Stupid Scale. Stupid. Stupid.
Many of us use the scale as an indication of our health, use it to judge our our appearance, our very existence. I’m guilty of that. Every day we step on it we allow that number to define us, to alter our moods. Guilty there too. If we step on it and weigh less than expected, great. If not, we’re bothered. Maybe even depressed. Yep. Guilty here too. It can also have a direct (and unhealthy) impact on the amount of food we eat that day and our actions.
But The Whole30 isn’t a weight loss program. It’s certainly not a quick-fix for weight loss, either. As a result the Whole30 implores people to NOT step on the scale, and to focus on health. However, they know us as well as we know ourselves. They sent an article on their site about “5 Reasons to Break Up With Your Scale.” It is one I needed to read. So I thought I would share. Here is the abbreviated version:
1. Scale weight fluctuates wildly.
Over the course of a day (or a few hours!) your weight can fluctuate by as many as five pounds – sometimes more. Fluctuations of weight gained and lost by stepping on the scale each day doesn’t help us with our long term goal.
2. Scale weight says nothing of health.
That number on a scale says nothing about whether you’re moving in the right direction with your health. It is our relationship with food that matters. Losing five or 10 pounds doesn’t necessarily make me healthy. It only makes my shirts fit better, my pants more comfortable.
3. The scale blinds you to real results.
By focusing on the number I am effectively missing out on observing the other, more significant, results of my efforts. Sleeping better, more energy, less moody or depressed. Cravings dissipate, faster recovery from exercise, and symptoms or medical conditions can improve.
4. The scale keeps you stuck on on food.
We associate that number on the scale with one major factor – food.
5. The scale maintains control of your self-esteem.
It’s psychologically unhealthy to allow a number – any number – to determine your worth, your value or your self-image.
* If Paleo isn’t about weight loss then why bother stepping on the scale?
* A low number doesn’t mean I’m off my BP meds.
* If I feel better, sleep better, less moody and/or depressed with more energy then I win.
* Scale results can take me from confident to self-loathing in under 5 seconds, but what the scale is telling me is not real.
So it this going to happen for me? Am I going to stay off the scale after reading and writing all of this? I haven’t the slightest notion. I might not. Then again, I may. Probably not though. But hopefully some of this will sink in, even if it takes time for me to get it through my thick skull.
You see, there was a time when I used to weigh over 300 lbs. I was a product of unhealthy relationships and fed myself into a different kind of hell. The biggest number I allowed myself to see was 305 lbs. After that I didn’t go near the scale. I didn’t want to see a true number.
I believe that good health is my goal. Getting off the BP meds is my goal. Sleeping well and leaving stress behind is my goal. But I am as guilty as they come when it comes to the numbers.
I took my measurements and weight at Day 1 like they say to. The Whole30 encourages this as long as you don’t do it again until you’re done with the program. So that means the next time I am to measure and weight myself is the morning of Wednesday November 26.