5 Reasons to divorce the scales
Using scales to build a healthy lifestyle can be helpful, but there are many other ways to assess health. Here are my 5 reasons to divorce the scales:
They offer a one dimensional view of health
A simple set of scales, offer nothing more than a snap shot of body weight at any one point, which isn’t helpful. When reinventing our lifestyle we need to be conscious of much more than our bodyweight. Since the 1950’s (post war) we have been fortunate enough to be able to make our own choices for food. In recent years, a lack of physical occupation and a greedy food industry has led to poor health. But the Doctor told me to lose weight!- There’s the problem! We rely on the National Health Service, a service which is on it’s knees and can’t cope with it’s budgets or workload. If the Doctor told you to lose weight, it's a piece of "“lazy advice”. Better that we: Buy better quality food, move more and create more time to relax
Scale weight and conditions are inconsistent
The quality of home scales, bought at retail outlets is questionable. The reliability of scales increases in line with their price tag. The scales at your Doctors surgery are inaccurate. Although Commercial scales are likely to be more reliable, they need maintaining. Conditions for weighing yourself also fluctuate. Some regular fluctuations include: time of day, food and water consumed. Other fluctuations? Standing position, surface (needs to be hard and level) More information here: https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=2281
Weighting yourself often becomes habitual
A fixation with scales weight, is problematic. In my experience, by the time we take action to address our weight we are in a somewhat desperate position. We have a lot of weight to shift and mass marketing teaches us to expect quick results. If quick results are not forthcoming we’ll resort to drastic action to get results. We expect that weighing ourselves on a more regular basis will help. Doing this can becomes a habit and an addiction. more here https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/traumatic-dieting/201109/do-you-suffer-scale-addiction
Scale weight doesn’t offer answers
Your weight is a consequence of your behaviours. It’s much more effective to reflect on your behaviours than to rely on the scales as a measure of your success. Did you ate more than usual? (Celebrations/ Comiserations) Or did you move less? (Busy at work so less time spent walking). Understanding which behaviours impact your progress you can address them. I encourage you to hold a Board meeting with yourself and reflect on what has happened in the past week or month. Which behaviours will you: Praise (do more of) Redirect (change) or Reprimand (stop)?
The result makes you feel like sh:t
When you step on the scale, you feel anxious. In fact you’ve felt anxious since you last stepped on them! When you step off of the scale you feel like sh:t- Do you identify with this language? “You failed, why did you bother to try?” “I can’t do this, I have never been able to lose weight!” “F*ck it I’m not losing weight, I’ll eat what I want!” These emotions are sabotaging you, so why put yourself into this headspace?
Summary: The scales are a single tool, which can catalase your journey toward health, but they are not the only answer. A journey to health is a very personal one and different horses will take different courses. If you are weighing yourself more than weekly and you relate to this blog. Please, consider which other tools you can put in place.
A good basic snapshot and strategy for health would include
Quality food and hydration that supports your lifestyle (less processed foods, more water)
Awareness of your self talk and Mindset and time to relax in a healthy productive way
Intra cellular and extracellular hydration
Mood and energy levels
Visceral Fat/ Hip to waist ratio
Resting heart rate
Do you identify with the points raised in this blog, why not post a comment, we’d love to hear from you.