Doing away with the scale

I haven’t weighed myself since right after Christmas.

Even though I am trying to lose weight, there is a reason for my madness. When I used the scale as a measuring tool, I weighed myself constantly . . . at least 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes every single day.

Breakfast: chicken sausage link, a couple of scrambled egg whites with one scrambled egg, leftover breakfast potatoes and some ketchup

The numbers on the scale often determined my mood for the rest of the day.ย If the numbers went down, I was thrilled. If the numbers went up (or even if they stayed the same), I was frustrated. Sometimes this frustration would lead me to do things that further sabotaged my weight loss efforts, such as skip an exercise session or eat a little too much junk food.

Lunch: leftover Cajun pasta sauce with spinach fettuccine

The decision to stop weighing myself was both liberating and nerve-wracking. How could I listen to my body when I never have before? If I don’t weigh myself, how will I know that I am doing the right things when it comes to exercise and food? Besides determining my mood, the numbers on the scale often told me if I should start eating less or exercising more. It took me a while to realize that this is not the healthiest mindset.

Snack #1: clementines

It wasn’t enough to tell myself to stop using the scale. I actually gave it to Corey and told him to hide it. That may sound weird, but I can’t trust myself not to use it when I see it every single day. Corey is a lousy hider, so the first few times he hid it I happened to accidentally find it. Finally, right after the holidays and my last weigh-in, he hid it in the attic. Yes, he told me where he was hiding it but only because he knew the attic was the one place I would never, ever go. Sneaky, isn’t he? ๐Ÿ™‚

Snack #2: peanut butter granola with a handful of sunflower seeds

Lately, it seems that all I think about is the scale. I wonder if I have lost weight or simply maintained. I am a person who likes results. It may take a while for me to lose enough weight so that my clothes feel differently . . . at least longer than I would like.

Dinner: chicken sausage, pasta sauce, and peppers and onions on hoagie roll. Served with Alexia sweet potato fries

I am trying really hard to exercise because it is good for me and because it makes me feel good, not because of how many calories I may burn within a twenty-minute elliptical session. I have been tracking my calories, mainly to make sure I am eating enough. And lately, I have been agonizing over every single calorie and asking myself if I should exercise more to burn more calories and lose the weight I need.

I wish I could be happy with myself the way that I am. I am trying. If I don’t see myself as beautiful now, I know that I won’t see myself as beautiful when I am 30 pounds lighter. That is another reason I stopped using the scale. I wanted to learn to like what I see in the mirror, regardless of what the scale says. It is a constant struggle. If I am patient, I will get there. But I am not a patient person.

This is an Operation Beautiful note that I wrote to myself and posted on the bathroom mirror. Something about me you should know is that I avoid mirrors if at all possible. I just don’t like looking at myself, which is a result of my negative self-esteem. I figured that if I posted this note and saw the words often enough, then maybe I would believe them.

Question: do you weigh yourself regularly? Why or why not?


19 responses to “Doing away with the scale

  1. I do weigh myself regularly because I like to see results… But when I am happy with the way my clothes fit me and what the scale reads I dont… Its a love/hate relationship!

  2. I used to weigh myself a lot. I became obsessed with it. Most days of the week, I was on that scale. The number determined how my day was going to turn out. It was like a routine.

    But, I realized that being obsessed was not healthy and I needed to resolve this problem. I’m trying really hard not to weigh myself right now, but focus on being in-tune with my body and listen. In fact, I haven’t weighed myself for quite a while.

    The number on the scale doesn’t say everything. Your weight naturally fluctuates from day to day. Furthermore, the number goes up when you gain muscle, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I now strive to exercise because it makes me feel SO good afterwards, lifts my mood, and gives me more energy; give my body the rest it requires; and to feed my body what helps it run its best.

    Thank you for this wonderful post! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

  3. I’ve been writing a post about this! I used to weigh myself EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sometimes several times in one day. I would record the number online immediately and it would go to a chart that would show me my progress. It was horrible- I would feel so bad if the number was up. Even though I weighed myself every day, I gained over 20 pounds in a few months and I got so depressed when I saw the way the chart looked.

    I still weigh myself, but I can say I am no longer obsessed. I retain a lot of water, so if I eat a lot of salt one day, I know the scale is going to be up, and I don’t freak out about it. I prefer to go by the way my pants fit. Pants don’t lie!

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I do weigh myself regularly, though I wish I didn’t. I think we all fluctuate anywhere from 2-6 pounds, and seeing the numbers can be pretty depressing. I really liked this post!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I weigh myself MAYBE once a week. MAYBE. I think it’s easy to let you mood fall or rise with the number and the scale but thats NEVER the right way to live

  6. The number on the scale doesn’t define you, and if it’s a source a drama then it’s for the best that you get rid of it. Numbers aren’t important, just feel good about what you’re doing!

