Stepping on a scale can be compared to buying a bathing suit for most women: It can be terrifying to say the least. There are thoughts and feelings deeply attached to this ritual, and I used to give the scale, a piece of metal that shows you a number of how much your body mass weighs, all of my power. Stepping on the scale and seeing a number of how much I weighed used to be a stressful experience for me personally, which is why I want to share these tips with you today so that perhaps your weigh-in experience could be healthier for you than it was for me in the past.
You see, every month I would weigh in on Saturday morning and THAT would decide how the rest of my day (and my family’s) would play out. It was the “tale of two scale results” and it dragged me down every time, especially when the number wasn’t what I had hoped it would be. If the number was one that I liked, I felt happy, proud, and in a good mood. I wrote it down in a notebook and compared it to last month’s statistics. I judged myself solely based on that number and it set the tone for the whole day and sometimes the whole weekend. Also, if it was a “good” number, I celebrated it and told myself that I was “good”.
On the contrary, if the number was not what I expected or wanted, I was instantly upset and my day (and my family’s) was ruined. That reaction often continued all weekend. My thoughts were that I was “bad” and unworthy of weight loss. I would punish myself by restricting my food and beating myself up with unkind words such as I’m fat, unworthy, and hopeless. I told myself that I couldn’t lose weight and that all my work was for nothing. It was so defeating and limiting and did not move me forward in a positive direction. I convinced myself that I was stuck and couldn’t lose weight. It held me back many times. I also labeled myself as “bad”.
Can you relate to anything I described? Have you ever let the scale choose your mood? Have you let your chatter brain take over and keep you down? Most women can relate to this tale of the scale. I finally figured out a way to change my weigh-in experience completely to turn it into a feedback opportunity. It has made a world of difference, and I hope that you can take away one thing to flip your own weigh-in routine into a positive, informative experience.
#1: CHOOSE YOUR WEIGH-IN PLAN
Choose when to weigh yourself based on what works for you and what your weight loss goals are. There are different schools of thought about how often to weigh yourself. Some people weigh themselves daily, some do it weekly, and some do it monthly. There are even people who weigh themselves only a few times a year. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so put your wants and needs first.
#2: REFRAME YOUR MINDSET
When you step on the scale, remember that it is a piece of metal that gives you feedback on how much you weigh in mass. It does not reflect your self-worth. It does not give you thoughts and feelings; it simply shows you a number. Look at that number and get curious about what it tells you as feedback. THAT. IS. IT.
#3: TREAT THE NUMBER AS FEEDBACK AND GET CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU
Look at the number of your weight in mass, write it down (if you wish), and ask yourself what it tells you. For example, ask yourself if it matches your eating plan this past week or not. If so, write down what worked so that you can keep that up. If not, think about why that number may have shown up on the scale. Do this with curiosity and kindness instead of criticism. List honest reasons that your number did not reflect a loss. Be kind and forgiving to yourself as you dig deep to think about this so that you can be objective and not self critical. A last step is to set a few action steps to put you back on track for weight loss the next time you step on the scale.
How you treat this emotionally charged ritual is key to how you progress in your weight loss journey from the inside out. Seeing the scale as a neutral tool and deciding how to think and feel about the number will change this experience completely for you, as it did for me. Believe it or not, the dread and fear will diminish each time you do this when you have flipped your tale of the scale. Be kind to yourself, get curious about the feedback, and plan your next step to a healthier you! You are worth it!
You’ve got this!
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