Many of us use the scales as a indication to progress of our fitness journey. Thanks to magazines brimming with weight loss tips and celebrities promoting ‘detox’ teas, who can blame today’s obsession with the scales? Let’s get one thing clear, the weight on the scales doesn’t represent your fitness. Secondly, your weight doesn’t define YOU. This isn’t about banning scales, it’s a gentle reminder that sometimes scales aren’t accurate and your numbers can fluctuate for many reasons. Here’s why you shouldn’t always listen to the scales.
Become blind to your actual results
Fitness involves a lot of numbers. Whether it’s the number of reps, sets, PRs, weights or distance, we follow numbers to improve our performance. However, it’s easy to become obsessed with them negatively, especially the number you see on the scales. Sometimes we work ourselves up on the number on the scales so much that we become blind to our actual results. Not focussing enough on the other numbers such as; running a quicker time, lifting a heavier weight, even getting up earlier to workout. The other numbers are your achievements. Don’t let the number on the scales act as your blinders.
It’s not very accurate
Ever wonder why you are down a few pounds one morning then up again the next day? There are lots of reasons as to why this happens and the scales won’t show it. For example, if you are bloated you may have put on weight and most scales lack measuring water weight correctly. Therefore, the scales won’t give you an actual reading of your body composition. The same goes with body fat. Most scales at home won’t measure body fat. Sure, if your gym has a snazzy boditrax machine it’s a good indicator to assessing your body fat but if you are looking for something more accurate I would suggest having a chat with a personal trainer about different ways to measure your body’s composition.
Can be stressful
Checking the scales to see if any weight has shifted up or down can be stressful, and stress releases hormones (cortisol) that store more fat! It’s a losing battle. Plus, your weight fluctuates at different times of the day so it’s normal to shift weight up and down. Try not using the scales so much. That way you are allowing the scales to have a relaxed approach to your lifestyle rather than constantly checking for weight loss or gain.
It doesn’t represent your health
The number on the scales isn’t a representative of your fitness. This is so important. I used to let the number on the scales dictate my mood for the day. If I lost weight I allowed myself to be happy, if I put on weight I would be upset and angry with myself. It was extremely unhealthy both physically and mentally. Lose the emotional attachment, it’ll only form a negative spiral of thinking that can cause harmful behaviour towards yourself. The scales doesn’t show how much energy you have throughout the day, how far you are able to run, or how radiant your skin is. All of these factors are results from living a healthy lifestyle. Let’s not compare our bodies to a number on the scales, treat it well, it’s the only one you’ve got.
It doesn’t define YOU
I’m not hating on scales because I believe it is important to measure ourselves. However, there are other parts I think we ought to be measuring more. Going from someone who was glued to the scales, weighing myself 5 times a day, to a point now where I don’t hop on the scales unless a doctor or personal trainer tells me to. One thing that helped me was to track my progress by my appearance, more importantly how I feel inside. Those two factors go well together because if you look good you are going to feel great too. I lost my obsession with the scales number because I wasn’t going to let it define me. Someone may have a petite frame but weigh heavier than expected because of their muscle mass. Let’s focus on how we perceive ourselves in our body that is strong and beautiful, both inside and out.
‘But how do I not focus on the scales?’ Well lovely, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts very soon talking about ways to measure your progress without using scales.