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Healthy Living

The following is an excerpt from my book, Your Holistically Hot Transformation

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This is Why You Should Ditch the Scale

I used to be an obsessive “weigher,” as many women tend to be.

I never really jumped on the dieting bandwagon, but I was constantly jumping on the scale. Every morning at the gym, I would weigh  in for the verdict on how I was going to feel about myself that day. That one number – and it fluctuated daily – determined whether I felt “fat” or “thin” for a day.

Recently, I was speaking with Susan, a prospective client, as she described in detail about how she weighed herself every morning, I flashed back to this old habit of mine. She spoke about her daily weigh-ins like she would about brushing her teeth or taking a shower. Every single morning she stepped on the scale. That’s what she did for as long as she could remember.

What struck me is how that simple mindless habit of weighing herself every morning shaped her mindset for the rest of the day. It determined how she felt, how she spoke to herself, and even how she reacted to others at work and at home. I suggested that Susan ditch the scale for a week, maybe two – or even forever – but start with a week and see how different she felt on a daily basis. When I made this suggestion, I heard Susan breathe a sigh of relief. I had just given her permission to not do something she always accepted she was supposed to do. I recommended she replace the habit of weighing herself with something kinder, like a yoga class (yoga was something she had told me she wanted to be doing more).

The Scale Doesn’t Hold Much Weight 

If you’re a compulsive weigher or scale-obsessed, you should know that the number on the scale doesn’t hold much weight.

Not only can your weight fluctuate drastically by the day, even by the hour, but also research has shown that frequent weighing can affect your mood, body image and could be tied to depression.

A lot can influence the number on the scale more than body weight alone.

  1. Your body is made up mostly of water, so its water content fluctuates by the day depending on a variety of factors. Hydration levels, food intake and dietary choices, activity level, and your menstrual cycle all determine how much water you retain. Even water intake alone can cause the number on the scale to rise temporarily.
  2. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Once eaten, carbs are broken down into smaller units of sugar, some of which are converted to glucose, a fuel source for the muscles, tissues, organs and brain. After you’ve fulfilled your body’s immediate needs for fuel, excess carb calories and unused glucose are converted to glycogen for later use. Once glycogen stores are full, any excess is stored as fat. Glycogen stores naturally go up and down at frequent intervals during the day, which also influences the number you see on the scale. Moreover, for every one pound of glycogen stored, your body stores two to three pounds of water.
  3. By volume, fat weighs more and takes up more space than the same amount of muscle. As your fitness level increases and body fat is replaced by muscle, the number on the scale may not budge, but your clothes may get looser. The scale isn’t a real or reliable measure of your overall health and fitness.

You Are What Eat, Not What You Weigh

Know that your value, capabilities and purpose as a human being add up to something much greater than a number. When you let the scale control your body image and determine your self-worth, you lose sight of your bigger goals and all of the progress and achievements along the way. You become habitually focused on the short term, which can erode your commitment to long-term goals.

If you’re overly invested in your scale, challenge yourself to weigh yourself less frequently. Start with once a week, then once a month and eventually maybe not at all. Set goals that revolve around making healthy lifestyle changes, rather than those that are focused on a number. Finally, measure your progress by how your clothes fit and, most importantly, how you feel physically and mentally instead.

As I began to feel more in tune with my body and in control of my eating habits, I stopped stepping on the scale. I noticed my mornings felt less stressful and I stopped basing my mood, sex appeal, and self-worth on an arbitrary number.

One of my group coaching clients, Alisa, had been implementing what she had learned in my January group and unbeknownst to me, heeded my challenge to ditch the scale. 

A few weeks ago, I received this note: 

“After not weighing myself for a month, I checked in this morning and I was 10 pounds lighter than I expected! I was so skeptical about dropping the daily weigh in, but it’s great not to have that stress in my life anymore.” 

Proof that you are what you eat, not what you weigh.

To receive updates and notifications about special offers and events in conjunction with my book launch, CLICK HERE. 


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