What I Learned When I Stepped Off the Scale for 30 Days
What did I learn in the 30 days when I stepped off the scale?
That’s a great question. And even though I thought I found the answers as I was going, I found the most important answer when I stepped back on.
1. I stopped dreading the morning routine of getting undressed and on the scale. (Am I the only person who weighs themselves naked?)
2. I was addicted to weighing myself. I did it every day and would worry if I forgot.
3. I was obsessed with the number on the scale. I set a number that I thought I should be at, and despite not knowing if it was really best for me, was set on getting there.
The most important thing I learned happened after I stepped back on the scale. I had finally made it the entire 30 days without weighing myself. It forced me to focus on how food was making me feel, how my body was responding to the foods I was eating, and what life decisions were making differences in my goals. The scale wasn’t there as a “victory marker” and I paid closer attention to the choices I was making day to day.
It was only a few weeks, but I started to really see day to day changes based on foods and drinks I was consuming. My clothes felt a little more comfortable. I thought about my weight here and there, but it wasn’t able to ruin my day if I didn’t make the progress I wanted to. But instead of thinking about the number on the scale every single time I ate, I just started thinking “is this making me feel good?”
And then I stepped back on the scale. I don’t know I was expecting, but with how good I felt, and how much bloating I had lost, I assumed I had dropped a significant amount of weight. But I didn’t. And all those good feelings were over powered by the negative thoughts that came flooding back. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I weighed, and how much I thought I should weigh.
I was letting a number determine how I feel, instead of letting how I feel speak for itself.
This has always been the problem between me and the scale. And not everyone has this relationship with the scale. In fact, some people can use the scale to their advantage to gauge what’s working and what’s not and adjust faster. But I do not have that relationship with the scale.
So what now?
Well now knowing how it felt to be free of the scale, I think I will put it away for a few more weeks. I’ll be continuing to eat well and make choices on how I feel, instead of what I think the scale is telling me. I am a healthy weight, and I need to continue building a healthy relationship to that.
I will continue to eat well, and get more meaningful fitness in. And I will use the scale not as a mood marker for the day. Every few weeks I will step back on, because I don’t want to fear it, I want to learn to embrace the numbers where my feelings are and not let the numbers determine what my feelings should be.