Person with feet tied to scale by tape measure

Throw Out the Scale

Be honest, when was the last time you stepped on the scale and walked away feeling good about yourself and your worth? I’m going to go with mostly never.  This little piece of metal can be seriously detrimental to your journey. It can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, with your body, create stress and negative emotions, and so much more. Well, I’m here to tell you that the scale is not your friend, and doesn’t deserve your time, energy, or devotion. 

The scale has become a household essential, like a trash can. Well, the scale might as well be tossed right into that legitimate household essential, because it truly is trash. Scales were created to measure things, but they do not at all measure who you are as a human being and the value that you have. And while it was never meant to cause harm, the damage it creates on a day-to-day basis to women everywhere is unbelievable. Especially to those with eating disorders or disorder eating patterns or thoughts, scales can be incredibly damaging to your recovery and progress. Reading a number you perceive as negative can lead to obsession and ignite dangerous behaviors like binging, purging, restriction, and more. What I don’t want is for the scale to trigger these feelings and cause you to fall into a habit of disordered eating, which can lead you to a long and slippery slope of on again off again dieting.

Reasons Why the Scale is Inaccurate

Weight Does Not Equal Health!

The scale is not your doctor. Period. The scale did not go to medical school and get a degree to give you a number that tells you how healthy you are. So why give it the authority to do so? I hate to say it, but we live in a world that has told us mixed messages about how we can measure health. We have been raised to believe that weight is directly related to health, that weight is a real indication of where you’re at. Toxic diet culture has ingrained in our brains this false narrative that a certain weight is necessary for us to be healthy. There is so much more to you that helps determine your health! From determinants like genetics, your environment, and behaviors that add together to create you and what health is for you. So this number literally cannot define you and your health, and it’s crucial to not let it.

Body Composition

Unless you’ve got one of those fancy scales, that piece of junk isn’t telling you ANYTHING about your actual body composition. It has no way of knowing what exactly it’s measuring. It doesn’t account for fat or muscle mass. It also doesn’t account for the large percentage of water that makes up human beings! We’re talking 60% of humans are made of water, and that water has its own weight to be accounted for. So the number on the scale that pops up and might cause negative feelings about yourself is truly just a number. It can’t possibly distinguish the different parts that make you you.

Weight Fluctuates Throughout the Day

It’s completely normal that the numbers on the scale change throughout the day because we fluctuate throughout the day! Those who might use this scale more frequently will notice that the number changes throughout their day. This might upset them and cause them to restrict at their next meal, skip a snack, overexercise, or engage in other disordered eating patterns. But it’s expected that this number will change!

Between eating, drinking, urinating, and bowel movements, that number on the scale is bound to change continuously. Like I said before, water itself has weight to it. The role water plays in that number depends on your hydration status, salt intake, hormones, and more! Hormonal changes can cause weight to change as well, so the number is definitely not going to remain consistent, especially during your period. Estrogen can cause water retention and progesterone is a natural diuretic, so depending on where you are in your cycle, this is going to reflect in that number on the scale. As I mentioned, water has weight to it and if you eat foods with high water content, that’s also going to cause weight to fluctuate. There are so many normal and natural things going on in our bodies throughout the day so it’s only natural that the scale reads differently throughout the day, too.

Non-Scale Wins

Progress comes in so many ways that have nothing to do with the scale. These incredible improvements may go unnoticed if you’re only focusing on the number on the scale, but they speak volumes about how far you’ve come. Here are just a few examples of things to focus on during your journey:

  • Having more energy
  • Feeling strong and empowered
  • Getting better sleep
  • Having reduced guilt around food
  • Improved blood glucose levels
  • Improved mood
  • Improved confidence and body image

Don’t let these wins go uncelebrated! These are bigger victories than what any number on the scale can be. These wins show you that your hard work and dedication are making actual changes in your life. Not just any change, sustainable change! Change that you will have a long-term positive impact on your life. This kind of change is what we should be seeking, not dropping unwanted weight in a toxic, unnatural way just to gain it back down the road (not at your fault but because diets literally don’t work long-term). These progress markers are reinforcement of your hard work at the real change you’re making.

What Now?

The best way to stop consuming yourself in the number on the scale is to just get rid of it completely. So get rid of the piece of sh*t once and for all. Take back control. And if you really are not ready to get rid of it, there are safe ways to incorporate weighing yourself. Limit weighing yourself to once a week. Speak a positive affirmation about yourself before getting on such as “this number doesn’t determine my worth.” After you get off that scale, give yourself another affirmation highlighting a non-scale win like the ones I listed. If the scale has to be there, make sure you have the control, not the scale.

Do not let a piece of metal dictate how you feel about yourself. Results are so much bigger than the number on the scale and your value is not tied to a number, you cannot let this thing decide your self-esteem and self-worth. Until all scales read positive affirmations when you step on like “you’re a bad b*tch” or “you are amazing,” there’s just simply no need for them in your home. Home is a place to feel safe, a place to be your sanctuary and escape from the outside world. Having this piece of sh*t that brings more harm than good in your reach jeopardizes your sanctuary. It creates negativity in YOUR space. How dare it do that?! Don’t give it that power.