Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are you Drawn to Scale?

Sometimes you know you’re the bee’s knees. Like those mornings when you drag yourself out of bed an hour early so you can squeeze in a workout before the rest of the crew gets up. Or, those afternoons you insist everyone (including Mom) enjoys a healthy afterschool snack. Maybe you’ve raised your chin a little higher because you’ve been consistent and dedicated to a new healthy way of life.

And then, feeling confident and self-assured, you feel compelled to step on the scale for a little extra validation. Which quickly becomes




Stepping on the scale isn’t always happy inducing, is it? Sometimes that number just doesn’t jive with what’s going on in your life and suddenly, faster than you can down a little high carb comfort food, your mood is soured and your motivation squashed.

Here’s where your mindset can be make-or-break. On a good day you might assume the scale is inaccurate, you’re retaining water, or the weight gain is the result of fat turning to muscle. You shrug your shoulders, step off, and move on with your life. A “bad” number is nothing but a small blip on your radar.

Other times a disagreement with the scale can leave you feeling like you’ve been kicked in the gut. You decide you’re a hopeless case who is never going to meet her health and fitness goals and make your way to the cookie jar. Or, maybe you’re prone to the opposite behavior and begin restricting your diet. Either way, there is no healthy escape.

We’re all prone to either reaction on any given day. Ensure you’re doing everything you can to foster your fit lifestyle. Live life a little more deliberately and follow these five pointers when you’re drawn to check the scale:  

1.    Don’t weigh yourself every day. Lots of factors, especially water retention, can cause your weight to vary significantly from day to day. Don’t get sucked into those daily fluctuations in weight—your mood is likely to follow. Who needs another reason to be moody?
2.    Your weight can vary 2-4 pounds during the day so when you do hit the scale, do it at the same time each day. Morning, when you first get out of bed, is best since that’s when most of us are at our lightest.
3.    Use the same scale each time to weight yourself to avoid confusing accuracy with variance.
4.    Think through the consequences of meeting and not meeting your goal. Only step on the scale if you are confident you won’t let an unexpectedly high number defeat you.
5.    Chuck it (as in garbage heap). Remember that your weight doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead of judging your progress by the number on the scale, gauge your success by how your clothes are fitting, your energy level, or your general state of health.  After all, that’s what this whole healthy living thing is all about anyway, isn’t it?

What's your relationship with the scale like? Connected at the hip, separated for good, or somewhere in between? Would love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I don't really agree with all the pointers. I use a Withings scale that I not only use every morning (same time, no clothes) but it sends my weight immediately via wifi to my computer.... can't hide from it either! I used to weigh myself and never remember if that was up or down from the last time...

    I feel I can keep on top of what's going on this way. I agree that sometimes I think I'm doing everything right and the weight doesn't say so - and I also know that going on vacation for a few days and eating out a lot means it will be up - but that's ok, because now I KNOW I can manage to get back to where I was. I am past the hormonal variations but for that you just have to allow yourself some leeway. I am happier and 40 lbs lighter and have low blood pressure again since I got this scale - giving credit to the scale, healthier eating plan, 110 lb dog I have to walk twice a day and other technology I use to track weight and health. For me LOTS of feedback is the key. How I feel doesn't necessarily tell the story.

  2. Serious kudos on the weight loss, Patty! Fantastic. Sounds like you and the scale have a healthy relationship. For many women out there, that is not the case and the resulting negativity does nothing but harm. If you're someone who can take the ups and downs with a grain of salt, more power to you! Sounds like you've found the perfect tool to motivate you and keep you in check! Keep at it, woman!

  3. Great post, Laurie! I can relate. I won't even get on the scale if I'm afraid of what I might see - ha ha. And, I'll admit to letting a little number ruin my day on occasion.

  4. I have to agree with sandy and with your post. If I feel vulnerable and know that the scale will bring me down...I avoid it. But sometimes I need a reality check and so I make myself step up. I try not to make it an enemy...more like an honest friend (I guess it's one I doing see very often though because I don't get on the scale very much). Thanks for the post.

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