Ditch the Scale (At Least Temporarily)

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

The Big Thought in This Little Post: Unless the scale is a tool that helps you make better choices, then taking a break from weighing yourself will be an emotionally liberating experience.

Ah, the scale.

With its seductive siren-song, it beckons you over then causes an emotional crash.

I've had a LOVE / HATE relationship with the scale all of my life; perhaps you can relate?

Getting on the scale when you've LOST weight.

You feel exhilarated; you've done it! The diet is working. You feel good, virtuous, worthy.

Getting on the scale when you've GAINED weight.

You feel frustrated; like you can't do it. The diet isn't working. You feel bad, like a failure, un-worthy.

All of these feelings because of a number.

A number!

An arbitrary number - one that you came up with based on something that likely didn't take into consideration your actual body - a number that likely isn't based in reality.

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

Yes, it's good to have goals.

But is it a good idea to base how you feel about yourself on a machine?

Without all of the emotional hoopla around the scale, that's all it is you know: just a machine that gives you information.

But you giving a particular meaning to that information is what dictates whether the scale is a useful tool to measure your progress towards your goal, or if it's actually detrimental to that goal.



Because I know I'm not the only one who's binged immediately after seeing a higher number on the scale than what I expected.

"It's not working! I might as well give up and eat all of the things."

I also know I'm not the only one who's binged immediately after seeing a lower number on the scale than what I expected.

"It's totally working! I might as well give in and eat all of the things."

The thing about scales is that they're inaccurate measures of your progress. Weigh yourself every day for a week and tell me if you get the exact same reading; you likely won't.


Because weight can change daily by plus or minus 2-3 pounds over consecutive days based on: hormone fluctuations, gains in muscle mass, water retention, and whether or not you’ve peed or pooped recently.

Giving that much power to a number generated by a little machine doesn't make sense.

So, should you get rid of your scale?

Well, that depends on YOU and how the scale makes YOU FEEL.

If one unpleasant reading will make you feel like bingeing, then you should be on team-no-scale.

But if you can take an objective look at the reading and go on about your day with no self-judgment, then you're probably okay to stay on team-scale.

(However, if you're here reading this now - a website about quitting binge-eating - then you likely have a contentious relationship with the scale and would benefit from being on team-no-scale.)

It's very freeing not to weigh.

In the recent past, I went through a period of time when I didn't weigh myself for months at a time. That was emotionally liberating because I wasn't judging myself based on a number, and I didn't have the subtle underlying pressure to stop myself from eating in general, or eating / not eating particular things because I wasn't focused on a number.

Image Credit: The Towerlight

You don't have to get rid of the scale forever; I understand that if you're someone who's used to weighing on any sort of regular basis, actually getting rid of your scale might be hard.

So what if you just took a break?

Take the batteries out, put the thing in a box on a shelf somewhere that's difficult to access, and walk away for a while.

You'll begin to realize it's possible to exist in a world where the most important thing isn't a number on the scale, or the diet, or how many pounds you're supposed to lose by when.

There's actually a whole life out there that has nothing to do with your weight / your body / your diet.

This will be surprising in an uncomfortable way at first - because what will you think about if you're not thinking about all of that stuff?


Other things.

Life will become richer than a triple decker-chocolate-fudge-cake.

Yeah, it really is possible - when you put the scale away, and focus on other things.

(Also, do yourself a favour and buy pants that fit.)

Photo by Graphic Node on Unsplash


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