Reasoning to Ditch the Weight Scale

Hi everyone,

I’ve been very into posting about mental health topics and self-esteem lately due to the volume of literature I’ve been consumed in! I do believe that a healthy state of mind brings better  productivity and overall happiness.

Self-esteem is often connected to weight. Weight is often measured through the scale. Today I am going to share why I never look at the scale to determine my progress to meet my body goals.

Every year we go to the doctor’s office for a check-up (or maybe more often), and they often weigh patients. This makes sense completely, and this is the only time I step on the scale throughout the entire year. Why? Because it’s known to be an obsessive tool to measure your contentment with your body.

When I used to step on the scale in the gym or following my sister and mother I would always be surprised with my weight. I always fluctuated, and I often weighed more than I thought I would. I am an athlete, and muscle weighs heavier, but in a world of scrutinizing behavior and tragic self-loathing in terms of weight loss, even I had brief negative thoughts.

Muscle composition is healthy, and height also plays a major role in weight. I stand tall at about 5 foot eleven inches. Coupled with muscle from weight training, I have technically gained weight. Despite the number that reads off the piece of metal, I love my body more than ever. If that sounds off, you need to step off the scale and stop using it to determine your body image happiness.

I go off the mirror and how I look and feel to determine my happiness with my fitness results. After four years of being monitored with weight training and occasional nutrition plans I never felt completely satisfied throughout my college career. Now that I have complete control, I just use visuals.

Using the number on a scale is basically comparing yourself to others. I’m an athletic girl who is fit skinny, not fashion skinny or rail thin. I do freelance modeling in clothes that I feel comfortable in. I follow my own style and I practice a well-balanced fitness routine to cater to my whole body and mind.

*****************************

The scale is a negative thought that rests in your mind. You may never reach the goal you want from a number because your body proportions don’t match. You will soon focus on the number and possibly alter your lifestyle and diet, and become more and more unhappy. If you do reach the number, you may continue lowering it as your negative obsession spirals out of control.

Don’t let a machine run your life. A scale is an object. There are countless times I have been in a  locker room where there is a line to step on the scale, and I can practically feel the sense of hope and anxiety of people in that line as they await their number.

When is the last time you felt great about your body? Was it on a run outside, or a particular outfit you put on and loved? These small details and activities matter, and matter more than a number.

If you want the facts about scales:

  • They will be slightly different in reads, making the number inconsistent
  • They are very sensitive to clothes, accessories, shoes, etc
  • It matters what type of surface they stand on
  • They don’t give you any distinction of fat versus muscle composition

Does the above sound appealing?

Labeling yourself to a narrow vision of beauty by using a scale is just selling yourself short. You will not be the same as the person behind you with different proportions and varying genetic gifts from mom and dad.

I see body image and weight management this way: I workout and find ways to enhance my natural features as opposed to losing overall weight. Work with what you have and you might be pleasantly surprised with the result. Focus on what is positive and what you do like about your body, not what you wish you would change if you could.

Focus on how you feel and what your body visually looks like instead of trying to achieve a label or number. Using the scale to achieve the “perfect body” is so opinion based. What is even the perfect body? This is simply a comparison you would be happier without.

Consistent obsessions with weight scales has caused:

  • Development of eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Poor body image issues
  • Obsession of diet and calorie counting
  • Blindness to real results due to the number

There are ways to boost your self-image while going through your progress to the body you want. Wear a wardrobe that you feel confident in, eat to fuel your body and do not limit your food intake to reach an unhealthy goal. Eat regularly, and if you need to make changes in your current diet start with one or two foods to gradually eliminate and go from there. It’s all progression, not an immediate result.

Weight does not determine beauty.

The scale does not aid you in a healthy lifestyle. It should not run your life, nor should it bring you your primary validation to achieve your personal goals. If it helps more, have tunnel vision at the gym and focus on you, don’t focus on others around you that are at different stages and obtain varying physique.

