Weighing Yourself: The Scale

April 3, 2013

I have written a few posts in the past about my issues with the scale.  For years I would weigh myself every single day of my life and the number that popped up would determine how I felt about myself that day.  Not a fun way to live right?!?  Over two years ago I wrote about my decision to stop weighing myself.

That was one of my best ideas ever.  I stopped the obsession with the number on that little machine cold turkey and it helped my brain/happiness levels/health a lot.

During pregnancy I decided that I wanted to continue to not know my weight and instead just have my doctor tell me how I was doing in terms of being on track with my weight gain.  That too was an awesome decision because it took the stress off of gaining weight and I didn’t even worry about it.

Then something crazy happened.

Two weeks ago I was in the bathroom at the gym and I thought, ‘hey, I should weigh myself because I really have no idea how much I weigh now.’

I got on.

Saw a number (might I add it was 20 lbs more than I weighed 3 years ago).

And it didn’t produce any emotions.  It was just a number.

I feel strong, healthy and very fulfilled with my life right now so how could a number change the way I feel about myself?

My worth is based now on being a good (at least I like to tell myself that I am) mom/wife/sister/friend/daughter and I love that I have finally come to a place in my life where I realize that.

I came home and realized that I wasn’t in a bad mood…. I used to completely avoid the scale and I realized that this was the first time I was completely unaffected by the number.

Brooke has helped me a lot.  I actually just posted something that I wrote when she was just 2 months old of what I did to help me feel good about that post baby body of mine at the time (when your uterus is still 10 times bigger than normal and your body is still recovering from delivery) so if you want to check it out, it is HERE.  I really want to be the best example ever for Brooke and that includes having a healthy body image.

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(Took this picture this morning as she was CRAWLING (scooting) herself over to come snuggle with me)

I am sure a few years ago I would never have thought that I would be okay and not even care about getting on the scale and seeing a number higher than what it used to be but it happened.  It feels really good.  I probably won’t weigh myself very often just because I don’t know why I would but next time I am at the doctors office it will be awesome to just get on the scale facing forwards and not allow the scale to determine how I feel.

How often do you weigh yourself?  

Does the scale affect your mood?  Has it in the past?  

How do you gauge where you are in terms of your health?

Rachel April 4, 2013 at 5:25 am

How often do you weigh yourself?
-Every.Day. I’m a tad obsessed :(

Does the scale affect your mood? Has it in the past?
-Not really. This morning I knew it was gonna be a little worse b/c I totally pigged out last night at dinner. It’s ok; just know to work a little harder today

How do you gauge where you are in terms of your health?
-As much as I like to weigh myself & know ‘my’ number, I gauage my health on my workout stamina & the way my clothes fit

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Jessica April 4, 2013 at 5:39 am

Thank you for this post!

Have I let the scale affect my mood? Definitely let that number rule my world for a time, and it was a bad bad time. What matters most is what our bodies can DO and what we can DO for people in our lives and the world. If I’m accomplishing something towards my goal each day (good workout, passing a test, entering a race) and spending time with the people I love, AND getting some fresh air, I feel plenty happy and healthy despite the scale.

Its so sad we let a number overshadow all the good things in life. This was a great post!

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Tara April 4, 2013 at 5:44 am

OH THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for writing this post, and your original one. I do weigh myself daily as the struggle to LOSE as much weight as I did (over 70#) has left me so worried about it coming back…the scale hasnt creeped up (much) even over the holidays and when it does, it goes to my original goal weight….which is only 2-3# more then I am right now. I have to remind myself I am HAPPY with how I feel and HAPPY with how I look. I put on a bikini last year for the first time in 10 YEARS!!!! I was nervous but ya know what, once I put it on, I didnt want to take it off…I worked HARD to get there and I have no desire to go back…..the scale doesnt determine that, I do ;) You rock….I think you just helped me write my blog post for tomorrow :)

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alexis April 4, 2013 at 5:47 am

i weigh myself once every few weeks which is better then my twice a day. I try no to let the number change my feelings on anything but it (unfortunately) does sometimes ruin my mood for a few days, make me happy that day, and always has some effect on what i eat. That said, I am doing much better by just avoiding the scale altogether. The number always sounds high and if I don’t know it, I can just know I ran my PR today or my pants are a little loser or I just feel good. Thanks for the post and everyone’s comments. I need to remember its not all about that number on the scale.

