Are you someone who likes to jump on the scales every morning? You make sure that you do it every day without fail, no clothes, right after you’ve been to the bathroom? Do you feel elated when you see a shift in the downwards direction and pat yourself on the back thinking that you’ve done well? Do you also get upset and decide to throw a whole day away if you jump on and the scales are being unkind?
Oh yes, my love, I feel your pain! I was a scale-a-holic myself just a few short years ago. I used to think that by checking my weight on a daily basis that I was ‘keeping myself in check’, when in reality all I was actually doing was driving myself mad. If I stepped on and saw a gain (even just the slightest increase), then I would fall into such a mood and feel so down about myself – the kind of down that only ice-cream and cookies can pick me up from! Oh yes, I was a joy to live with during that time as you can well imagine…
Flashback to 2012 when I started working out at G14 in London’s south west – I was stressed out, overtired, I had put on more weight than ever (all the while still exercising and weighing everyday) and I was miserable! After a tearful first session with my trainer (Ben), where he essentially had me face up to both my fears and also the facts of what I was doing to myself, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to use my scales for the full 14 weeks of the program.
‘Are you crazy, no weighing myself? But how will I know where I’m at? How will I know that I’m doing the right thing?’
This felt like my worst nightmare, but Ben had obviously heard that proclamation from many women before and he wasn’t taking any prisoners. He had some rules for his clients and staying off the scale was one of them. On that first day Ben didn’t even allow me to see my starting weight – he said it wasn’t relevant that I know it and he only takes it as a guide (& to sneakily prove to me how unimportant weight is by the end of the program). I thought he was nuts, but I was paying good money to see him and I trusted that he could get me the results I was looking for.
It was a tough 14 weeks, I won’t lie – not just because of the sugar cravings (which passed by week 4) or the intense workouts, but mostly because I kept feeling as though I wanted to jump on the scales. I could feel that my clothes were getting looser and my tummy had lost a lot of the bloating, but still I wanted to know ‘the number’. Despite all the other signs, I couldn’t help but feel a little out of control because at that time I still believed that weight was the be all and end of health.
You know what? Breaking that cycle of daily weighing has been a god send for me – it really flipped me out of the up and down cycle. At the end of my 14 weeks I hadn’t actually lost much ‘weight’ as such – about 4kgs in total, but I had gone down two full dress sizes, my skin was absolutely glowing and I had the energy of a teenager! What I came to realise during that time was that ‘the number’ was so much less important than the way I felt (or the way my jeans fit). It was a real eye opener for me and I’m truly grateful for the lesson. Now I definitely focus on the other health signals – how is my energy? How do my clothes fit? What do I need to do to get either of those things back into line.
There is so much fluctuation in our weight (especially as women) – we see changes depending on how much water we drank the day before, where we are in our cycle and what time of day we get on the scale. We also all know that muscle takes up much less room in the body than fat and it’s also more dense, so effectively weighs more., It’s also possible if you’ve seen an increase and you’ve just started working out, that it could be a shift from fat to muscle going on, rather than a sign that you need to starve yourself or workout harder (I NEVER recommend either of these options – just saying)!
How do you know if it’s time to breakup with your scales?
- You’re getting on daily
- Your weight is still increasing despite getting on daily
- You judge the entire day based on the number you see in the morning – whether up or down
- You suffer from a big dose of ‘I’m not good enough, screw it, I’m going to eat junk’ when you see an increase.
Like I say, I’ve been there and it’s not fun – its also not an easy cycle to break. For me, it was going cold turkey and having the accountability of a trainer to keep me in check and to keep my headspace positive.
If you’re addicted to the scale, I highly encourage you to drop it for a week (or two) and consider the following:
- Get serious with yourself about what you’re really doing and where you really want to be.
- Get some support to make these changes a reality.
- You are so much more than ‘the number’ – you are beautiful, loving and deserve to be free from the stress of living this way.
Now I’d love to hear from you! Are you a daily weigher? If so, do you find that it tends to dictate your entire day, whether good or bad?
Always remember that I’m here for you to help support you at all time – if you’d like to chat about how I can help you to break the scale cycle and keep you accountable to your goals, then shoot me a message and we can chat. If you just have a question about anything at all, please feel free to reach out. There’s really nothing like accountability to keep you on track and reaching for your goals.
As always, wishing you a great week – you are so much stronger than you think!
With much love,