Hundreds of thousands — maybe even millions — of women and men rely on one piece of outdated technology to determine their health and well being: The scale.
It’s the only household appliance that seems to have significant control over our confidence, state of mind and mental health. But, it shouldn’t! I’m not just saying we shouldn’t define ourselves by this number it spits out, we just shouldn’t even use it! Period.
Actually, I take that back. There’s one instance in which I use the bathroom scale. I use it when I’m trying to figure out how much I need to be eating.
Other than that, the scale is pretty much useless and somewhat harmful to have around. Here are nine reasons you should ditch your bathroom scale.
1. Who cares what you weigh
You’re likely the only one that’s going to see it, right? Odds are you’re like most people and you’re not going to tell anyone what you weigh. Other than your doctor and your doctor’s nurse, who really needs to know? And what do ya know, your doctor’s office already has one.
2. It’s just one angle of your complete picture of health
Just like your BMI, your weight doesn’t give you a clear picture of your overall health and well being. There are tons of other factors at play here, including body fat percentage, muscle mass, mental health. Don’t track it like it’s the only thing that matters.
3. The emotional toll
Even if your weight was an indicator of your overall health, does it really help you to know what it is? Or does it actually hurt you? How many times have you woken up, got on the scale, saw it was 2 pounds higher than yesterday and had a crappy morning or day as a result. The less I look at that number on the scale, the happier I seem to be in my daily life.
4. Muscle is more dense
If you’re working out, eating healthy and you still find the scale is going up, it could be that you’re gaining muscle. Sure, the scale goes up, but so does your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn more calories in one day. One pound of muscle takes up a hell of a lot less space than 1 pound of fat, just sayin’.
5. You’re more than a number
Women especially get sucked into a trap of defining ourselves by this stupid number on the scale. That number does not tell me how successful I am in my job, it doesn’t tell me how much I’m loved by my friends and family and it doesn’t tell me how hilarious my jokes are.
6. Scale-obsession is real
Being obsessed or addicted to anything is unhealthy (including healthy eating!). Too much of anything isn’t a good thing. The same goes for weighing yourself. I have several friends who weigh themselves multiple times per day… per DAY! Your weight is going to fluctuate, not just in any given day, but in any given week. And being obsessed with that number isn’t helping anyone, certainly not yourself.
7. Get in tune with your body
When you stop relying on your scale to tell you that you need to do to lose weight or get healthy, you start to figure out exactly what your body is asking for. It’s like when the internet breaks and you have to figure out how to make dinner without Pinterest. It will be difficult at first, but you’ve been making dinner for years, you got this!
When you take away the scale, you’re forced to rely on your body’s internal messages it sends you to tell you to get off your butt, to eat a salad instead of the doughnut or sometimes to eat the doughnut. You can figure out a lot about your body when you take away the security of the scale and that arbitrary number.
8. Ain’t nobody got time for that
If you’re a habitual body-weigher like I was, it likely takes about 1-2 minutes of your day, depending on if you undress completely — don’t forget the hair tie — or not. If you weigh yourself morning and night, that’s about 4 minutes gone. In a week, that’s almost 30 minutes. A month? 15 hours! 15 hours of your life, gone; wasted on a task that likely makes you feel bad about yourself, because when are we ever satisfied with the number on the scale?
9. Track something else
Instead of using your weight as an indicator of your health and your goals, try using the number of push ups you can do in 60 seconds. Or, how long you can hold plank or how quickly you can run a mile. All of those things are infinitely more important for your health than the scale.
You may be asking, “Well, if I throw my scale out, how will I know how I’m progressing with my goals?” Touché, reader. Touché.
As I said before, I only weigh myself when I need to figure out how many calories I need to eat or when I’m starting a new workout program and when I finish it. So, that’s approximately once every month or maybe even less frequently. Do it less, not never. And only use that number to show someone how you crushed your goal! But, body measurements do a better job of that, anyway.
Pro tip: If you have an obsession with weighing yourself, have a friend, a family member or your significant other hide it from you!