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J April 4, 2013 at 5:55 am

I weight myself pretty much every morning. I use it as a indicator if I am dehydrated or bloated (to follow my cycle). The number doesn’t really bother me, but when I see it up a bit I just to figure out why it was up (bloating or ate too much cake the night before). It just helps to keep myself in check. My real main way to seeing if my weight is good is if i fit into my clothes.

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Chelsea April 4, 2013 at 6:21 am

Great post! I’m expecting my first baby in June, a little girl, and I know I do not want her to go through all the restriction/body image issues that I have. Being pregnant and seeing your body go through so many changes is definitely a challenge, but ever day I get to feel her wiggle and move in my belly, and I’m reminded that being healthy is SO MUCH more important than a number on a scale.
So again, thanks for the post girl! You’re awesome!

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Tara April 4, 2013 at 6:28 am

That is great that you do not let it define you. You are soo much more than ‘a number!’

You truely are such a happy, positive, fun loving and caring person (all this just from reading your blog!) and I am sure that is where Brooke gets her laid back, happy personality!
Love your blog and your attitude, keep it up!!!

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Erin April 4, 2013 at 6:42 am

That picture of Brooke is adorable! I used to weigh myself every morning and I would definitely let it affect my mood for the day. I’m now only doing it once a week and trying to not let it bother me. I am more focused on what my body looks and feels like, rather than the number that is on the scale.

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Andrea @ Andrea out loud! April 4, 2013 at 6:56 am

I just did a big post about this the other day!
I usually DONT weigh myself and psoted an example because i feel like the scale is a liar and my weight fluctuates a lot etc, however recently I have actually made the decision to lose about 26 lbs (it has been lingering for a while) which means I will HAVE to use the scale for a bit to make sure Im making progress. Kind of interesting actually, I feel like Im opposite of a lot of people. usually people use it and then ditch it, and i never used it and now I’m going to start.. weird!

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Erin April 4, 2013 at 6:56 am

I weigh myself every single morning and every night when I get back from the gym pre-shower. It definitely does affect my mood- if it is a “good” number I tend to feel fit and good all day and I think it almost makes me make better food decisions throughout the day but if it is a “bad” number I get frustrated, especially if I have been working out and eating well, that sometimes I almost like well f**k it might as well eat a sandwich for lunch instead of a salad, etc. I know I am definitely kind of obsessed with it and should probably stop but have also been struggling with binge/purge cycle for 9ish years so easier said than done…

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Kelsey @ Fueling Strong April 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

I love this post! I used to weigh myself 4 times a day. Just like you, I let the scale determine my mood and how I fueled my body that day. I’m sure it wasn’t fun for the people around me because they couldn’t see the 2 lb water weight gain, but I was sure that I could see it.

A year ago, I promised myself and my husband that I would only weigh myself once a week. It was a hard transition, but I’m am so grateful for making the move. I actually only weigh myself once a month now, and I try to not obsess over the number.

