In 2014, I weighed 122 lbs. That’s the most updated information I can tell you because that’s the last time I weighed myself. I even get on the scale backward at the doctor’s office and ask them not to tell me my weight.
What’s my deal with the scale? Why did I stop using it?
Short answer – for my mental health.
I used to be obsessed with the scale. I would weigh myself as often as 10 times a day, hoping to see a different number. I would “celebrate” minuscule losses by eating less and exercising more, and I would punish stagnation or gains with the same behavior.
Even when I thought I looked really, really good, I was dissatisfied because I thought my weight was too high.
Even after I started reverse dieting and eating my “fear foods” again, I still weighed myself obsessively.
I knew it wasn’t healthy to be on the scale that much.
As part of my recovery, I decided to do an experiment. A test of will. I decided to see how long I could go without the scale.
I’m at 27 months so far.
How did I do it?
I don’t take measurements. I don’t take progress photos.
My only gauge for my weight is how my clothes fit. If they’re too loose, I need to eat more. If they’re too tight, I need to lay off the all-chicken-wing-and-peppermint-patty meal plan I was on over Christmas.
I focus on things I can control. Even if you eat well and exercise, you don’t always see the results you want on the scale or the tape measure. I picked three measurements for success: Nutrition, water intake and exercise. If I eat my macros for the day, drink 100 oz. of water and exercise for 45 minutes, I have accomplished my goal. I do something for my health every day. I can succeed every day if I choose to.
I talked to myself. Every day I stood in front of the mirror and said positive things about myself. Eventually I started to believe them. I don’t do this much anymore, but it really helped in the beginning.
What did I learn?
The scale isn’t a necessary tool for good health. The scale is like the middle-aged man at the gym giving unsolicited advice about your appearance and your workouts. His input isn’t valuable. In fact, it’s worthless if you’re happy with yourself and taking steps to be your healthiest self every day.
Nothing bad happened. I used to think my weight would balloon out of control if I stopped using the scale to hold myself accountable. That didn’t happen. Surprise! I still fit in the same pants I wore when I ditched the scale. At times they’ve been looser and at times they’ve been tighter. Monitoring my nutrition, water intake and exercise has been more than sufficient to help me maintain good physical condition.
I don’t know if I’ll ever use the scale again. We own one. My husband uses it. I used to be tempted, but I’m not anymore. For right now, I don’t want to risk the obsession again.
Have you stopped weighing yourself? How did you do it?
Photo credit: Pixabay stock photo