Breaking Free from the Scale
How to Measure Your Progress Without Obsessing Over Numbers
Are you tired of feeling like your self-worth and success are tied to the number on the scale?
Do you find yourself feeling defeated and frustrated when the scale doesn't budge, even though you've been eating well and exercising regularly?
It's a trap that many of us fall into - we become fixated on a certain weight, and we let that number dictate our happiness and sense of accomplishment. But here's the thing: the scale lies. That's right, those digits on the scale are not an accurate reflection of your progress or your value as a person, and it can actually be more harmful to your mental and physical health if you rely too heavily on it.
I know this because I've been there. I've obsessed over every pound gained or lost, and it drove me absolutely nutty. But the truth is, so many factors can impact the number on the scale - from water weight to hormonal fluctuations - that it's not a reliable measure of progress. That's why it's time to break free from the scale and discover a more holistic approach to measuring your progress.
I repeat...IT’S TIME TO BREAK FREE FROM THE SCALE!
And don't worry; I've got some practical tips to help you do just that.
- Ditch the scale - If the number on the scale is causing you stress and anxiety, it's time to get rid of it. I’m serious, and I speak from experience. I used to weigh myself twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, to gauge on a daily basis how much the scale was changing based on the things I was eating. I cringe even telling you all this, but I eventually found out how unhealthy this was and took matters into my own hands, literally. Ten years ago, I took my college fastpitch bat and smashed my scale to pieces. Take about an empowering moment. And I get it; this act might sound extreme, but it allowed me to take a step back from the scale and focus on how I felt instead of giving my scale that power.
You don’t necessarily need to go to fastpitch bat extremes as I did, but instead, challenge you to focus on how your clothes fit and how you feel vs. what the number on the scale is telling you and, on the flip side, isn’t telling you. Because let’s face it, the number on the scale only tells you one thing; your weight, not your muscle-to-fat ratio, health factors, or we could list so many others or’s here. Simply put, give yourself the power to trust your body to tell you what it needs.
- Listen to your body - When it comes to measuring progress on your health and fitness journey, it's important to remember that your body is your best guide. So instead of relying solely on the number on the scale, pay attention to how you feel. Your body is brilliant and will give you feedback about what it needs if you listen.
Start by tuning into how you feel after eating certain foods before or after a workout. Do you feel energized and strong, or do you feel sluggish and tired? Notice any changes in your mood or energy levels throughout the day. All of this information can help you make more informed decisions about what you eat, how much you move, and what kind of self-care practices you prioritize.
For example, if you notice that you feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating specific types of food, consider cutting back or eliminating them from your diet. (I’ve found focusing on the Low-FoodMap Diet here is super beneficial!) Or, if you feel your best after a challenging workout, try to make time for exercise regularly. One thing that I have found helpful when it comes to this is working with a nutritionist (the key is to find someone you vibe with to help keep you accountable and someone you want to see again).
When you start to listen to your body, you'll also become more aware of any underlying health issues or imbalances that may be impacting your progress. For example, if you struggle with low energy levels, it could be a sign that you're not getting enough sleep or not fueling your body with the proper nutrients. By addressing these underlying issues, you'll be able to make progress in a more sustainable and holistic way. So, the next time you're tempted to step on the scale, take a step back and tune into how you're feeling instead. Your body knows best, and by listening to it, you can make progress that truly reflects your overall health and well-being.
- Set non-scale goals - Setting non-scale goals is a powerful way to shift your focus from the number on the scale to other aspects of your health and wellness journey. Not only does it help you avoid obsessing over the scale like I used to do, but it can also provide a more balanced and sustainable approach to reaching your goals.
When setting non-scale goals, think about what you want to accomplish and how you want to feel. I repeat, how you WANT to feel. For example, maybe you want to improve your flexibility, increase your endurance, or reduce stress levels. These goals can be just as motivating and rewarding as weight-related goals, but they focus on improving your overall well-being rather than just your appearance and that good old number staring back at you.
Additionally, setting non-scale goals can help you break free from the diet culture mentality that often leads to unhealthy and unsustainable weight loss practices. By prioritizing your health and well-being, you'll be able to make progress in a way that feels good both physically and mentally. Because that’s what’s important here – getting you to feel good all around, regardless of the number on the scale.
So, if you're feeling frustrated or discouraged by the number on the scale, try setting some non-scale goals instead by focusing on what you can do rather than what you weigh. I promise you'll be able to create a more positive and empowering mindset toward your health and fitness journey. I’m living proof of it!!
- Celebrate small wins - This may be listed as tip number four, but it should be tip number one or two. Even if the number on the scale isn't changing, celebrate small wins along the way because it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small it may seem. By doing so, you'll be able to stay motivated and continue to make progress toward your goals. For example, did you make it through a challenging workout? Celebrate! Did you choose a healthy option instead of junk food? Celebrate! Start celebrating things you don’t even think warrant a celebration to help you get used to doing the act.
One way that helps me celebrate my wins is by keeping track of my progress in a journal or on an app. What’s up, @OneRayJournal? By keeping track, you can easily see the progress you're making over time. For example, you might notice that you can lift more weight, run faster, or have more energy throughout the day. These small wins are all signs that you're making progress toward a healthier and happier you, even if the number on the scale doesn’t appear to be moving.
Remember, the number on the scale is just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to measuring your progress. Celebrating small wins along the way can help you stay motivated and focused on your overall health and wellness journey. It’s also important to remember that the number on the scale doesn't define you or your worth. Focus on how you feel and the habits you are building, and the rest will fall into place. That, I can guarantee.