Last night I was watching a repeat episode of the Big Bang Theory. Don’t you just love that show? It’s so well written and it hasn’t gone downhill despite being in their seventh season, which I think is pretty rare.
Anyways, in this episode, Sheldon is driving with Penny and is telling her to slow down. Here is the exact conversation:
Sheldon: Slow down. Slow down, please slow down.
Penny: We’re fine.
Sheldon: Look, you’re not leaving yourself enough space between cars.
Penny: Oh, sure I am.
Sheldon: No, no. Let me do the math for you, this car weighs let’s say 4,000lb, now add say 140 for me, 120 for you.
Sheldon: Oh, I’m sorry, did I insult you? Is your body mass somehow tied into your self worth?
Penny: Well, yeah.
Sheldon: Interesting. Anyway, that gives us a total weight of, let’s say, 4,400lb.
Penny: Let’s say 4,390.
This really hit home with me. “Is your body mass somehow tied into your self worth.” Why is it that so many women feel this way?
Despite your knowledge of your life achievements and accomplishments, the moment you step onto the scale none of that matters anymore. You see a number that you don’t like and think one word…FAILURE.
For this reason, I am a huge proponent of ditching the scale. Throw that GD thing out the window. It will feel liberating. Although, try to avoid your neighbour’s car because that will not feel liberating when you get a bill for a new windshield.
WHAT? No scale! If you’re the type of person who weighs themselves every day or even twice a day, the idea of throwing away your scale is terrifying. But that’s exactly my point, that scale has taken a hold of you. You get your validation out of a number instead of thinking about all the other things in your life that you work toward and have achieved.
Even worse though, is that the scale works against you. Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar:
At the end of the day you think to yourself, I did great today, I exercised and I ate healthy balanced meals. You’re feeling wonderful and then you jump on that scale, see it went up 0.2lb and immediately start beating yourself up. Suddenly, the healthy balanced meals you ate doesn’t seem like enough, the workout you did wasn’t enough, you’re not enough. Once those feelings develop, you start wondering what the point of all of this is anyways. You eat some chocolate to make yourself feel better. After that you feel worse about yourself. You weigh yourself again and see a 0.1lb weight gain and the vicious cycle continues. A number should not have this type of control over your life. If you had a great day of healthy meals and exercise, you should feel wonderful at the end of the day.
What will you do without your scale? Find a different source of motivation. Notice when your clothes are fitting looser than they used to. Congratulate yourself when you can increase your weights or run for a minute longer than you could before. Take notice of your energy levels and the way they change as you work towards being healthier. If you’re noticing these differences, what does a number matter? It should be how you feel that gives you self validation, not a number.
I’ll tell you from personal experience that giving up on the scale is not easy, particularly if you have been in a complicated relationship with it for years, and you may have set backs.
I gave up on the scale many years ago. I quit cold turkey and for years I didn’t own a scale. However, about a year ago I bought a scale. I bought one of those scales that also tell you your body fat percentage. My justification was that I was happy with my weight but I would like to build more muscle and this would allow me to see if I was doing that. However, I am starting to notice old habits forming. Just this morning I checked my weight to see if it was higher after those M&Ms I had last night. And about a week ago, I was telling Tom my weight as if it was an accomplishment. But I’ve realized, that’s not what I should be celebrating. Instead, I should be celebrating that I am the happiest and most fit that I have been in my adult life. And I would know that without the use of a scale. Therefore, I know it’s that time again; it’s time for me to ditch my scale. It’s time to live my life and celebrate my accomplishments outside of my weight. Weight is just a number and I’m ready to proudly exclaim that my value is not measured by that number!
So who’s with me? Who is going to ditch their scale?