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Why I Broke Up With The Scale by Mikael
June 22, 2013, 5:45 pm
Filed under: A Little Me, Health | Tags: , , , ,

Last fall, I closeted that thing you least look forward to standing on. My scale. And I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

pyscho_pixie on Flickr

Sorry, Scale… not going to happen.

This post is a response to the questions people have asked me lately: “Oh, do you want to lose weight?” or “Are you doing this to lose weight?” (from my mom), and other questions similar to that effect. Each time they ask, I stand flabbergasted for a moment before I tell them that I broke up with my scale last year, that I don’t even actually know how much I weigh anymore, and that I simply don’t care to know.

Jill Clardy on Flickr

And they are usually stunned. That’s apparently not so normal. But I’m not normal, so go figure. I guess that’s not something a lot of people do. But I did… and here’s the story why.

When I first started WeightWatchers back when I was 20 (coming up on my goal weight achievement fourth anniversary this week, oddly enough), it was about learning to eat healthier and getting my portions under control since that’s where I really struggled. I also started getting more active again, taking Zumba and yoga classes a couple of times a week.

But then the scale started moving downward and I was entranced by what I saw. When I hit my goal of losing 20 pounds right before I left for England (six months later), elation was me. I was back to my high school weight when I was an active dancer. Win, right?

After that, my relationship with WeightWatchers went through a roller coaster. I played with free tracking websites instead like SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal since I was in college, and paying for WW just got to be a pain when you can only work so many hours.

But then the tracking became tedious and I hated doing it. The scale would sometimes show a rise, and eventually starting increasing little by little again. And after a few years, I actually started getting angry at the scale. I was gaining muscle from starting Pole Fitness, but the problem with that is that it shows a rise in weight since, hey! Muscle weighs more than fat. And because I was so active I gave myself a little leeway on my diet. In general, I ate really well, but the scale still crept back up.

Last summer, I found that I had gained back 10 of the pounds I had lost in my original bout with WW. It’s not horrible, but, along with dreading to track my food intake, I dreaded stepping on the scale.

So I broke up with it. I left it at my parent’s house in Park City when I moved down to Salt Lake City. And since then I’ve only weighed myself twice (before and after the Whole30, just to gauge all the changes it made in my body). To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was.

And now I’ve just stopped caring about my weight. What I care about is my health.

Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes:

If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. 

And here’s another for good measure:

Weight is just a six-letter word and a number that has absolutely nothing to do with your actual well-being. 

(Should I make a graphic with those? Haha…)

My goal is not to lose weight, but to eat (and be active) so my body is energized, feeling good and healthy. So I can sleep through the night and actually wake up refreshed. So I don’t have to rely on crutches like sweets to make it through a rough day. You know… performing in tip-top shape. 

That beats any number on some little screen that tells me virtually nothing.

You know all that nutritional information available to everyone with a click on the web? That stuff is like my crack. I’m a perpetual learner and nutrition/fitness is way up there on my radar. This is why I like participating in programs to address how certain foods make my body feels and the like. It’s called self-discovery, and there’s absolutely no shame in that. 

Today I’m well into my second day of the five-day Sugar Detox part of the 30-Day Sugar Detox program by Nicole from A Life Less Bullshit (which has been educational, exhilerating and terrifying at times). After doing the Whole30 in January, this hasn’t been too hard. I just can’t have fruit this time, but that’s okay. I woke up more thirsty than I’ve ever been in my life, but that’s the worst of the withdrawal symptoms so far.

The goal? Not to lose weight, but to address my relationship with sugar and work out how to live my life with complete control over my food choices (aka: not caving to cravings when they hit). My nickname at home was the Walking Sweet-Tooth for years, so that should give you an idea about my previous relationship with sugar.

So I bagged my scale because my body is much better at telling me what it needs, how it feels and if it’s healthy. A scale doesn’t do that, not in the slightest.

I’m not saying you should bag your scale like I did. Everyone is different so your path to a healthy life may find benefit in having a scale by your side. This is just my story.

However, I would like to challenge you to consider NOT weighing yourself for a day, a week or a month, and see how you feel when your not a slave to the scale.

Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your perspective about the scale.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

People have been questioning why I’m doing the 5 day no sugar thing. It has nothing to do with weight, and everything to do with health. I never weigh myself. I don’t even think I have a working scale in my house anymore. And I think it’s best that way. So many people obsess over their weight and then get discouraged when they don’t see what they were hoping for. Good job breaking up with your scale and good luck with the detox & the rest of your health endeavors!

Comment by Dominique Vaz

i actually haven’t weighed myself in months and it’s been glorious. i’ve been eating healthier and fitting into clothes better and that’s really all i need to know :)

Comment by Katelin (@katelin)

That’s awesome, Katelin! There are so better ways to determine if your body is heading in a direction you like. Way to go!

Comment by Mikael

I think this is such a healthy approach to your body and weight. My scale broke a few months ago and I have not replaced it yet. I am not sure I will. I never really had weight issues, to be honest, but I love the fact that I am not even tempted to find out where my weight is at… as long as I feel healthy and good in my body!


Comment by San

Great way to be San! :) you’re amazing.

Comment by Mikael

[…] scale? I broke up with it. The numbers paired with dollar signs? A necessary evil. The dwindling number of pages in my […]

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