The Numbers on the Scale

What do those numbers on our scales mean to us? Do they represent failure or success? Do those numbers cause us to be sad, happy, frustrated, elated?

One of the rules for starting a Whole30 is that you cannot get on a scale for the 30 days.  So before August 1st I will weigh myself and then will not look at the scale for 30 days.

How often do you weigh yourself? I have seen some sources that say you should weigh yourself daily. Some say weekly. Some sources say you should never weigh yourself. In fact one source I just read advises taking a sledgehammer to our scales.

Now for some Science!  What exactly is WEIGHT? Weight is the measurement of the force that gravity exerts upon a body, equal to the mass of the body times the local acceleration of gravity (courtesy of Depending where you are in the world or even in the universe this measurement will change as it relies on the pull of gravity on our bodies.

I know I just got really technical there, but that truly is the definition of weight. Weight should not cause us to have an emotion, its just a physical fact and a number that is dependent on gravity.

I am not trying to say that measuring our weight is not useful. It can provide us with a benchmark of that pull on gravity at any given time. But that pull can fluctuate and I don’t think that what we weigh should define us, because for me it does not normally help me with my weight loss goals or for that matter make me feel better. And it certainly shouldn’t make me feel worse, which it normally does.

But if we don’t weigh ourselves how will we know if we are successful in our weight loss efforts? I think if you are like myself, one that struggles continuously with our “weight” and our desire to lose weight – we need to find other ways to be successful. If we eat a healthy diet, and yes probably exercise (it really should be a four letter word – but thoughts on that later) we should see changes in ourselves that may not be seen well on a scale. Those changes can include better fitting clothes, more energy, increased quality in our sleep, better results at our annual physical (where of course you will be weighed), etc. Those are the changes we should be looking for and responding to. Not some number representing the pull of gravity.

So for me, I am going to try weighing myself only monthly, while I endeavor to eat a healthy diet and maybe even start exercising (there is that dreaded word again). I know how my clothes should feel. I know when I have more energy. I know when I am getting a better quality of sleep. I know all of this without a SCALE.

Share your thoughts on the scale with us. How often do you weigh yourself? How does it make you feel?

8 thoughts on “The Numbers on the Scale

  1. I weigh myself every day. The scale is information for me; it tells me whether or not what I ate caused a reaction. Some foods are known to be intolerant or reactive (turkey, eggs, cruciferous vegetables) and the reaction can be extra fierce (swelling, headaches, most commonly weight gain) when we don’t drink enough water. It shows up an increase on the scale. So I may have gained .2 lbs from eating turkey. If I don’t check the scale, then I don’t know that I had such a .2-lb reaction. Because weighing myself gives me that information, I can do something about it right away. I can make sure that I drink enough water to flush out what my body considered toxic. I can avoid turkey for and test it again later, perhaps a month later. The scale give information to me.


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