Most people use a scale to weigh themselves regularly and are pretty emotional about what that scale tells them. As a personal trainer, I often hear comments such as, "I just need to lose the last 10 pounds." 'm constantly battling against these identity-destroying beliefs to help my clients feel satisfied, and I hate it.
Today, I want you to change your view of the scale. Here are 10 rules I want you to follow:
1. Always use the same scale when you weigh yourself.
Jumping onto every scale you come across will not only drive you into an OCD rage about your weight, but it will also heavily misguide you. Each scale will be slightly different. Is it calibrated correctly? Was it set up correctly? Do you know how to use it correctly? My recommendation is to buy a scale to keep in your home, one that you can check privately and verify its accuracy, if not its consistency.
2. Weigh yourself at the same time every day.
Weighing yourself every day might not be your most healthy decision, but if you're going to do it, you should always weigh yourself at the same time of day. Consistency is key to getting an accurate reading. I recommend weighing in after you wake up. Weighing right after a meal is not fair to your brain and so many things can slightly alter your weight during the day that it’s hard to get an accurate picture.
3. Keep track.
This will show you that weight swings in either direction are completely normal. If you find yourself gaining a couple of pounds, you don't need to panic. However, if you gain three pounds each week for three straight weeks, then maybe you should consider altering your diet.
4. Don’t skip the scale.
You should weigh yourself! There is nothing wrong with keeping yourself accountable for your own health, and your weight is ONE way to do this. I emphasize “one” because it is in no way the determining factor of your healthy life.
5. Skip the scale if you want.
In complete and utter disregard for the point above, having a day off or even a week off from weighing yourself can be very good for your health. Many people focus too much on this number and getting away from it for a bit, to quell the fascination, will also help your health. Even if you allow yourself on the scale only once a week, it will eventually show you the trends in your body. Lower that stress level and put some space in between the times you take your measurements.
6. Remember that you are more than just a number.
That number you read on the scale is not what defines you! Your overall health is not based solely on this. Nor is it based on the fact that you eat only organic or are a strict vegetarian! You are so much more than this. You are at your best when you take this information about your weight and plug it into all the other aspects of your life to make a complete picture of who you are as a healthy human being.
7. Confidence is more important than a number.
No matter your weight, you know exactly how hard you have worked to be the healthy person you are now. There is, without a doubt, something to be said for confidence, and the beauty it inspires.
8. Your clothes don't lie.
Scales don't take into account your muscle tone or genetics. Your closet is your best friend, and I see this with nearly every client. The first one to notice changes in your body won’t be from the people you surround yourself with or the electronics constantly snapping pictures and displaying your weight. The first to see your hard work will be your favorite pair of jeans.
9. Your weight will fluctuate.
This is NORMAL! Do not focus on losing pounds every day or having to be at a certain number every morning. As a healthy, living being, your weight will fluctuate based on a number of factors including water intake, sodium intake, that weekend trip out of town, or sadly, that extra glass of wine with your bestie. It’s the long run that counts, and it’s for this reason that you weigh consistently and for a longer period.
10. You'll find a weight that feels "happy" for you.
I am 5-foot-7 and weigh, on average, 131 pounds. This is not your ideal body weight. That’s because when you take care of your body, feed it right, get your workouts in, and do all this in a very consistent manner, your body will find its “ideal” all by itself.
Focusing on my statistics tells little of all the work I put in every day to stay fit. I monitor my weight, sure, but mainly I focus on what I can do today that will make me healthy! Follow these 10 rules and I promise you that weighing yourself will be not a burden but a tool. This is one tool among many at your disposal to make your life happy, fulfilling, and healthy.
Photo Credit: Getty Images