Should You Weigh Yourself Daily? We Have The Answer
A surprising way to change the equation and enjoy good health.
On the last day of seventh grade, I weighed 75 pounds. On the first day of eighth grade, I weighed 140 pounds. That summer was an eventful one for me in the body department.
My breasts blossomed into a D cup, and my hips and thighs grew so much that my parents would collect handfuls of me as I walked past them and say, “Is that all you?”
I went from looking like a string bean of a kid to a voluptuous woman in under three months. Every day I would stand on our light blue bathroom scale not really believing the number that was staring back at me. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have disliked myself so much if I couldn’t have seen how much weight I’d gained. In fact, looking back at pictures I looked like a healthy teenage girl.
I continued my ritual: I’d wake up every morning, pee and then cross my fingers hoping there would be some type of movement; hoping the swelling of my new body would go back down to a size I was comfortable with. I’d long for the days when I didn’t sit down and immediately stare at my stomach, and the sight of my spread-out thighs didn’t make me cringe.
Fast forward to one day in my late 30s after I’d battled an eating disorder, knew the amount of calories in every food in existence, weighed myself every day in college, tried every diet, and had three kids. I was standing on the scale in my doctor’s office and looked to the left, telling her I didn’t want to know how much I weighed.
The thing is, I already had weighed myself that morning. My fear was the number would be higher or lower than it had been just hours before, and I’d have a battle in my head about which number was right.
It was then I realized I’d been weighing myself every single day for 26 years. The only thing it had done was teach me that if the number went up, I was weak and failing. If the number went down, I was so afraid it would go up again that I’d obsess about what I’d eaten the day before.
That was the last time I weighed myself. I cannot explain to you the freedom that has come with it. I no longer validate my worth by a number on an inaccurate machine. We all know our weight fluctuates: We menstruate, get constipated, start a new workout program that puts on some lean muscle mass, get a bad case of the stomach flu.
I hear it, however, all the time from other women I know. They feel great but don’t know why the scale won’t budge. They weigh themselves only after they’ve had a bowel movement. They get excited when they’ve been sick and lost 6 pounds, yet don’t take their new weight-lifting class into consideration if they’ve gained 3 pounds.
There are people out there who like to keep tabs on the weights as a guide. It helps them, makes them feel motivated, and doesn’t ruin their day if they see the number creep up. I don’t know many of those people — and I am not one of them.
I know I am more than a number on a scale. I know it, and yet I still refuse to measure myself in that way. It has been over six years since I’ve weighed myself. I do not look at the number when I go to the doctor’s office.
I wish I had realized the summer I turned 13 to stay away from the damn thing because it caused me a lot of stress and self-hate, which could have been avoided. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that not standing on a scale has changed my relationship with myself.
If weighing yourself makes or breaks your day, if you dread getting on the scale — I’m telling you to stop. You will not be happy when you reach the magic number like you think; you will want more. Our worth cannot be measured on some small plastic thing sitting on our bathroom floor, but we give it that power every time we stand on it.
Measure yourself in other ways. Take the scale out of the equation. I promise, it will change your life.