I have a love/hate relationship with the scale. Anyone else? We’ve been together since college, and she’s moved with me a dozen times (and even traveled with me on vacation—what?!). But recently I decided to “take a break” in our relationship, and a surprising thing happened.
I lost weight.
I think. I’m not actually sure, because I haven’t gotten the scale out!
Too much of my time, energy and emotions were being calculated by her 1-inch-by-1-inch screen, and it just had to end! But I’ll admit, I didn’t come to this decision on my own.
I had been in a long season of getting too lax in my food choices, ushered in by my birthday, extended by back-to-back vacations, garnished with the honeymoon phase of starting my first new relationship after my husband’s death (enter pizza and ice cream several times a week!) and topped off by the ending of said new relationship (order up on the pizza and ice cream!). So, to say I needed a mental and physical reset was the understatement of the year.
I had been considering trying Whole30 for months. Over a year, actually, and I had been asked again by a group of my fitness friends to do it together. Because ice cream is my boo, I didn’t really want to commit, but I had the sense to realize I was not going to break out of this junk-food rut without some serious boundaries—and Whole30 definitely offered them. Plus, if I’ve learned anything from Burn, it’s that community coupled with accountability totally equals results. My trainers always recommend macro-balanced meals, and I was pretty sure Whole30 encouraged that as well.
I decided I had to do it.
Then I read the guidelines, and they said you couldn’t weigh yourself for a FULL 30 DAYS. What?! I weighed myself EVERY day. How could I survive? I guess the same way I would survive 30 days without pizza or ice cream. Or coffee creamer. Or donuts.
I would commit to fueling my body with whole foods, and I would let that be my fitspiration. Not the output on the scale.
I’d put my confidence in doing the work, not tracking the results in digits.
I’d trust the process, not pressure myself with numbers.
After just a week, I could see results. I couldn’t quantify them, but all the same, I knew they were there. And I swelled with pride. I was proud of myself for committing to a program and following it not because I could prove it was working (by the figure displayed on a piece of plastic) but instead because I could feel it working.
I was proud of myself for choosing increased nourishment over decreased digits, knowing that how I feel and fuel is way more important than how much I weigh.
I’m almost done with my Whole30 and I’ve been thinking about how I will feel when I am “allowed” to step on the scale again.
Yes, I want to see what the program has done for me physically, but I know what it has done for me mentally and I don’t want to waste it. I want to remember that the scale doesn’t define me, and that will remain true if I put boundaries on the way I use it going forward.
I totally want a new BF, but I’m pretty sure I can stay broken up with that bathroom bestie because she was pretty fickle anyway…and now that I know I can survive without her weighing in on my value, I would be foolish to give her that power again.
So, if you’re ready to take the risk and break up with your scale, let me leave you with these three thoughts:
1. Your weight isn’t what people love about you. In fact, they couldn’t guess it if they tried. And news flash: No one is trying to guess your weight but YOU!
2. If you’re a slave to the scale, you’re ignoring all of the other great things you’ve got going for you in your health and fitness journey. Those non-scale victories are huge for mental breakthroughs, confidence boosts and non-weight-related goal crushing. When you obsess over your weight, you forget to celebrate these über-important milestones.
3. I know you know this one, but it bears repeating: Muscle weighs more than fat! This means that the number on the scale doesn’t determine your level of fitness. Your body should change, and your weight might or might not—so make the choice to focus on strength, stamina and sensible food choices more than the scale!
You’ve totally got this, just tap into your grit and grace and #beboldandjustbeyou!
You can hear more from Julie in her conversation with Morgan Kline on Coffee & Kettlebells Episode 16: How to Overcome Grief, Comparison and Life’s Obstacles with Grit & Grace.
You might also like this related article from The Grit and Grace Project: Forget About the Scale and Be Happy!