Ditch Your Scale
About a year ago, I got rid of my scale. In fact, I didn’t just get rid of it, I let my husband run over it with his skid steer Bobcat.
Best. Thing. Ever.
I also encourage my clients to get rid of their scales and I no longer weigh people as part of a fitness assessment. This may seem strange, especially for a personal trainer, but the reasons behind it are important for my clients and for YOU to understand.
Reason #1: The scale shows only weight loss, not fat loss.
Most women say “I want to lose weight”, when what they really mean is “I want to lose fat”. There’s a big difference. Ever heard the term “skinny-fat”? If you simply cut calories and do cardio, you will lose weight. No doubt about that. The problem is that you’ll lose both fat and muscle tissue. You’ll just end up a smaller version of your current shape.
If you want to be strong and look lean, toned, and lifted, you want fat loss…not weight loss. And fat loss does not necessarily equate to a lower number on the scale!
The even bigger bummer is that when you lose muscle, your metabolism drops because muscle is your most active fat-burning tissue.
Repeat that out loud to yourself: MUSCLE IS MY FAT-BURNING TISSUE.
And when you’ve finally had enough of restricting calories and can no longer maintain that deficit, your weight will bounce right back up…only your body will primed to add that weight back as pure fat. This will make it even harder for you to lose weight in the future.
Reason #2: Muscle looks different than fat.
Muscle is metabolically active and very dense tissue. Compare a pound of muscle to a pound of fat. They both weigh the same (1 pound), but the muscle is smooth and takes up less space!
What frequently happens when a woman trains and eats correctly is that her dress size will go down, but the scale weight will not change or may even rise as she adds sexy, shape-enhancing, fat-burning muscle. Her body will look significantly smaller and "smoother" with a more aesthetically pleasing shape.
And - BONUS! - her metabolism will be humming along and may even be a bit higher than before….meaning she can EAT MORE FOOD.
Who doesn’t want that!?!
Reason #3: The scale does not measure the most important aspects of getting healthy, fit, and lean.
It's totally okay to work out and eat right to look good. I think we all want that to some degree. But aesthetics aren’t everything. Perhaps the idea of non-scale victories is a bit cliché, but who would argue that being able to keep up with your kids, walk confidently into the gym, avoid a heart attack, or climb that mountain you’ve had on your bucket list, are anything less than huge victories?
I would argue that these are far more worthwhile outcomes of your fitness and lifestyle changes. Your scale will never measure that.
Reason #4: We abuse ourselves by abusing our scales.
For most women the scale isn’t used an objective metric to measure fitness or health outcomes…it’s used as means to measure worth.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can ruin my day faster than stepping on the scale and seeing a number that doesn’t match the arbitrary number I hold in my head. Despite the fact that I’m a fitness professional and I know all the stuff I just wrote about above…it still kills my day…and sometimes my week.
THIS. NEEDS. TO. STOP.
I fear…I loathe…I am PETRIFIED for the day that my daughter loses her innocence and starts saying “I need to lose 5 pounds”, or “I’m getting fat, I need to lose weight”. I’ve struggled so much with my own body image and trying to accept and love myself for who I am, and I’m terrified that she’ll go through the same thing. TERRIFIED.
So if the scale is a defunct and debunked measure of health and fitness, what ARE some good measures?
- The fit of your clothing.
- Clearer skin.
- Sharper mental focus.
- Your energy levels.
- Your stamina and athleticism.
- Sleeping better at night and waking up refreshed in the morning.
- Seeing improvement in the most important numbers: blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
- Having regular bowel movements…yes, I said it.
- Having less bloating, cramping, and gas…yup, said that too.
- Being able to lift a heavier weight than you ever thought possible.
- Being able to walk confidently into the gym or a new exercise class.
- Feeling in control of your food choices.
- Experiencing fewer cravings for sugar and junk food.
- Setting a good example for your kids.
- Improved relationships - because you are happier, healthier, more energetic, and more confident - with your kids and significant other. Happy wife, happy life…there’s a reason for the saying.
- Increased confidence in the bedroom. ;)
- Being able to play with your kids longer, ride a bike, or hike a tough trail.
- The knowledge that you are doing the best you can to take care of your body.
- Loving and accepting your body.
My advice to you
Have you ever watched the scene from the movie Office Space where the guys take the hated and dysfunctional copy machine to a field and go all "gangster" on it with a baseball bat? Go ahead and do that with your scale. Go ahead.
I give you permission to NEVER WEIGH YOURSELF AGAIN.
Focus on your health. Focus on getting stronger. Focus on your happiness. Focus on increasing your energy, building your confidence, and being a good role model for your kids, family, and friends.
A scale has no place in measuring any of that.
I'd love to hear from you! What are your most important non-scale goals and victories?
If you are ready for a new way - a different way - to approach your health, fitness, and weight loss journey, consider joining the next round of the Six Months to a New You course. You will learn everything you need to know about health and fat loss in a relaxed, supportive, and fun group atmosphere.
The next round of this 100% online course starts in January of 2018. I already have people on the waiting list, so don't delay! Say YES! to loving yourself and living your best life! Fill out the contact form here today!