The great scale break-up

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I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost, and I’m okay with that.

A few days ago marked the three month mark in my most recent fitness endeavor, and I have no idea what I weigh.

Full disclosure: I don’t own a scale. I don’t want a scale, and I don’t need a scale. For most of my life, the scale has been this magic self-image-changing machine. I’d step on, see a number, and immediately feel either defeated or elated, and the difference between those two (drastically different) moods was one digit. ONE DIGIT.

Anyways, about a year ago, I left my scale at my parent’s house when I moved to Charleston. If you’ve followed this blog or my Instagram, you know what happened: I put on a little bit of weight fat. And, weighing myself on my parent’s scale in mid-June was just the kick in the butt I needed to get myself into gear.

About one month in, I weighed myself again, and it was frustrating to see that, despite the fact that I was visibly smaller, I had “only” lost five pounds. Despite the fact that I felt awesome, and felt like I was lookin’ pretty awesome too, my mood entirely changed because of a freakin’ number.

It was a nice reminder as to why I no longer keep that scale in my house, and it was also the last time I’m planning on weighing myself. Here’s why you should break up with your scale, too:

Your weight is just your relationship with gravity. No, seriously. That’s the definition of weight. It’s how much force your body is exerting on the earth in relation to the earth’s gravitational pull (yeah, SCIENCE!). It is one number that gives you no information about your body composition, your fitness levels, or your amazingly awesome personality (that counts, too!).

You likely already know if you’re a healthy weight. If you are overweight and working with a doctor to lose weight, he/she might have you weigh yourself to measure your progress. But, if you’re like most people “on a diet,” you likely already know whether you are overweight. When I started this most recent fitness kick, I was overweight. I didn’t need to get on a scale to know that, I could see it in pictures. I could feel it in my favorite pair of jeans. I also knew when I was moving in the right direction, so weighing myself to confirm that was pointless. Besides, we all get weighed at our yearly doctor’s appointment, so if you’ve changed A LOT, you’ll get to see at your doctor date.

Muscle weighs more than fat. Yes, I know this is a broken record line, but we all need to hear it. If your body composition is changing (read: you are lifting weights and building muscle), you are likely gaining muscle while you are losing fat. A month into CrossFit, I had most certainly put on muscle. So, that five pounds? Probably not really reflective of how much fat I had lost.

Weight fluctuates. It varies based on time of day, how hydrated you are, what you ate the day before or in the morning, and, if you’re a lady, even what based on the time of month. Weigh yourself in the morning, when you’re most dehydrated, and you could easily be five pounds less than the night before. Weigh yourself the same day, after a few meals, and you would appear to have gained pounds in less than twelve hours!

Breaking up with weighing yourself doesn’t mean that you’re eliminating accountability. It simply means that you’re acknowledging that the scale is not the best way to measure your progress. There are so many other ways to track whether you’re getting closer to your goals without compromising your sanity. I call these Non-Scale Victories.

Non-Scale Victories make you feel good about yourself, and they track progress in ways that matter. A few of my favorites? Comparing Before and During pictures of yourself in the same outfit, fitting into your favorite pair of “skinny” jeans, flexing (like a boss), lifting more weight, doing more reps, choosing fruit over a candy bar, running further or faster than you did before… the possibilities are endless.

Last week alone, I ran two miles in 17:12, back squatted 133 lbs, and zipped my Miss Virginia dress for the first time in TWO YEARS.

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…does it really matter what I weigh?

One thought on “The great scale break-up

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