I do not know if any of you physically run away from needing to weigh yourself, but I do. I also feel oddly compelled to do it. What a conundrum? I feel like to be a “health-conscious” person, I have to know my weight. Isn’t that a thing? I also feel like I label myself with the numbers on the scale like: “Oh, this is a 145 week.” Does anyone else do that? Why does it matter so much, and why am I so fixated on something that causes my whole day to crumble sometimes? There, I admitted it: The numbers on a scale actually put me into a downward mood spiral most times. I am also a little sneak with myself. I often choose to weigh myself at strategic moments when I am 100% certain I will know what the number says. I never weigh myself when I feel like the number will be bad. Is that even effective then? It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I firmly believe that starting your day off with positive intent is the best way to get stuff done, be a happy person, and live a glorious life. Yet, you are supposed to weigh yourself in the morning FIRST THING in order to get the most accurate result.
You are supposed to weigh yourself first thing in the AM because…
1) Any food in your system can raise the number on the scale by 5-10 pounds.
2) Water alone increases your weight.
3) Salty foods make you hold in water, which brings us back to number 2.
4) Sleeping poorly has impacts on weight gain or loss.
5) Drinking alcohol…
6) Working out and sweating a lot will lower the number if you step on the scale immediately after. It is how people track how much water they hold onto – fun fact.
This is some tricky business my friend – if you are going to put all your mood into a number that is so variable, you are setting yourself up for failure. However, I have read so many articles and books about weighing yourself.
I have summarized the multitude of articles I have read on this topic into the following buckets.
1) Weigh yourself daily: I call this one the “Michael Matthews” method because I got it from his book Thinner Leaner Stronger. The book is awesome, and I will write a blog reviewing that one in the future. However, the one contention I had with it was his viewpoint on weighing yourself every day. He is correct that you have to take weekly averages to track trends over time. So, I weigh myself Sunday through Saturday, average them out. Repeat. Then I have my average weekly weight loss. He is 100% correct that this logically makes sense and works for people. On the flip side, it is also very stress-inducing for people who do not need that much data.
2) Measure yourself instead: This camp talks about using circumference measurements, which are measurements of your chest, waist, hips, butt, thighs, calves – really any part of your body you want to measure. The argument here is that real change occurs when you see your body physically change in size rather than rely on a variable number.
3) Never weigh yourself: This group argues that you should only focus on how you feel inside and outside. You should focus on the feelings, how clothes fit, how your anxiety is doing, and how you are enjoying life. The argument here is that you can really see change by being mindful. This is the “intuitive eating” group as I call them. A great book on this is Intuitive Eating (A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach).
What happens if all of these options sound awful to you? They all sounded awful to me, at least.
Well, this is what I do, and it may be some stuff you can implement too!
1) I bought a Renpho Scale. It is Bluetooth, connects to phone, and tracks your weight for you.
2) I bought a Renpho Measuring Tape for Circumference. It also is Bluetooth, connects to phone, and tracks your circumferences for you.
3)I stick with the same scale ALWAYS. I do not weigh myself on vacation, on trips, on visits to my parent’s house. I only weigh myself at my house.
4) I always stick to the AM, and I put my scale in the weighing spot at night. This means that I wake up in the morning, step into the bathroom, and I trip on my scale. Make it easier not more challenging for you.
5) I only weigh myself on a weekly basis. Only weigh yourself every day if you actually enjoy numbers and tracking data. Otherwise, stick to a routine of once a week or once a month. I find that tracking trends with weight is easier over longer periods because you cannot actually lose or gain a pound in one day. What you are actually losing or gaining day-by-day when you weigh yourself daily is your sanity (in my opinion).
6) I also choose the same day each week. If you are curious, it is Wednesday.
7) Why is it Wednesday? I chose Wednesday because psychologically, I tend to do the least fun things ON ACCIDENT on Mondays and Tuesdays. I tend to the MOST FUN THINGS unintentionally on weekends. So, I chose to pick a day that will more than likely have favorable results for me. This day might be different for you.
8) NEVER WEIGH YOURSELF THE DAY AFTER A FUN EVENT LIKE THANKSGIVING – ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE YOURSELF MISERABLE?! But seriously, come on people. There is no use setting yourself up for failure.
9) Only weigh yourself if losing/gaining weight is the goal. Whenever I feel like I am happy where I am at, I stop weighing myself. I only do it when I have a specific goal, which is something like “I want to lose 10 pounds before my sister’s wedding.” Other than that, I do not do it.
10) MOST IMPORTANT ONE: What ultimately got me feeling better about it was doing it with intention. Think to yourself:
- What purpose is stepping on this scale serving?
- Is this purpose to lose/gain weight or is this purpose to self-sabotage?
- Will stepping on the scale jump start a goal or will it just be another way for me to beat myself up?
If you answer those questions and they come out like this…
- I hate my body.
- I weigh myself because I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT NOW.
- Stepping on the scale will hurt me because I know I have not been really eating well, and I know that the number will be high.
RUN FROM THE SCALE.
Seriously. What is the point and purpose of taking that action? Instead, when you answer in some variation of the above, avoid the scale. Go for a walk. Make some tea. Write a journal about why you think you want to weigh yourself. Then, reevaluate tomorrow if you still want to weigh yourself and why.
Listen, I am not cured from the scale terror; yet, I know how to work with myself to beat the number. These steps have allowed me to stop letting the scale have so much power. Remember, practice makes perfect. You will not go from horrendous scale angst to none overnight. Patience my friends.
Post a comment below if you enjoyed this article. Feel free to email me directly at email@example.com if you have any lingering thoughts. I am always happy to chat directly about these things because I know how emotional this topic can be.