Motivation Articles

Break Free from the Scale!

How to Stop the Scale from Determining Your Self-Worth

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How many times have you stepped on the scale, full of hopeful anticipation, only to be disappointed by the number staring back at you? Suddenly, that great feeling of accomplishment you had vanishes and you tell yourself that, again, you failed. No matter how hard you try, you can't lose weight. Sound familiar?

For so many of us who are trying to lose or manage our weight, the scale is our main tool for measuring our progress;  unfortunately, we often allow it to measure our self-worth, too.

While the scale can be a good way to measure progress, it shouldn't be your only indicator of health and change. In fact, using it as your only form of measurement can result in obsession, negative thinking and a possible decrease in your motivation level.

For people who weigh themselves daily (or even multiple times a day), the idea of giving up the scale can be scary. But I guarantee that once you do it, you'll be happier, have a more accurate self-image and better relationship with your body. If cutting yourself off from the scale cold-turkey is a scary—or downright impossible—proposal, follow this five-step plan to go from scale-obsessed to scale-free in just one month!

How to Ditch the Scale in 30 Days
 
1. Store the scale out of sight. Most of us keep our scale in the bathroom, and it's one of the first things we see in the morning. In fact, I bet before you're probably even fully awake, you hop on it to see if you dropped weight overnight. The first step in breaking free from the number on the scale is to put the scale away; out of sight, out of mind. Whether it goes under the bed, in a closet or in a drawer, get it out of your everyday sight. When you can't see it, you'll be much less tempted to hop on as frequently.

2. Start your day with a positive ritual. Because you might struggle with breaking the habit of getting up and not weighing yourself—even if the scale is out of sight—the next step is to swap a new behavior for your weigh-in ritual. Instead of stepping on the scale first thing in the morning, give yourself a pick-me-up! Whether it's listening to a high-energy song that gets you going, reading your goals aloud, giving yourself a short pep talk or reciting a quotation that resonates with you, take just a few minutes to get focused and pumped to continue making healthy changes.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • The scale is a tool that lets us know what we weigh. If the number that pops up is the sole indicator of how you will feel about yourself that day, then I say bury it in the yard because it has waaaaay too much power. Clearly it has taken me years to kinda/sorta figure out how I lose, and the scale has not truly helped or motivated ME! However, it can be an extremely effective and a powerful tool...fortunatel
    y we each get to decide what we will gain from stepping on our scale. Friend or foe...the power comes in choosing what works for us! - 8/10/2015 8:08:54 AM
  • No thanks. I need an objective measure of where I am and what my weight trend is. If I obsess about anything in life, it's my mind that needs adjustment. Ignoring the scale is how I gained the weight in the first place. - 8/10/2015 6:51:36 AM
  • this is just the advice i need as I have let the scale rule how i feel and what i eat i have been known to move to scale from room to room see what its says. weight today 159 next weight Aug 1 hope this works - 7/15/2015 2:06:47 PM
  • AZ1963
    I m a scale watcher & am still gaining weight. I will hide my scale & wait a month I want it to work. Need a menu of 1200 cal meals. Cant do it by myself - 6/24/2015 3:07:38 PM
  • Nope, I think for me, weighing myself every other day has helped me NOT let the scale creep up more than 5-6 lbs. Because I see them going up, I immed. do something to make it go down again. If I weighed monthly, I'd have a problem because my wt fluctuates so much, I'm small-framed so 5 lbs is a BIG wt gain for me.
    - 5/8/2015 7:12:20 AM
  • I'm with Brooklynborn on this one. Weighing weekly or monthly can freak me out because there are natural fluctuations, and if a spike up happens on 'weigh in day' it could feel horrible. I weigh daily, and find it kind of amusing to see the daily fluctuations. They mean that no day's weight is 'real' since it could go up or down significantly tomorrow... What's 'real' is the trend. So a fluctuating range of 200-203 lbs becomes a range of 198-201, becomes 197-200, becomes 196-199 etc. as long as the trend is in the right direction, I'm okay with it. - 5/8/2015 6:47:13 AM
  • Any form of measurement can become an obsession, whether itís a scale or a tape measure or calipers to measure percent of body fat. Itís our mind that has to be changed. Avoiding the scale is how I gained the weight in the first place. It will NOT happen again. Fluctuation means up AND down. So I weigh myself daily. If the trend is only up, up, up, I better reevaluate what Iím doing. Clothes stretch and my eyes can deceive me, but the scale tells me the truth. - 5/8/2015 5:44:04 AM
  • JEANBURK65
    I love this!! Also I found it to be very true, I hadn't lost a single pound, but people would ask me if I was loosing weight, I would frown and say no!! So I had my husband measure me and then measure me again without recording it 2wks later, I had lost 1 whole inch in only 2 weeks!! To me that was a totally awesome!! - 2/6/2015 8:36:09 PM
  • was just wondering why most of the articles are a couple years old. maybe its time to get some new information. - 1/8/2015 12:01:40 PM
  • The article has valid points about how the number on the scale affects our psyche and wonderful advice for putting the scale's feedback in the right perspective. Accept that weight fluctuates daily and it's easier to accept that the number on the scale will also fluctuate. The value of daily weigh-ins for me is to catch and fix what is NOT a fluctuation but an escalation in weight. Not weighing myself for one month to break the habit of daily weigh-ins? That's something I could never do! - 12/13/2014 11:43:18 AM
  • Funny. My scale is at the entrance to my kitchen and I hop on it every morning while still in my PJs. It keeps me honest and in maintenance for 5 years now. Avoiding the scale is how I gained the weight in the first place. I do NOT want to do that again.

    We all must discover and do whatever it takes to be successful.

    - 11/7/2014 6:29:45 AM
  • I really liked your blog!! - 11/6/2014 4:25:52 PM
  • I need to weigh every or every other day to keep me in tow as to what I'm doing. When I didn't weigh for a week I had gained. I need to weight daily....... sorry - 11/6/2014 7:09:56 AM
  • I find it interesting that as I'm reading this article that says to hide your scale under the bed, at the right hand side of the screen are links to "related articles" and the first one is titled ,"STOP WEIGHT GAIN WITH DAILY WEIGH-INS!" and states that weighing daily is the #1 STRATEGY to stay on track and not gain.

    I also find it a little crazy that almost every page I've gone to in the last couple days on the Spark site has a big pop-up ad for some type of fast food, complete with big, colorful pics of Bic Macs and Super-Size Fries...and massive sodas. I know that Spark relies on ads to be free of charge for us, but it looks like they would be a little more choosy in which ads they run. And as much as I love Spark--I have the Spark activity tracker and use the nutrition and measurement trackers regularly--it seems like I'm seeing more and more contraditctory information here: stay off the scale, it will sabotage you! But make sure you weigh daily to prevent weight gain!

    - 11/6/2014 1:44:07 AM
  • ALNKATHY
    Finally permission to put aside the scale, which Makes me anxious and filled with dread. I eat between 1200-1500 calories daily. I use fitness pal to monitor daily intake. My weight is pretty stable - 8/27/2014 7:56:21 PM

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