I have a confession to make. I own, and use a scale. It has become common to tell people to throw out their scale. I have told people to put the scale away myself. When I weighed in members at Weight Watchers and the number wasn’t exactly what they were hoping for, I asked them how their clothes felt, or if they had any non-scale victories that week. All of the things in the picture above are very true. So, why do I tell others to get rid of theirs and still use one myself?
I think it comes down to the relationship you have with it. One of the best things I took out of my time at Weight Watchers was to stop obsessing over the scale. I learned that it is simply feedback, and not something you use to determine your mood. When I started going to meetings I was obsessive about weighing myself. I’d do it two or three times a day, and beat myself up over any change. I was the person that I would have told to toss the thing out. I gradually trained myself to only weigh at the meetings, and at no other time. It gave me the ability to focus on the other changes that were happening to my body, but to get feedback about what maybe did or did not work with my eating and exercise that week. Weight may not be the end all, be all of our health, but it is one tool that we have to measure where we are.
Even though I’ve gained much of my weight back, my weighing process hasn’t changed too much. Now I weigh once a day, at the same time, and in the same state of undress. It’s simply feedback for me now. I know that some people still would tell me to throw it out, and I get that. The way my clothes fit, my energy level, and many other feedback mechanisms are a better indicator of how I am doing, and much less likely to upset me. But, this helps me too. This helps me know where I am just like those things do, and it ensures that one day I won’t get on a scale and say “I had no idea!”.
If you have an unhealthy relationship with your scale, please put it away! Do not let it determine your mood for the day. Do not let that number change your self worth. You are an amazing and beautiful person at any weight. If it isn’t simply a tool you’re using for your journey toss it! But, if it is helping you on your path to becoming the best version of you, then keep it and don’t let someone make you feel bad about that either!
You’re probably not going to get hit by a bus. I’m so very tired of hearing “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow” as a justification for poor choices in life. The odds of dying as a pedestrian are 1 in 723. The odds of dying of heart disease or cancer are 1 in 7. Sure, 1 in 723 is a lot higher than other deaths, but that 1 in 7 pretty much wipes the others out. Yet it seems like every time someone I know is given a dietary option to cure, or at least improve a serious medical condition, I hear “well I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, I’m going to enjoy life”.
I had this conversation today. Someone close to me was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer some months back. Conventional treatments are not working. In fact, they’re making the problem worse. But overall, this persons quality of life is still excellent. You’d never know they had anything wrong just to look at them. But there is something very seriously wrong, and the doctor is giving them all of their options. One of the most recent requests from the doctor are some dietary changes. Now, I’m not at the appointments, so I’m sure the doctor would like a bit of an overhaul. But, knowing his patient, he’s made one request stand out above them all. Give up ONE food. I’m a vegetarian, so I know you’re thinking that the doctor wants him to go vegetarian. I don’t think that has been suggested. I think he knows that won’t happen. He’s just asked him to give up one food. I don’t know if he’s going to give it up or not. But the person I spoke to about it said that he told him to keep eating it because life is short and he should do what makes him happy.
Now, I’m all about being happy. I’m even more about being happy when you are pretty sure that your time is limited. But does that one food really make you that happy? Does eating it make you happier than seeing your family members reach milestones in their lives? Is that steak, or french fries, or donut really worth it to you? I love food, and eating is a very enjoyable experience. If I could never have chocolate again I would be sad, but I’d never pick chocolate over another year with my kids!
I’m by no means the healthiest person on the planet. I’m an overweight vegetarian who has a lot of changes to make. But there is no food on this planet that I love so much that I wouldn’t give it up for more time being alive. When I went vegetarian so many people said, “Oh I could never give up______” (insert animal product). Yes you could. I’m not telling you to, but I’m saying you could. You may not WANT to give it up, and that’s perfectly fine. But you absolutely COULD give it up.
So if a doctor whom I’d already trusted to pump me full of chemicals told me giving up one thing might mean the difference in more life or death….yeah, it’s not really something I’d even have to think about.