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Karla @ myhighonlife April 4, 2013 at 7:25 am

In high school I would weigh myself everytime I stepped into the bathroom at home… so at minimum three times a day. I was obsessive. Now I try to limit it to once a week since I am working my booty off to tone up and lose a little weight. I don’t let it determine the rest of my day for me anymore though. Now I use it as motivation :)

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Sarah April 4, 2013 at 7:32 am

Love this post! I weigh myself probably about 4x/week. Not every day but most days, I guess. I also weigh in weekly with a group of women on a message board, but I lead the whole weigh-in thing so I kinda have no choice on that. I can’t say that I am totally unaffected by the scale, or else I wouldn’t get near one to begin with, but I do try to use it as a tool to stay in my “healthy zone” and not a determining factor by which I gauge how good I feel about myself. When I see a lower number, yeah, I admit it feels good – but it feels good because it reminds me how hard work gets results. When I see a higher number, it’s usually enough to motivate me to stop doing whatever unhealthy things brought me there. It’s a hard line to walk between using the scale positively and letting it run your life, especially when you train and race with other athletes and there’s this constant comparison thing going on… but I think the scale can be used positively, and not just as a way to determine self worth.

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Jen April 4, 2013 at 8:00 am

This is a fabulous post! It is actually making me jealous that I have not yet done this for myself! I do weigh myself once a day. It used to be a terrible thing for me but I am at a much better place right now and this post is seriously making me think about ditching the scale. It used to not only determine my mood but how much I would allow myself to eat and then I got a number in my head (an unhealthy one at that) and began trying to get there. I am now also 20 pounds heavier but WAY healthier than I ever was.
I have 2 beautiful and wonderful daughters who I pray every day will never look to a number for self worth! Fabulous post :)

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Elizabeth @ Positive Change April 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

Like you I had this same issue. But I have totally overcome this now. I have not been on a scale in years and I plan to not get on anytime soon. I run better, I am a happier person because of it as well. I base my body on how well I feel and if I feel healthy and strong, I don’t need a number to tell me other wise!

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Blaire @ Just Been Running April 4, 2013 at 9:01 am

I will say that some days the scale can affect my mood. I hate that, I really wish it didn’t but that’s the cold hard truth of it. Most of the time I just go by how my clothes fit because I eat well (minus all the dessert :)) and work out hard so I know a few pounds here and there is ok!

I’m proud of you for changing your outlook though because I know it can be tough! You look absolutely amazing and you should proud of yourself too :)

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Michele April 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thank you SO much.

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Lora @ Crazy Running Girl April 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

I do not like weighing myself and it does impact how I feel about myself for the day… I’ve always struggled with weight and its hard to rationalize that the extra weight is muscle vs. fat. I should probably throw my scale out the window!

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Katie April 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

That is SO awesome! As I tweeted to you, I also don’t weigh myself ever. I stuggled with a lot of body issues in high school, and was obsessive about LOSING WEIGHT and making that silly number be lower each time, so the decision to just stop weighing myself completely was the best decision ever. Our stories are very similar! You are SUCH a good role model for your sweet little girl!!!

xo

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Tiffany April 4, 2013 at 11:59 am

Thanks for being an inspiration. Your story really resonates with me and gives me hope that I will find peace and happiness soon. Really, thank you so much Janae.

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Olivia Vickers April 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

1. Loved this post 2. You are a wonderful role model for Brooke 3. That might be the cutest picture of her ever!

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Ali April 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I love this post! I can 100% relate to this..and I’m currently going through the same as I just had my first child 1 month ago. Thank you for your honesty and you should feel great about your post baby body, you look amazing!

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HilJo April 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

So great to feel good about it :) I had the same moment a few months ago….sadly I started obsessing again and weighing myself 2x/week, BUT once I realized what I was doing I quit going to the gym. For the time being, my “letting go” of my body is more important than how toned my arms or abs are. Id rather weight the extra 25-30 lbs that I carry now than be in the black place my soul was stuck in when I was obsessed with being skinny! Moral of the story–dont slip back into weighing yourself, even if you feel great the first time, it can start to trap you once again.

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Lori April 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm

What a wonderful role model for Brooke you are!

