I recently had a big biff with a rather offensive set of electronic scales. We were at our neighbours’ place one afternoon for an early dinner. I skipped into the bathroom and the scales beckoned me. I don’t even own a set myself. Nasty things. I stupidly decided to give in to curiosity and weigh myself.
Let me describe my pre-weigh-in state of mind. “I reckon this will be pretty cool, I can’t wait to see how much I weigh now. I’m so proud of all the good stuff I’ve been doing over the last 12 months. I’m in such a better place physically than I was back then! I mean I’ve taken up running!! I’m so happy with myself these days, I can’t wait to fit into that pink dress, nearly there… It’s so nice to feel so calm and have that sense of wellbeing and confidence. YES I know I want to reduce the size of my tummy but thank god I’m past that point where I’m obsessing about all the time.”
I get on the scales and they rudely shout obscenities at me in their ugly digital typeface.
Pretty much exactly the same as I was a year ago, despite making very positive ongoing diet and exercise changes. If you were to dial this through a BMI calculator, with my 166 cm stature, I think you’d find I am in the obese category.
I want to sob. I feel so depressed. And I genuinely can’t comprehend the number. My post-weigh-in train of thought was as follows “Oh My God, that’s horrific. I can’t believe I am still so fat. I don’t understand why I bother doing anything. Absolutely nothing happens. Fucking chia seeds. I might as well eat fucking Maccas the whole time. Why am I such a failure at weight loss. I’m going to have to go hardcore. Seriously HOW am I even 80 kg? This is SO UNFAIR. I hate myself. Why am I so huge? I’m sure I look different, maybe I have reverse body-dysmorphic syndrome. I MUST be a hideous beast.”
The next day I wake up. It’s a beautiful sunny day. I go for a long walk/run. And I shake it off.
Those scales can go fuck themselves. I am proud of this long, long four year journey I have been on. I gave up ‘dieting’ and focussed on sustainable, healthy habits. I can even run 5 kilometres! And I feel fantastic. You can read about my trip here: Not The Biggest Loser Part 1 and here: Not The Biggest Loser Part 2.
Almost 12 months ago, I deliberately decided never to weigh myself again. Holy shit, that resolve has strengthened. As my sister said when I texted her to talk me down off the ledge, “Gilly, NO! The scales are a bust, man!”
But you know, I can’t deny I am shocked by the number on the scales. I’m not telling you about the number because I want a bunch of comments about how awesome I look or anything. I know I am far from skinny (especially around the waist) and I know I have more work to do. But I have definitely toned up and I’ve gone down a size in clothes in the last year. So I’m not sure where the excess kilos are hiding. Maybe they’ve formed a big juicy doona of lard covering all my organs. Not awesome, but there is nothing that can be done about it in the short term. This is about long term lifestyle change for me and I just need to keep going as planned. Eat well, exercise, be positive, be consistent and feel good about myself.
The moral of the story is just don’t weigh yourself.
Here’s the top five reasons why I reckon you should chuck your scales:
 Watching the number on the scales will make you miss the real results.
Are you energetic? Does your skin glow? How do your clothes fit? Do you sleep well? Are your health indicators improving? Is your blood pressure good? Are you exercising regularly?
 The numbers don’t define you.
By letting the scales control your self-esteem, you are giving over your power. Repeat after me, girlfriend you are beyond fabulous (and just to make sure it really sinks in, read this great post about body loving by a very wise and beautiful friend.)
 Focus on what really matters and be grateful.
This whole thing is bullshit. It takes up precious time when you should be doing something else more valuable. It’s a blip in your life and in the bigger scheme of things, it’s irrelevant. Things that are important are your friends, family, your spirit, the good you bring to the world, surrounding yourself with positivity, achieving your goals and being the most delightful person you can be.
 The number on the scales isn’t absolute
The numbers on the scale can fluctuate wildly. My friends who have PCOS or immune issues talk about fluctuations of 4/5 kilos in a week. Things that can affect the number include fluid, undigested food, muscle mass, time of day, accuracy of the scales, waste material in your system and hormones.
 Stop being a ‘dieter’.
Take a simple and consistent approach to your health. Eat well and move more. Forget the number on the scales and you’ll be less clouded and less stressed.
Have you stepped on the scales lately? How did they make you feel?