What’s the Scale Say and Why You Shouldn’t Care Either
By: Katie Lawing
Ok.. fine. I get it. You’re reading this because you want to make a change in your life for the better. You are here because you care about your health, what foods go into your body and want to clean up your diet and ultimately feel better, look better, and perform better. Caring about what the scale says isn’t vain, and it isn’t wrong. But my point is, it’s not the only thing you should care about. Stepping on and off the same scale multiple times of day will not give you anything more than data. What does that number tell you? Does it make you feel a certain way? Does that number accurately portray all the hard work you’ve put into yourself in the gym and in the kitchen? Shift your mindset to one of gratitude for your health, for a body that carries you every day, for a community of people working toward the same goal. Health and wellness is a journey.
It’s Just Data.
It’s just data. Plain and simple. Data cannot be inherently good or bad. Data (in this case) is merely a tool to educate us on the impact our nutrition and exercise have on our lives. And over time, data changes… We want this data to change. Therein lies progress and transformation.
The scale doesn’t tell the whole story.
Odds are, you don’t have an Inbody scanner in your bathroom. You probably own a square, glass scale that flashes 0.00 when you get on and a different number when you step off. That scale isn’t telling you much, other than what you weigh at this current moment. It may change first thing in the morning, or at night, or depending on what you have on… but it’s not telling you much other than that. Unlike the Inbody, the household bathroom scale does not give you your lean muscle or skeletal mass. It does not tell you what your current body fat % is either. Nor will it tell you how hard you worked in the gym that day. It is merely data. Your bathroom scale will fluctuate based on calibration, battery life, and environmental factors such as temperature and placement. Bottom line, don’t be a slave to the scale. If we wanted you to weigh yourself daily, we would have you get on the Inbody every day for the rest of your life and odds are, you would not enjoy it.
Negative Self Talk – Cut that crap out!
Allowing a number on a scale to define how we feel and talk to ourselves is giving too much power to a finite piece of data. That number will ultimately change, but the damage we’ve done to ourselves via our internal negative self talk will last far beyond a mere couple of pounds. Consider, you wouldn’t dream of saying something unkind or negative to your child/spouse/best friend about their appearance, why should you treat yourself any differently? Studies have linked negative self talk with higher levels of stress (hello Cortisol) and lower levels of self esteem, both of which can lead to decreased motivation. Negative self talk can manifest itself in the form of perfectionism. Let me be clear, high achievers tend to have a perfectionistic streak to them. That does not mean they are suffering from negative self talk. But when perfectionism is coupled with negative self esteem or negative self talk, it no longer becomes productive.
How do we stop it? When you hear yourself talking in a way that does not align with your true self, stop and recognize it. Take one bad thing you just said and swap it for a good thing. Put it into perspective. “The scale hasn’t moved, but I have so much more energy this week! I know I’m on the right track!”
Create a mantra. Write it down and put it on your mirror, or directly on your scale. See it every day. “Progress, not perfection.” or “I am thankful for my health and a body that carries me every day.” “I am strong and capable.” “I choose me.”
Wife, mother, coach, and busy professional. Firm believer that creating a positive impact in people’s lives through health and wellness leads to healthier individuals, families and communities. Head of Corporate Wellness at CrossFit 926.