Throwing away the scale.

Yesterday morning, I stepped on the scale, giddy at the thought of what the numbers would show. But they didn’t show what I wanted. They showed a gain, after a week and a half of diligent Paleo eating. Since I stopped eating Diet to Go I’ve gained a few pounds too – amazing what a shift in my nutrition does to my body. I was frustrated. How can three numbers have such an impact on my mood and attitude?

This weight loss journey sometimes feels like the biggest, longest challenge I’ve ever worked towards. I get so angry when the numbers don’t move favorably, because doesn’t the scale see the hour of boxing class, how I left class drenched in my own sweat? Doesn’t the scale see how I skipped my friend’s amazing looking tres leches cake to have a banana with almond butter? Doesn’t the scale see me dancing my butt off in zumba class, or climbing the treadmill like a mountain, pressing the incline button more and more, until I’m towering above the treadmills around me, climbing, climbing, climbing towards a healthier me? Doesn’t the scale see how every time in the past four years I’ve ordered my turkey burger with a side of salad, skipped the french fries, dressing on the side?

The scale doesn’t see these things.

Image borrowed from

So yesterday, when I talked to a professional athlete and body builder at an event, I was surprised when he told me to throw out my scale. I’ve heard this sentiment before from people in the know – the hydrostatic body composition owner, a triathalon expert, a kinesiologist. But it’s hard to disconnect my goals from my weight, that ominous number that reminds me how I’m at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, depression, you name it. The problem is, that number on the scale has a huge influence on the decisions I make afterwards – like saying, “Screw Paleo, I’m eating gluten-free pizza and popcorn for dinner.” Because when I’ve been working hard and seeing what I feel are no results, why even bother? Why keep going?

But I know I can’t give up. I know I need to keep going. And even if the scale doesn’t move, I’ll get there, one day, to the better, stronger, healthier, slimmer me.

Does your weight have an influence on your attitude towards eating, fitness and your mood in general?

10 thoughts on “Throwing away the scale.

  1. I am a daily weigher. I was also told by a trainer to tos the scale. I just can’t do it. I have to know what it says. I agree that the scale does dictate how I feel. I’m in a much better mood when it has a smaller number.

  2. I have this problem – majorly. The problem is that the scale is a double edged sword for me. if I like the number I see, I can convince myself that it’s ok to have dessert today. If I don’t like the number I see, I get frustrated and am more likely to skip a workout. You’re totally right that just throwing it away would be better for my mental health and mood, but I just can’t do it! I’ve also had days where I felt like it was going to be a “skinny” day, then stepped on the scale and immediately felt bloated the rest of the day. Nothing changed but my attitude. Ugh.

  3. I threw away my scale….it literally drove me to the edge of insanity. I was so obsessed with the number that I’d do ANYTHING to see it go down. And I’d get on it 3, 4, 5 times a day. I honestly think our obsession with the numbers is really sad, because, although they are one tool to understanding our health, they are by NO MEANS the best measure of our health. And honestly, the mental anguish they can cause is truly detrimental to your happiness, health, and functionality. I agree—toss the scale! You can keep track at your doctor’s office or the gym. No need to have one at home.

  4. have you thought about just taking your measurements? not sure if this would make a difference. but maybe your body is changing even though the numbers on the scale aren’t showing it?

  5. I just started scouring the internet to find this picture I saw the other day. I can’t find it, I don’t remember where I saw it but I’ll just describe.

    It was a before and after of a woman with a 1lb difference. Except in the after picture she looks totally different. More toned, firmed up, and healthy. I also have a friend who is a personal trainer/nutritionist and she weighs more than me but her body is just SOLID muscle. She said when she does BMI tests the results always say she’s overweight but clearly, when you see her she is definitely not!

    Your workouts are totally paying off and you are most likely gaining a good firm base of muscle under there! Keep it up!

  6. I would love to throw out my scale. But I won’t. It definitely changes everything if there is something negative flowing from those numbers.

  7. Short answer: YES! I think it’s easy to get fixated on numbers instead of other health indicators like cholesterol, blood pressure, or general fitness. Try not to let it deter your enthusiasm and drive!

  8. I should throw mine out too. I tried to go without then I was feeling “skinny” after 5 days of no scale. Up 5 lbs! Say what! Back down the next day. I do so much to be “healthy”. We just have to convince ourselves that it’s enough!

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