I hope this message found you all well, and you will put yourself first before a self-deprecating path of weight measurement. Embrace what you have to offer, and love your body. Thanks for reading! ❤

-Kelly

 

 

Published by

K State of Mind

Hi beautiful people! I’m Kelly, a public health graduate hoping to inspire others about health and wellness. To be frank, health is long-term. It shouldn't go in and out of fashion. You cannot buy health in a package delivered to your doorstep- you have to work for it! Join me as I post about health research, skincare, the benefits of a quality diet, and exercise. Animal posts as well as my love for coffee will most likely also be featured. xx

5 thoughts on “Reasoning to Ditch the Weight Scale

  1. How can you, as a self professed public health major from a semi-reputable University profess that people feeling good about themselves is more important that their actual health? Obesity is killing people at a rate much higher, and on a scale much greater than anything else in this country, yet fat shaming is discouraged and body positivity is encouraged, even in the face of actual evidence linked to the negative ramifications of being fat. How can you condone body positivity over a healthy lifestyle, when the number (and physical size) of people, particularly women in America (close to 60%), who are obese so vastly outweighs the number of anorexics and bulimics?

    In this piece you suggest that people ignore the most easily accessible tool for assessing their weight and thereby their health on the grounds that it might make them feel bad, yet you provide no legitimate justification (in your healthy lifestyle blog) for why fat people shouldn’t feel badly about themselves, at the behest of a scale, for making the poor life choices. Instead you suggest that they “ditch their scales” so that they can feel good about themselves, without any justification that addresses the fact that being happy with their bodies, despite being too heavy, is inherently an unhealthy lifestyle choice.

    Do you also condone smoking?

    Here are the facts:

    Obesity is unhealthy and is killing people.
    Smoking is unhealthy and is killing people.

    Please explain, if you can, how this thinking is any less dangerous than encouraging people to smoke by telling them they shouldn’t be made to feel badly about it based upon societal pressure to be healthy? Are the psyches of smokers somehow less fragile than those of the fatties to whom you pander in your call to ditch legitimate concern about their health based upon their weight, via ditching their scales?

    Were you aware that fat people are decidedly less happy than fit people? (this has basis in the biology of the human body, and is somewhat related to the benefits of exercise, as you’ve touched on in previous posts)

    Why should anyone be encouraged to feel good about making unhealthy life decisions?

    When, in the history of our country, have we ever given special treatment to, and encouraged positivity in people making patently unhealthy lifestyle choices?

    The scale is a tool used to assess the relative health of a person, it is not a fat-shaming device, it is not the lynchpin in a hateful culture. Your advice boils down to- if reality makes you feel badly about yourself (or makes you feel neurotic or obsessive about your weight or somehow gives rise to mental illness in the form of anorexia or bulimia [which is a problem on a much smaller scale than the obesity epidemic]), then deny reality and throw away your scale.

    Final query: If we agree that being fat is unhealthy (which we should, given what you claim your focus in study was), how should a fat person measure their journey toward relative health, if not with a scale?

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    1. Hi, thank you for your post and concern about the content of my article. I did not in any way disregard the weight scale completely in terms of medical assistance or a doctor’s recommendation. Those with eating disorders, for example, are regularly weighted to judge their progress, as well as those with chronic disease due to weight.

      If you truly understood the message of my post, I was explaining that self-measurement can be very unhealthy and can lead to obsession. I could of course write a post about specific situations where a scale is essential, however, that was not the point I was trying to convey. There are people that must use the scale for their health journeys, however, this is not universal. Hope this cleared up your inquiry.

      Best,

      Kelly

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      1. So you agree with me that there is no sense in telling fat people to feel good about themselves and ditch their scales in spite of being fat?

        If so, why give them another excuse to do so under the guise of preventing negativity which is statistically wildly less dangerous than being overweight?

        I’m saying overweight people should feel bad and become obsessed with becoming healthy and losing weight in the same way that smokers should be catalyzed by stigma to quit smoking.

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  2. On an unrelated note: if you were a man with fair, oily, acne-prone skin, what products would you recommend for taking care of it?

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    1. Oily skin is basically the overproduction of oil, so I would focus on products that are just designated for your skin type. Products will say “for oily skin types.” For extra help, I would get a clay mask to use 1-2 times a week. Clay draws out impurities and oily skin types respond better to them. For you, there’s no need to get heavy moisturizers or creams, I would stick to lightweight ones that claim to be “oil free.” Skincare brands such as CeraVe or Cetaphil are great very basic lines with non-irritating ingredients. I love CeraVe, personally. The CerAve SA Renewal cleanser and lotion would be great (I sometimes use them) because they help clear your skin and are exfoliating without the physical beads. They are also lightweight. Hope this helps! And thanks for asking.

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