Stop Freaking Out About Your Scale: A How-To

It’s funny til it actually happens.

You know you should ditch your scale, right? If you didn’t know, there are tons of articles on why your body weight is a crappy indicator of your overall health. (A better indicator? How your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror, or–hold the phones–how you feel in your body TODAY.)

Trust your body. When you’re treating it right, moving it and listening to it, let it weigh what the fuck it wants to weigh.

But I’m not talking about WHY you should stop weighing yourself. The Why is easy. But all this great information doesn’t quite stop that reaction to hop on the scale and wait to see how you should feel about your body. I had a weird, messed up relationship with my scale for 10 years. At least. At my worst, I was weighing myself 10 times a day. TEN. Tell me how that makes sense on ANY level. My scale was like a horrible ex I kept going back to: if I was losing weight, things were dandy, but if I plateaued or gained, I would torture myself. Panic. Get nauseated. Cry. Want to lock myself in my room all day. Weigh myself over and over again, praying the original number was a fluke. Stand in the mirror and pinch my flesh, trying to remember if I had more chub between my fingers than yesterday. That’s some fucked up, toxic shit right there. Sound familiar?

There are lots of reasons we can’t imagine tossing our scales. Maybe because it cost 300 bucks and tells you your body composition, where you are in your menstrual cycle and your horoscope. Maybe because you’re just not ready to completely let go quite yet. Whatever the reason, here are a couple steps to get you on your way to getting that thing out of your life for good:

Put your scale in a place where it’s hard to get to.

This could mean in the basement, on top of a bookshelf, in the back of your closet, or where ever else it’s a little tough to get to. When it’s out of sight, it makes in a little easier to be out of mind, or more difficult to just hop on that thing.. Plus, it’ll give you time to stop, slow down, breathe and…

Ask yourself Why.

“Why am I weighing myself right now?” Jumping to see that precious number what very much a compulsion for me, and I have an inkling it’s a compulsion for a lot of people. Is this desire to see that number coming from an out-of -control, compulsive place? Are you feeling shitty about yourself and need a reason to validate that feeling? What will weighing yourself AT THIS MOMENT accomplish for you? Answer these questions, then judge whether it’s a good idea to step on your scale. Here’s a hint: if asking yourself these questions evokes an emotional response for you–sadness, anxiety, whatever–take a breath and move your body.  Dance around to the new Daft Punk in your underwear, and I guarantee that’ll put things in perspective.

Then ask yourself How.

If you’re still hankering for a weigh-in, ask “How will I feel when I see that number?” Again, if this evokes an intense emotional reaction, step away from the scale. Take a breath and move your body in a way that feels good to you.  But if you really just want to know, and imagine yourself stepping on your scale, seeing that number, hopping off and going about your day like nothing ever happened, go ahead and weigh yourself.

So why not throw the damn thing out? If you’re ready to do this, that’s awesome. Go for it. I wasn’t–the thought scared me. Finally, in a fit of frustration, I did. But when I got rid of my scale, I was still terrified and anxious to know that number. Eventually I bought another one and the cycle started again. It wasn’t until I could tune in and detach myself from any meaning that number held for me that I I still have a scale. A couple times a month, I step on it. Eventually, I’d like to not weigh myself at all. But it’s a journey, and that number no longer impacts me like it once did. I weigh about 5-7 pounds more than I did last year, but it doesn’t bother me: my clothes fit the same, and I’m actually stronger and faster than I was at my lowest weight. So blow it out your rear, Scale.

Some reference articles:

No Diet Diaries: Finally Getting Rid of that God Forsaken Scale from XO Jane

Your Fat Feelings Are Trying to Tell You Something from Isabel Foxen Duke

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories from Her Campus

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