve been eating well and moving your body, you might see an improvement. And if you don’t, that’s ok too! Because remember…you are not defined by a number.