One time, I saw this cartoon of these two girls that were standing in front of a scale and one of them said to the other, “don’t step on it, it makes you cry!”
This is a super old cartoon. I mean, honestly, I believe I saw it first around 15 years ago, so I was still in my teens when I saw it. And, at the time, I thought it was kind of comical, but now, I find it super sad! Because, at the time, I didn’t realize that seeing a number on the scale actually could make a gal cry.
Over my time as a coach, I have had many clients who have had an unhealthy obsession with the scale to the point that it really would make them cry. Or, they would step on the scale knowing that they needed to lose unhealthy weight and the number would make them cry.
As I’ve grown as a coach, I have really worked to make it my mission to help women in overcoming scale obsession.
Is weighing yourself necessary for those on a weight loss journey?
Yes and no.
Yes, from the standpoint that knowing where you are numerically in regards to your goal is very helpful. But, how often you weigh yourself can really make an impact on your mental state.
And no, from the standpoint that you can simply go by how your clothes feel and by picture progress, etc.
Part of my everyday job and life is working with women who want to lose weight. One of the biggest things that I try to work with them and focus on is getting stronger and focusing on non-scale victories.
When I started doing this (non-scale) with my clients, vs the hyper-focus on the scale, their results actually came faster.
Well, I believe it’s because they finally were given the freedom to be able to simply live.
They learned new habits and took those small steps everyday towards big results. My girls have been able to focus on things like their muscles are starting to show, or they are able to carry in more grocery bags at once, or they can walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like they’re going to pass out when they reach the top.
And THAT, is a huge win, amIright?
My mamas started seeing themselves in a completely different light than what that stupid number on the scale said.
Again, I do believe that knowing where you are numerically is important, but that should not be the hyper-focus. Yes, even for weight loss clients.
But how? Overcoming scale obsession isn’t easy is it? Or… is it?
The number one step in working to overcome the obsession with the scale is realizing that the number on that little tiny machine does not define you has a human being.
All that number is telling you is the amount of gravitational pull there is on your body.
Talk about putting things into perspective, right?? That is literally all that number on the scale is.
Realizing that you’re more than that number on the scale. You’re more than the negative thoughts in your head that you tell yourself or the goals you’re trying to reach.
Your worth comes from One that is far greater than a man-made scale.
The next step to overcoming scale obsession is to start focusing on non-scale victories.
What exactly does that look like? Well, it looks like this… As you’re going through this journey, when you realize that you’re doing something you couldn’t ever do before, or you receive a compliment from someone, or you are less negative towards yourself, etc. THOSE are examples of non-scale victories.
But, how do you keep track of those?
Grab a jar, and either some of those pretty rocks that you can grab at a craft store or heck, go take out $25 in ones from the bank and for every non-scale victory that you have as you go along this journey, put either a rock or a dollar into that jar.
That way you are visually seeing what you’re accomplishing as you go through this journey.
This simple little step has made a huge difference in the journeys of the many mamas and other women I have worked with all over this country.
Because they can see every single day that they are working towards their goals.
It’s absolutely freeing.
The final step that I would say to overcoming scale obsession is to stop weighing yourself so often.
I’ve known of gals that would weight themselves every single morning. Honestly, I used to weigh myself that often or every other day. It made me crazy! Because that number fluctuates so much.
Do you know that our weight adjusts every time we eat, drink, have our period, our hormones are out of whack, or heck, even when we have a bowel movement?
I’m totally serious. That number, especially for women, changes ALL of the time.
Depending on your relationship with the scale is how often I will suggest a person weighs.
I have a mama I’m working with right now that she wants to lose weight, but she’s not obsessed with the scale. So she will weigh herself every other week and she uses that information that the scale spits out and moves on with her life.
On the other hand, I’ve got another gal I’m working with where I only “let” her weigh every 4-6 weeks because the number on the scale is something that will make her stress. Even though that number is steadily decreasing based on her goals, it still makes her stress out.
The extended times between times she weighs has really helped her relationship with the scale.
She’s slowly starting to be able to just use the information the scale spits out and move on with her life.
You have to personally make the decision of how often to weigh that will work for you and your healthy mental state.
To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I weighed. Because I became so obsessed during the weight loss portion of my journey with that number on the scale that it became unhealthy.
Do you know that I weight 20 pounds more than I did when I got married 9 years ago, but I’ve honestly never felt better about myself?
It’s because I have really REALLY worked on my mindset towards what the scale says. It takes work for sure, but the freedom of not being obsessed with the scale is something that can’t be beat!
So, in conclusion, how do you overcome the scale obsession?
Stop focusing on it and start focusing on other things. Yes, it truly is that simple in theory.
But it takes work and hyper-focus and you CAN do it!
Start focusing on what is going right. Focus on things that are not numerical and focus on life wins. Grab that jar and some one dollar bills or rocks and start filling that jar up!
As you see the jar fill up, you will start to realize that you can do this and that your worth is not found in the number on the scale.
Also- if you’re following people on Instagram that are constantly posting half naked pictures of themselves, it’s time to unfollow them. Because, their account is all about them and not about helping you. Plus, if you stare at someone who has the so-called perfect body long enough, you’ll start feeling bad about yourself.
And guess what? You’re fabulous. Sure, you have fitness goals you want to reach, but that doesn’t make you any less fabulous!
Need some more examples of non-scale victories? Here are 25 that you can download for free when you subscribe to the weekly newsletter! Don’t worry, I won’t spam you. Just a weekly newsletter and every once in awhile some fun news!
I know you can do this, mama. Hang in there and keep fighting. You’re doing amazing. Go take a look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Because, you totally are.
You’ve got this!