How do you feel about your bathroom scale? Many of us would probably say, "I hate that stupid thing!" Even if you don't feel quite that strongly, it's rare for someone to really love (or even like!) his or her scale.
So, what happened? How did a common bathroom tool become public enemy number one?
In the beginning, your relationship with the scale probably wasn't dysfunctional. You bought one because you wanted to be healthy, and keeping track of your weight was one piece of the puzzle. You'd step on the scale, note the number and make any necessary adjustments to your eating plan and exercise program.
But after years of unrelenting pressure from yourself and outside forces, your laudable of getting healthy probably morphed into thinking that the number on the scale was all that mattered. Instead of being just a simple number to pay attention to, weight became your one and only focus.
So many of us have gone from using the scale to measure just weight to using it as a tool to measure our worth. What should be a neutral experience has become a gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, finger-crossing chore. We claim to hate our scales, but what we really hate is how much power the scale holds over our lives.
It's time to repair our broken relationships with our scales! Here are seven ways to be friends with your scale once again:
1. Don't get angry (or happy).
Your scale is simply telling you the truth. It's not intentionally trying to upset you, nor is it trying to please you. Yelling at it won't change how much you weigh and professing your love for it won't assure a "good" number the number next time you weigh yourself. Which brings us to our next point …
2. Don't be rude.
Whatever your scale tells you, it's helpful information. Knowledge is power! Your scale has provided a service and invaluable data.
3. Don't be superficial.
A fancy, expensive, high-tech scale that sits unused in the corner is … an unused scale. Don't buy a scale just because it looks pretty or costs a lot. It's all about function. Get a scale that works.
4. Don't make its job harder.
You want good, clean data? Weigh yourself at the same time (i.e. mornings), in the same place (i.e. the corner of the bathroom) wearing the same clothes (or naked). When reviewing your numbers, you'll know that you're comparing apples to apples and not cake to carrots.
5. Don't ignore it.
You and your scale can't have a strong and positive relationship if you act like it doesn't exist! By pretending not to see it and never stepping on it, you're giving it more power than it deserves. Acknowledge your scale and visit it regularly. But ...
6. Don't harass it.
Some of us jump on the scale two or three times a day. Your weight constantly fluctuates throughout the day, meaning you're not gaining any valuable information every few hours. Most health educators recommend weighing once a week, but whether or not you do it weekly or daily …
7. Stay faithful.
Don't play the field. Pick one scale — the one at home or at the gym or at your doctor's office — and stay away from the rest. You won't get consistent information if you scale-hop.
With these 7 simple steps, you should be able to form a healthy, lasting relationship with your scale. But if you still can't find a way to be friends with the tool — or weigh-ins aren't your idea of a healthy approach of wellness — just get rid of it. Why stay in a relationship that doesn't make you happy?