Do The Scales Dictate Your Worth?

We are conditioned to believe that..

Our weight = Our worth!

This is a sad, hard truth but many of us believe that unless we weigh less we will remain unhappy, unworthy, unhealthy and somehow less accepted by society.

This is not our fault either, so please don’t be hard on yourself if you feel this way from time to time. Diet culture has ingrained in us a need to focus on our scale weight so intently that we forget about all of the other wonderful changes that may be happening outside of that little sad step.

Yes, there is no denying that if you have body fat to lose the number on the scales will, over time, decrease. However, there are going to be lots of ups and downs along the way and shifting your focus away from this allows you to see past this piece of plastic as the only way of monitoring progress.

Equally, if you are on a muscle building journey, your weight will likely increase over time – this is a good sign but I completely understand that it may not always feel that way and can be a nervey transition for many due to the pressure to always just weigh less.

So let’s find ways of shifting our focus and looking for positives throughout our journey! Positives that are impactful and empowering. Positives that really will change your life!

This will change person to person and there are far too many to list them all but here are a few of my favourite examples…

You feel stronger

You feel fitter

You feel healthier

You have a better relationship with food

You have more energy

Your mental health has improved

You are sleeping better

Your endurance has improved

Your goals are focussed on performance

You have built muscle

You have more get up and go

Your clothes fit better and are more comfortable

You feel happier

You have more confidence

You feel less stressed

You’re recovering faster from your workouts

You have less aches and pains

You like what you see in the mirror more and more

Why Is This So Important?

By placing so much worth on what the scales say we can often find ourselves in a really unsettling position when they don’t give us the answer we are looking for. Most of us will step on the scales hoping to see a specific number, whether that’s up, down or exactly the same, we become disappointed when that is not the number we see.

This can often lead us to detrimental behaviours that do not support our health and fitness journeys at all. Have you ever felt sad by the result on the scales and then gotten off and thought “f**k it I may as well eat whatever I like now!” or “I’m not going to eat anything at all now”. Ask yourself if that helps or hinders your progress? It is a very normal response but also a very unhelpful one. It is dangerous for our mindsets and our health.

This binge and restrict cycle is hard to break and is so often linked to the results on the scales that we deem as negative. Understanding that the scales can fluctuate by several lbs in the same day for many reasons is helpful! These reasons include but are not limited to:-

Time of the month

How much salt you have consumed

When you last went to the toilet

Levels of carbohydrate intake

Workouts you have done

How much water you have drank

This list goes on and on! If the scales have a detrimental impact on your mood and your approach to your day then you need to question how beneficial they are to your journey? Yes there is a place for them as a tool to monitor progress, but that is all they are – a tool! Until we can stop basing our happiness on the number on a piece of plastic, my advice would be to step away from them and focus on other areas of your journey. The likelihood is that if you do this, the results you’re working for will follow!  

I can hear you asking ‘how will I know if I am progressing without the scales?’

Monitor how you are feeling based on the list above! You could also try tracking your progress using –

Measurements

Progress Photos

Strength and Performance Goals

Clothing

There are lot’s of ways to look at your progress and each of them will have a different level of importance to you but as long as you are working towards being healthy, happy and confident during the process that is all that matters.

If a part of your journey makes you uncomfortable or unhappy you need to question its place in your life!

It is time that we take back control and stop letting the scales dictate our mood, self worth and progress. If you hate weighing why are you doing it? If it doesn’t affect you and you are able to see it for what it is then carry on and use it as a tool in your toolbox of many! 

If you do find it to be a detrimental part of your journey, please do not be hard on yourself for your feelings surrounding your weight and relationship with the scales. It isn’t your fault, it is a result of diet culture. BUT only you can choose how to deal with these feelings and what is the best course of action to keep you on track towards your goals and in a happy and healthy place whilst doing so! 

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