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Courtney D April 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

How often do I weigh myself? Close to never. I have a scale in my bathroom but its just collecting dust. I’m almost 5 months along with my first baby boy and after my first doctor’s apppointment at 9 weeks I have stopped looked when they weigh me and just ask if its healthy or not. I’ve had a lot of trouble accepting the changes in my body because they’ve happened so fast and so drastically. I’m fairly tall, 5-9, so the weight gain showed right away and it was hard to swallow at first. I’m doing better with the changes now than I was before but I know its going to hit me like a ton of bricks after baby so I’m going into it trying to be positive and reminding myself, this is all for the best gift ever! Thanks for being such a great inspiration. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you who is so positive :)

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Nicole April 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I weigh myself every day, multiple times. I have an obsession. I make mental adjustments for something like oh I shouldn’t have eaten that, or I will have to do this to have the number I want for tomorrow morning, such as only eat a small dinner..

My problem is sometimes I just eat so much and feel crappy about myself when I do this. I get on the scale to make this feeling even worse! Although I do know I am healthy, I have went through a lot this past year healthwise and after having my baby 10 weeks early July 30.

I wish I could ignore that scale but feel it’s impossible. I just have to know or be happy to know that I’m at a “good number” for me. I am training for my 5th half marathon and go to spin class every week. I am healthy. I just need to stop weighing myself!

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Brooke @ Running In Heels April 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

This is so great!! I am so happy for you Janae :)

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Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run April 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for this. I’m trying to break up with my scale; this post was certainly encouraging :)

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Erica @ Love the Leap April 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Love this. You remind me a lot of my mom. She never allowed us to have a scale in our house growing up. Before, and even during the time she had kids, she struggled with eating disorders and body image issues… like you, she wanted us to grow up with a health body image and not have our minds focussed on a number. Learning this now, as an adult, I couldn’t be happier and thankful that she did this for us. I see so many people who are obsessed with that number– and it’s just that, a number. It doesn’t define us at all. It’s physics, genetics, and a whole bunch of non sense that doesn’t even matter.

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Claire April 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

At the moment I’m weighing myself daily. I go months or years at a time without weighing myself, but sometimes I want to keep an eye on my weight. This time around it was because I noticed my pants were a little tighter – sure enough I’d gained a couple of kilos which I’ve just lost. I’m still doing daily weighs to make sure it has gone and I’ve stabilised, but I’ll probably only do this for another week or so then I’ll be happy to put the scale away again. I think if you are weighing yourself it is much better to do it daily than weekly (controversial I know). Because the scale can bounce around day to day so much, I think when you do your weekly weigh in you have no idea whether that particular day is representative of where you are really at, and you don’t get another chance to check in for another week. I don’t know about others, but that week without any feedback is enough for me to lose motivation. The other thing I’ve found with daily weighing is that there is often a lag between making efforts to lose weight and it showing up on the scale – sometimes of 3-4 days. I’s only by weighing daily that I’ve learned this about myself, and am able to track things and keep motivated as I go. I also think the daily weigh keeps me accountable – I don’t have several days before the next weigh in to undo any damage from a bad couple of days – I’m going to see the resukts of my efforts every morning. I guess my disclaimer to all of this is that I am not overweight and so any weight loss attempts are only ever for a kg or two to get me to ideal racing weight or to make sure my pants are always comfy! I guess having a larger amount of weight to lose over a longer time scale would be more amenable to weekly weigh ins. Sorry for the essay, but it’s something I’ve thought about a lot. Love the sentiment of this post and not being defined by a number.

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Katie April 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I haven’t weighed myself in awhile, basically just because I don’t own a scale. I like to weigh myself every couple weeks though usually, just so I have an idea of where I’m at. It used to affect me more, but I’m much more content with my weight these days, so a few lbs here and there don’t really affect me. If anything, my jeans tell me if I need to stop eating an excessive amount of Starbust jellybeans…

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STUFT Mama April 5, 2013 at 12:30 am

LOVE this post. Sooo true. It’s just a number and life is soooooo much more. I don’t weigh myself anymore either. So much has changed since the boys. HUGS!!!!

