Scale: Friend or Foe?

Do you ever define your success by a number on the scale?  What is the scale really measuring? All very good questions.

I started my first Whole30 Reset on January 1st. I allowed myself a break from GAPS after completing the very long introduction. In less than two weeks, I was fully derailed. I felt bloated, cranky, and discouraged. I needed a reset that I knew how to navigate without a lot of extra planning. I’ve been paleo so long that doing the Whole30 Reset was a no-brainer for me.

One of the “rules” for Whole30 is no scale (actually stated as “Toss That Scale!”) for thirty days. That’s fine for me because I rarely step on the scale anyways, but I know for a few of you reading this post that is not the case.

Truthfully, the scale helps you to measure success, but it doesn’t tell you everything. It doesn’t tell you how many inches you’ve lost.  It doesn’t tell you that you made positive changes in your food choices (at least not initially).  It doesn’t tell you that you lost fat and gained muscle (well, not most scales).  It can’t know it’s “that” time of the month. Scales are merely a tool.

Tweetable: Scales are merely a tool that give us a snapshot in time, whether good or bad. 

Instead ask yourself:

  • Did I overeat/overindulge this week at any given meal or on any given day?
  • Did I move my body?
  • Did I exercise as I planned this week?
  • Did I choose a healthier choice, when I could have chosen something less healthy?
  • Did I eat in secret?
  • Did I feed my frustration, anger, disappointment or loneliness with food?
  • Did I acknowledge my feelings instead of stuffing them with food?  My feelings don’t need food.

“[The scale] cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

The scale masks real health results you may be experiencing as a result of the positive changes you’ve made or are making. By focusing your attention on “the number,” you are missing out on other results that actually mean more to your overall health. Like maybe you’re sleeping better, having more energy throughout the day, not experiencing a mid-afternoon craving or slump, or you’re less moody. The scale cannot measure positive health changes. It only measures your weight at the moment you step on it. It’s time to get your mind off the scale and focus on the health progress you’re actually making. For me that has meant realizing that I’m breathing better; I’m not reacting to certain foods; I have energy; I’m sleeping through the night; and my wedding ring is loose (translation: I’m less bloated).

If you feel you need a physical measuring stick, try using your jeans as a gauge for your successful weight loss or maintenance.  If your favourite jeans are a little tighter, tighten up your food choices and aim to move more.  It’s time to focus on positive progress and adjust your choices accordingly. [1]

I have chosen to define my week by obedience and positive health progress, not by a number on the scale. Melissa Hartwig suggests in her book The Whole30 that “If you’ve been a slave to that numerical readout, it’s time to set yourself free…” [2]  I’m all for unchaining the scale’s negative powers.

Do you want freedom from the scale? Do you want improved health? Then make some changes in how you measure your health success. As a nutritional consultant, I can be your cheerleader to awesome success. But you have to make the first move — call Brenda at 403.801.5698 or email. I offer complimentary Discovery Chats to help figure out what your next steps should be.

Excellent health is not found in a quick fix. It takes time and effort. Choose to move towards feeling amazing, having loads of energy, and rocking your life.

[1] Rachel Cosgrove, “Why your thermometer jeans will beat your scale every time!” Dec 19, 2013.

[2] Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig, The Whole30, (Toronto: Viking, 2014) page 29.

About Brenda

As a nutrition consultant and educator, I aim to support you in achieving health and vitality through natural wholesome foods and lifestyle transformation. Ready to change yourself from the inside out? Then contact Brenda today.