3 Things I Learned When I Stopped Weighing Myself Every Day
When you’re battling your weight and body image, obsessively weighing yourself can actually do more harm than good in the quest for self-love and acceptance.
I used to be a slave to the scale.
I weighed myself in the morning, after a big meal, after I worked out, after dinner, after anything really. What I saw on the scale dictated how I felt about myself, where I stood in comparison to others, and whether I was “acceptable” enough to wear certain clothes.
My main theme was: The lower the number, the better I somehow was. If I lost a pound, I was elated. If I gained a pound, I was crushed. It was an endless source of anguish and agony. I beat myself up over any change in my weight, which fueled my unhealthy cycle of dieting and bingeing.
When I finally let go of the scale, a new sense of freedom filled my life.
I began to explore how I felt IN my body. I discovered more about what my body wanted and needed. I learned a new way of accepting myself and my body—one that didn’t rely on a number.
I didn’t realize that obsessively weighing myself had kept me locked in a self-imposed prison of misery. Ditching the scale opened up a new way of looking at my body.
If you’re looking to find more freedom and peace around your weight, here are the three reasons you should stop weighing yourself every day:
1. Your self-worth shouldn't be dependent on a number.
When you're fixated on the scale number, it becomes so intertwined with your self-worth. If the scale has a “good” (i.e., lower) number, you feel better about yourself. If the scale says a “bad” (i.e., higher) number, you then start feeling horrible. Your entire mood becomes dependent on a number and an entire day can spiral down into negativity and despair if you hate what you see on the scale.
Letting go of connecting your value to a scale number can only change when you begin to stop weighing yourself. When you step out of the cycle, you’re gently forced to look at yourself in a different light.
How do you measure your value? How do you know if you’re “allowed” to feel OK in your body if you don’t have a number to tell you that you can? When we begin to find a new way to validate and appreciate ourselves, we realize our self-worth goes much deeper than a number.
The scale is very limiting. It doesn’t tell the whole story of you. When you obsess over a number, you don’t get to explore who YOU are. Your weight isn’t you. You are your experiences and dreams, your distinctive qualities, your exceptional talents, and your irreplaceable character.
2. The issue goes much deeper than the scale.
Getting on the scale allows us to maintain a sense of “control”. This form of control gives us a sense of power over our fears. We are afraid if we don’t constantly micromanage our weight, we will spiral out of control. We fear we won’t be able to monitor our eating habits and panic at the thought of really trusting our bodies.
We are frightened of allowing ourselves to be good enough just as we are. It isn’t about the number on the scale; it’s about the feelings behind it and what it represents. It’s these issues that need to be acknowledged and worked through.
3. Your weight isn’t a static, concrete number.
It’s important to note that the number we base our self-worth on is always changing. Your weight can waver between two numbers depending on what you’re eating, seasonal differences, body composition, and other factors that fluctuate throughout the month or year.
We use the scale to validate our success and progress. And yet…it’s not as concrete as we once thought. Your weight can change even in a day! It can be more when we have our period, less when we are stressed, higher after a big meal, or lower after lots of intense exercise.
And this isn't even taking into account muscle weighing more than fat, different body types having different densities and so many other things that factor into our weight changing.
If we spin ourselves into a panic because that number has gone up 1 or 2 pounds, it really may very well be just a natural fluctuation in the body.
Letting go of the scale is so important to developing a more loving and accepting relationship with your body. Take the first steps toward self-love and freedom by ditching the scale!
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.