Ohhhh the scale. That square piece of metal that makes or breaks the day. The number that haunts some of us all day long, and makes us question everything we are doing, down to the food we are eating or whether or not we are wanted and beautiful. I've had a rocky relationship with the scale since I was 12, sometimes giving it up and sometimes taking it with me on family vacations to make sure I kept myself in check. I would weigh myself after binges in order to punish myself and make myself feel even worse for being a failure...again. I used to hop on daily, and sometimes multiple times a day, in order to assess my self-worth and let it dictate how I would (or would not) care for myself that day.
Back in October, I was on a team call with the team of coaches I'm a part of as a Beach Body Coach (yayyy Team Inspire Joy!) and we were talking about life and things as we typically do, and I was sharing my struggle with measuring my self worth by the scale. My mentor/friend Anna, as well as the rest of our team, encouraged me to just trash the thing. I had done this in the past, but I'd always end up buying a new scale a few days later, because I could just not let go. But this time, I felt like it would be different. I had the support of an entire team of amazingly strong women to back me up, and I knew that I could give up owning the scale once and for all. I decided to dump it that night, and no, I never bought another one!
I've never felt more peace and joy in my entire life. Giving up the scale and my emotional attachment to it was one of the best decisions I've ever made, along with starting my intuitive eating journey back in December (post coming soon about that!) I've learned so much about myself, my body, food, and my overall sense of worth by getting rid of the thing that has tormented me for 15 years. Some things I have learned include:
- Trashing the scale has taught me to base my progress and my fitness journey on how I feel. Numbers don't mean everything. I started asking myself "how do you feel?" "how are your energy levels?" "do you feel nourished?" "do you wake up hungry" --> **FYI it is GREAT if you wake up hungry! Means your metabolism is on point!** Getting rid of the external validation/disapproval I'd get from the scale forced me to look at other, more important aspects of living a healthier life.
- I was able to indulge and not automatically see a "punishment" on the scale. In the past, if I would eat more than usual, I would hop on the scale the next day, see it go up a couple pounds, and throw a hissy fit. Guys, having treats now on then will NOT make us gain real weight. It is likely water weight or undigested food still sitting in your body. Now that I don't see that immediate "punishment" for a couple cookies or a few servings of chow mein, I can fully enjoy my indulgence and move one to my next healthy meal without a second thought. Which brings me to...
- I think about food SO MUCH LESS. I focus more on how I feel and how my clothes fit vs. what I'm eating and what number I'm seeing every morning. Food is not my focus. I already naturally love healthy foods (it's an acquired behavior and it's possible...trust me!) but I don't focus on what I can and cannot eat anymore. I eat LOTS of plants, superfoods, and foods that make me feel good, but I do also indulge occasionally and I don't beat myself up about it or worry that I'm up a couple pounds. Because guess what...I don't know if I'm up a couple pounds, and I don't care! I don't need number to dictate if I am healthy or if I am taking care of myself.
It's been SO freeing to get rid of the scale, and I am grateful to our team for encouraging me and standing behind me to do so! It was hard the first few weeks, but after some growing pains, it was so incredibly liberating to not stare at that number every morning. I will say that I work in a medical facility, and there is a scale at work, right in front of my office...#irony haha...I hop on the scale once a month or so just to keep myself in check. BUT, since I'm not weighing myself daily anymore or obsessing about it, and because it is not IN MY BATHROOM staring at me every morning, I have such a healthier relationship with the number I see, with the food I eat, and with the woman I am.
If your story is similar to mine, know that you are not alone and not the only one who is struggling. I've gotten to know so many amazing and strong leaders since becoming a coach, and many of us have dealt with the same insecurities and struggles. It can be hard to take that initial step, but if you feel led to get rid of whatever is weighing you down, I'd say get rid of that scale. It's fine to weigh yourself once in a while, but obsessing about it and letting it dictate your life is NOT OK. And for me, keeping it in the house preventing me from using it as a "once in a while" method. I had to purge my house of it, and that felt empowering. You were made for more then being a number, and you deserve more too. Trust the process, trust your body, and trust yourself!