I’m here to talk to you about something so absurdly unimportant, but still I hope it somehow resonates with you.
The scale. And that bitch is everywhere from the bathroom floor to the bedroom, from the doctor’s office to the gym. *to the windowwww, to the wall, to the wall*
Three pounds down? You have an instant confidence boost, but just two pounds over? Now begins the self-shaming.
“I shouldn’t have had those four margaritas.” <- that’s actually probably true, Sandra, but you knew that before the negative self talk on the scale, now didn’t you?
If your scale has that kind of effect on you, dump the bitch. You heard me. Get rid of it and start fresh. You are so much more than whatever a cheap box on the floor says you weigh. And don’t get me started on fluctuations- if your dinner is too salty or carb-rich, you’ll weigh a bit more the next morning because salty meals make our bodies retain water. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day, too, depending on diet, water intake, medications, or activity level (one-five pounds in a day, give or take, is COMPLETELY normal!).
I personally do not own a scale, even though I am an ulcerative colitis patient who experiences massive weight fluctuations at times. When I was diagnosed, I weighed 102 lb., which was far too low for me. In college before my diagnosis, my consistent weight hovered around 128-133 lb. Now my weight is even higher (140s?). I started weighing myself at the gym “I gained seven pounds!” and then I’d have to talk myself down, “Stacey, you can run several miles. You are strong. You are healthy. Don’t listen to the scale.” So rather than spending my own energy on the mental turmoil that I allowed a stupid scale to inflict on my psyche, I decided to just stop weighing myself altogether. Not for me. When I go to the doctor and the sweet nurse says, “140” or “146” I am thankful. I know what I can do. I know how strong I am. I know the crap that I’ve overcome, and all that means much more than a fickle little number on a scale. I try to focus how I feel, how I’m a focused little organic chemist of a grad student, what I’m working toward, what kind of great food I’m eating (salsa, always with a side of salsa), how great my jeans fit. So many non-scale victories!
FYI, if you’re wondering why we even use scales at all:
Doctors use body weight to determine if you fall within a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), and chances are that if you’re a swole athlete (because muscle weighs more than fat), your BMI will be a little high because it measures excess weight, NOT excess body fat. BMI also doesn’t take age, sex, or ethnicity into proper account (source). Note: Healthy goals are vitally important, and I’ll touch on other ways to reach these in a post soon 🙂
The moral of the story is to refuse to allow a silly, fluctuating number to define any part of your worth. You are smart, you are kind, you are hard-working, you are a friend, a mother (or father!), a sister (or brother!). You are here, and every other physical sensation, including your weight, is ever-changing…but you are constant, now, present, powerful. You are worthy. Don’t allow your significance to yourself and the world to be compromised by a number. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Go live your truth.
Hope your Thursday is a good one 🙂
If you REALLY want to know where your health stands metabolically, request a body fat evaluation or a DEXA scan to evaluate your bone mineral density.