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Andrea April 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

I weight myself every morning, but do so just so I don’t get out of line. I know my weight fluctuates about 5 lbs depending on the time of the month so I don’t let the little numbers bother me. But if it goes up more than 5 lbs then I lay off the excess snacking for a day or two and feel great again. What’s most important to me is how my pants fit. If my weight is up a few pounds but my waistband isn’t cutting into me, then figure I’ve been doing a great job at the gym building muscle!

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Danica @ It's Progression April 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I love this post…I decided a couple of months ago to quit weighing myself too. It was honestly really tough (mentally) for quite a while, but now I’m so happy I don’t rely on that number for worth anymore. I feel pretty good with where I’m at and I’m proud of myself by determining that by how I feel each day, not by what number appears on the scale each morning.

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Leigha April 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

This is awesome! You go girl!! I recently have stopped weighing myself. It doesn’t matter what the scale says, what matters is how you feel! I’m sure I have gained weight, but that accounts for muscle and just enjoying myself!

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Erica April 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Best post ever. Made me feel 400000 times better about myself and my weight.
I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BLOG!!!!

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Peachylau April 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I rarely weight myself. If I do it is on my parent’s scale and since I go home every 3 months or so…

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Kristin April 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

i love this post and i’m so proud of and happy for you. that’s honestly a huge achievement.

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Amy @ {Life to the Full} May 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Great post!

How often do you weigh yourself? I’m with you in this one; I don’t weigh myself. THOUGH, when I was pregnant with my son, I did pay attention to my weight at each doctor’s appointment. I wish I would have asked them not to tell me. Now I know for next pregnancy :)

Does the scale affect your mood? Has it in the past? Yes, it definitely does and mostly negatively. That’s why I’ve quit weighing myself. Though, postpartum, I have a few times and I need to knock it off! No matter what weight it is, weighing myself is never a good feeling.

How do you gauge where you are in terms of your health? Energy levels – how my body feels and how I’m eating. Running is a great gauge for me because it is so easily affected by poor diet, lack of sleep, etc.

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Debi June 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I weigh myself twice a week, like clockwork. I also take my blood pressure regularly, and test for cholesterol as recommended. I think weight is just another important stat to know about yourself. Yes, it will vary over days/weeks/months, but staying within a range is important–especially as we get older when weight gain can easily creep up on us. The key is to use the scale as the tool it was meant to be, a measurement of weight, not as a mood definer. :)

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Britt July 10, 2013 at 9:22 am

I took a break from the scale (except the Dr.’s office) for a longgggggggg time and stepped on it yesterday. All those feelings come back! In my opinion I look better and feel stronger than I ever have, but that number took me down a notch. I love this post and need to remember what my goals are and why the number is not indicative of my goal!

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BB July 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

Hey I just found your website and clicked on this post. I’m a runner and I struggled with body image issues for years. The decision I made to stop weighing myself was one of the best I ever made. It’s probably been ten years at this point with some lapses (I gained weight studying for the bar exam and HAD to know how much) but overall it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

And for anyone who wants to try it out, don’t let a visit to the doctor derail you, simply tell them before you step on the scale that you would rather not know your weight.

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Megan September 1, 2013 at 5:33 am

I no longer weigh myself because unfortunately, the scale DOES affect my mood! I have other ways to track my progress- like how my clothes fit, my running pace, and how much weight I lift at the gym. Those are better indicators than a stupid number anyway! The scale doesn’t tell you how strong you are, how fast you can run a mile, or how much you can bench!

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LA September 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Thank you for posting this. Now 28, it has been almost 16 years since I battled anorexia and I had a period of extreme stress about a year and a half ago that reawakened my food restriction and obsession. I gave the scale up a month ago and saw a nutritionist to help get back on track. Now I see myself as an athlete who wants to be strong and healthy and not a girl struggling to be as thin as I think I need to be. My husband and I are going to try to start a family next year and I hope to pass along a positive sense of self to my children. Your post motivates me to keep moving toward being healthy, despite having “tough” days. Thank you.

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