It's easy to make the scale the enemy. You're working out, you're eating well, and then you step on the scale and "What the f-?!" Enter self loathing and judgment.
I never used to be able to weigh myself without it ruining my entire day. The number always scared me. It scared me the day I realized I was underweight at sixteen-years-old, and it scared me every day after when I decided to get healthy and put on weight.
I'm now a happy thirty pounds heavier than that teenager and me and the scale and I are on good terms. Since I understand it can still wreak havoc on many peoples happiness I wanted to share a few friendly tips.
Here's how I use it as a tool to help keep me healthy rather than one that throws me into emotional turmoil.
I look at it as science.
I have a body like everyone else. That body has a weight to it that will vary for many reasons. That weight will go up and down based on varying factors. The scale is a basic means of seeing this number, not measuring my self worth or value as a person. It is simply a number.
I understand water weight.
Like most people, my body weight can go up and down 4 lbs depending on how much water I'm holding, how my digestion is functioning, whether I'm on my menstrual cycle or have been travelling and off my normal routine. If the scale jumps 4 lbs overnight it doesn't mean that I gained 4 lbs of fat overnight. Hydrating and going back to normal routine will usually get me back to my usual weight in no time.
I understand that muscle weighs more than fat.
I used to stop going to the gym every time I saw the scale go up. I figured I was eating too much and this wasn't benefiting me. I'm now able to see that muscle weighs a hell of a lot more than fat and gives my body great shape and strength. The scale going up can actually be a great sign that you are working hard and fuelling your body efficiently.
I take progress pictures and measurements.
I'll let the images below speak for themselves. If you're obsessing over the numbers on the scale you can become blind to your real progress. Taking pictures and measurements are key to seeing where and how changes in your body are taking place.
(via Pinterest, eattoperform.com and palezonenutrition.com)
I understand it is simply a number that can change for various reasons.
Yes, sometimes I will also gain weight because I've been having a little too much fun, or decided it was a good idea to eat my emotions in chocolate form. That's life. Sometimes it will go down because I'm stressed or haven't been drinking enough water. That's also life.
It is simply a tool.
The scale is simply a tool to see the weight of your body. It does not tell you that you are beautiful, talented, and unique - that is up to you.
Pssst.. you're beautiful and so is your body!