You Are Not Your Scale Weight! Bodyweight is Not The Only Measure of Health
- Category Health
You are not your scale weight. Your bodyweight is no reflection of who you are, your strength, your intelligence, your kindness, your beauty, or your worth. Focus on eating for good health, and exercising for strength and energy; do NOT let a number on a scale define who you are or how much joy you have in your life.
Weight is not necessarily a measure of health. A person can be at a healthy bodyweight and have very poor health due to bad nutrition choices and a lack of physical activity. Also, muscle takes up less room and weighs more than fat - think of what a shame it would be to work so hard to gain healthy, functional, and attractive muscle tissue, and then beat yourself up because according to the scale you've "failed" because you've gained a pound.
I see too many people and fitness "professionals" using the number on the scale as a direct measure of health and/or fitness. It's true that weighing oneself can be a successful way for some people to track progress in terms of reaching a healthy bodyweight, and there's nothing wrong with that, though I do think it can be a slippery slope. If you're doing things right - if you are eating clean and healthily the majority of the time and if you're committed to regularly pushing yourself through a variety of workouts using different training styles (for cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility), there is no need to obsess over your scale weight.
Healthy comes in all different shapes, sizes, and bodyweights. To try and compare ourselves with others, or to put ourselves through physical and emotional abuse in pursuit of a number is to rip ourselves off of our own healthiest selves, which is the one and only thing that we should be aiming for.
One of my biggest goals is to be a voice of reason in an industry that seems obsessed with fad diets, plastic surgery, Photoshop, 3% body fat, and images that are generally misleading and aesthetically appealing but no measure of a healthy body. With that said, I admit that I am not immune to the pressures of looking a certain way or weighing a certain amount, no more than anyone else is. But as loud and heavy as those pressures can be, I'm not going to cheat myself by folding to any of them.
After a lifetime of stalking the scale, I recently stopped weighing myself and have been happy with the changes that it's made in my mindset. I'm healthy, and I don't need to dissect that into ounces and pounds, each and every morning before I start my day.
For example, there were some mornings where I'd catch my reflection in the mirror and flippantly think, "hey, I look decent today! I'm finally growing visible muscles!". If my next move was to step on the scale and I happened to be up a couple of ounces or pounds (which is completely normal; bodyweight fluctuates by day and even by the hour depending on hydration levels, sodium intake, hormone levels, etc), I would have to work very hard to not let it ruin my previously positive outlook. In total honesty, it would be hard to not let that feeling haunt me throughout the rest of the day. That's just my own personal experience but I don't think I'm alone. It actually makes my hands shake a bit to hammer these words out onto the page, in anticipation of pushing them live on the world wide web, but I'm hoping that my own experience of letting go of the scale number to instead focus on things that lead to a strong and healthy body and mind, can influence at least one other person to consider doing the same.
Even if you do need to lose weight - even if you have 300 pounds to lose - detangle that number on the scale with your self worth. Be kind to yourself, eat nourishing foods and be so grateful for what your body can do that you exercise it every day - knowing that how you treat your body has a direct correlation with how many years you get to spend in this life. If you make genuine good health your focus, weight loss will naturally follow, even if you're not stalking the scale.