  7. I’ve never owned a scale, believe it or not. Because I’m the kind of person who could become obsessed with it . . . any time I visit people who own a scale, I’m drawn to it like a magnet. So I think it’s best that I just don’t get one–ever.
    I remember what it was like to feel ugly–I felt like that during most of my pre-teen and teenage years, and it was so draining, and such an unhappy place. So I’m praying you will start seeing beauty in yourself! Soon!

  8. I used to weigh myself every day but it became an obsession so I got rid of it. I also started lifting more and since muscle weighs more than fat having a scale is kind of pointless, in my opinion.

    I have struggled with self esteem issues in the past and it took me a looooong time to find peace within myself. I think the greatest piece advice I can give is to truly think deeply about what defies being “beautiful”. Is it only physical? Is a super skinny girl that smokes, does drugs, and is insanely unhealthy, “beautiful”? Or is a woman in her mid-fifties with some wrinkles from LIVING that wakes each morning to take her dogs for a long walk and sips tea by the fireplace beautiful?

  9. I think it’s great that you are doing away with the scale. I weigh myself once a week, and yes it can be discouraging at times. I think you will do great without the scale.

  10. I go through phases where I weight myself every day and those where I skip it. I found that the way I got over scale anxiety was to start treating yourself like an athlete. Find something you really like doing, and train for it. So now my success isn’t tied up in a number it is also tied to I hit a new PR on my 5k or totally out ran that girl during an Ultimate Game. I also find that I lose weight/tone up without really trying when I’m in my athlete mindset. The minute i start agonizing over calories and exercise minutes is the minute my body stops responding.

  11. I make rules for myself. Ones I know I can keep =) and it helps a LOT! For instance, if I want to weigh myself, it has to be in the morning when I wake up and on an empty stomach. and since it is pretty much the same every day, i’ve lost interest in the scale and don’t check it very often now. Maybe that would help? To take the power away from the scale.

    I like the idea of the positive note on the mirror =) Keep telling yourself about all the wonderful things you have going on. constantly =) life is too short not to love yourself โค โค โค

    night dear!


  12. Hi Cynthia – thanks for dropping by my blog and for the birthday greeting ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad I found your blog too!

    I also have not weighed myself in a LONG time. I too had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise but the last few years I have been making changes in my life in a quest to be healthier, stronger, and happier. Good luck with your journey – my advice is to be patient, remember that being healthy is a lifestyle, and to not be too hard on yourself! I always say that food is meant to be enjoyed, not feared ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and your breakfast looks like something I would usually eat for dinner ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. A few months ago I hid my scale-it determines my mood too sometimes. I’ll take it out sometimes and check though! Once I “feel” the way I want to feel i’ll jump on it and see:)

  14. Oh my dear sweet friend. I cannot even express to you how similar we are. Even though I write a healthy living blog and work as a dietitian…I have the same struggle!! I gave up the scale for my new year’s resolution and my husband has been hiding it from me since the beginning of last year! He WAS letting me weight once a week but I just got sick of it determining my mood so I told him NOT to give it to me under any circumstances. I will admit I have searched, pleaded for him to give it to me, but after we talk it out, he makes me realize I DO NOT need it!! YOU ARE MORE THAN WHAT YOU WEIGH and so am I!! Stop judging your self worth by numbers! Go by how your clothes fit or how much energy you have!! I know what a struggle you are having because I am still struggling everyday! I wrote a 30 day one month your best self makeover series. I HIGHLY recommend reading through each post. It’s everything I would want to tell you in this short post. It might help you start to trust yourself and your body!!

    Take care!! email me if you ever need someone to talk to who truly understands! xoxox

  15. that is some awesome grub! I actually don’t own a scale! haha I know kind of shocking in this day and age but I find it distracts me from my ultimate goal. Because muscle weighs more than fat and water weight can add a pounds or two, I feel like the number on the scale is just that, a number. I judge my weight on how I feel, look and how my jeans fit. My goal is to be healthy, keep my body in shape and give my body the proper fuel it needs to work properly and so I can live a happy, healthy, long life!

  16. Thank you for commenting on my blog! I like how honest and open you were with this post. I feel the same struggles with the scale, and also have a love/hate relationship with it. I do weight myself, probably about once a week. I have to try not to let the number discourage me, though. It’s difficult. Good for you for realizing the problem and taking strides to improve!

  17. I NEVER weigh myself! Definitely not a habit worth picking up. You’re doing wonderful things for yourself–eating good, homemade food, exercising, and taking care of your body. Life is simply too short to let our moods and happiness be controlled by a number…seriously! Experience the joy you feel for taking care of yourself and keep that scale hidden ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. I do weigh myself regularly but I know it would be best to stop. I really admire you for doing so. How can our health be measured by one number?! Thanks for this post, I needed it ๐Ÿ™‚

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