Lauren had her morning ritual. Before she got out of bed, before her feet even touched the floor, Lauren would ask herself “How is this day going to go?”. She then walked into the bathroom to step on the scale and find out.
Lauren would have two numbers in her head. Her goal weight and what she weighed last. Depending on how she worked out and ate the day before, she may be mildly scared or a little hopeful.
When the scale offered good news, Lauren felt that little high and privately celebrated. She felt good about herself. When the scale offered bad news, Lauren was in disbelief. “Maybe the scale is wrong”, she thought. She would step off and on again, hoping for a lower number. When the number didn’t change, her stomach would drop and she felt defeated. “I can’t believe I let myself get here”, she would say to herself. She felt disgusting.
For Lauren, the scale isn’t just assessing how closely she had followed her diet plan. It’s personal. When Lauren sees that number on the scale, she also sees if her hard work has paid off, if it’s worth it to keep trying to eat so well, and ultimately, if she has been good or bad.
What comes next is critical. How Lauren felt about herself and her body in that given moment would set the tone for how she ate that day. If she felt good, she would likely eat well. If she felt bad, she would likely throw in the towel, and would inevitably overeat and binge.
For Lauren, who is a made up aggregation of many of my coaching clients, stepping on the scale every morning put in motion food patterns that were destructive and disconnected from herself and her body.
The scale is a tool to measure body weight. However, for many dieters and those interested in weight loss, weighing themselves isn’t as simple as finding out how much they weigh at a given point in time. Ultimately, the number has meaning. The number becomes a personal story of individual self worth and value. The dieter will then choose how to eat based on how they see themselves in a positive or negative light.
Our self worth doesn’t come from something that makes its home on our bathroom floor. Nor do we need to let the number on the scale determine how we treat ourself and our body.
It’s time to stop the madness that comes from stepping on the scale. This ritual is NOT the way to achieve long lasting health, vitality, and yes, even permanent weight loss.
At first, Lauren was afraid to not weigh herself. She was panicked because she believed the scale was her way of staying in control. Until she understood that stepping on the scale was ultimately creating chaos in her day to day life, was she able to consider something different. Until she saw that the scale was disconnecting herself from her body, determining her mood, and dictating how and what she ate, did she find the courage to try something different.
If you have found the same courage, here are 5 things you can do to stop letting the scale rule your life:
Create a new morning routine that doesn’t include weighing yourself. A large glass of warm water with lemon is a beautiful way to start the day.
Move your scale to a part of your home where you won’t see it regularly. If it’s in your bathroom, take it out.
Find 3 other ways to measure your health and vitality. Consider being aware of your energy levels, how well you sleep, how clear your skin is, and your patience.
Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel today?”. Keep that intention in the front of your mind for the whole day.
Connect with yourself by asking “what do I need?” throughout the day. More often than not, drinking more water, rest, movement, and getting outside are all things that will make you feel better.
Permanent weight loss, health and vitality comes from creating daily habits and rituals that are rooted in love and connection. Start your morning with the question “How is this day going to go?”. Instead of letting the scale answer for you, choose for yourself. You have the answers you need.