It’s almost assumed that you have to count calories and weigh yourself if you want to lose weight.
When someone sets off to try to lose weight one of the first things they do is figure out how many calories they need to eat. And then the first thing they do the next morning is weigh themselves.
It seams reasonable. If I do A, I should get B result. Right?
Over time, yes, but that number on the scale is more than just a number to people, and it affects how they approach their lifestyle change.
How Will I Know If I’ve Lost Weight If I Don’t Weigh Myself?
When I have people stash their scale out of site one of the first things they ask me is how they’ll know if they’ve lost weight. So I like to play a little game.
There are only two rules:
- For the next week you are not allowed to weigh yourself.
- A week from now you have to guess if your weight is higher or lower than it is today.
If you guess right you get 1 million dollars. Are you in?
Now, how will you decide on your answer? What will you base your decision making process on? If you’re like most people you will look back at your behaviors over the past week and make a rational decision.
You either ate mostly whole foods and moved your body consistently, or you overate more times than you wanted to and were more sedentary than you planned to be.
Yes, there are other scenarios, but the point is that you’ll have a pretty good idea if your weight is higher or lower at the end of the week, and you’ll come to your conclusion by looking at your behaviors.
That’s how you know if you’ve lost weight. The scale wasn’t needed. And I can assure you that if you’re consistent long enough that it’s going to become more and more apparent you’ve lost weight.
You’ll look different. You’ll feel different. Your clothes will be looser. People will start noticing. You’ll have more energy. You’ll be happier. You’ll be healthier. You’ll think more clearly. You’ll be stronger. You’ll have more endurance. And you’ll be more engaged with the process, instead of being more obsessed with the outcome.
The Scale Is An Emotional Machine
To be completely fair to the scale, there is nothing wrong with it. After all, it is just an inanimate object – a machine that sits there on the ground. It’s harmless.
What isn’t harmless, however, is the relationship most people have with it.
The scale can be a useful tool – if you can take the emotion out of it. But most people can’t. Instead, the scale is a trigger – it brings harmful emotions to the surface and it creates all sorts of unwanted behaviors.
You start overly restricting your food intake. You start hating yourself. You start punishing yourself with exercise. You start questioning your intelligence. You start cursing before the sun comes up. And you give up on your healthy behaviors because you think it’s all for nothing – even though deep down you know they make you a healthier person.
Ask me how I know?
Be Honest With Yourself
Don’t assume the scale has to be part of your weight loss journey. It doesn’t have to be.
Question whether having your scale sitting on the floor is helping or hurting your efforts. Has more good come from it or more bad?
Consider stashing it out of site for a while and start trusting in yourself to validate your progress and behaviors. You can always come back to it later.
But in the process you can heal your relationship with it so that it can once again be a useful tool. It will give you additional data that can be used with a dozen other progress markers to assess the effectiveness of your program.
You won’t be dependent on it anymore. It won’t control you. And you will feel liberated.
Think about that today and then decide if your scale needs a new place to stay.