As someone who has struggled with body image and weight for most of my life, I have come to realise that stepping on the scale regularly can negatively impact my mental health and overall well-being. Seeing a number that is not what I expected can send me spiralling into negative self-talk and feelings of shame and guilt.
I have also learned that weight is not necessarily a good indicator of my overall health or fitness levels. In fact, two people who weigh the same may have very different body compositions, with one having more muscle and less fat than the other. This means that weight alone does not provide a complete picture of my health.
If you are an obsessive weigher, here are some reasons to take a break from the scales and stop weighing yourself.
5 Reasons why you should stop weighing yourself
1. Weight is not an accurate measure of overall health
Weight is not an accurate measure of overall health because it does not take into account other factors that contribute to our health and well-being.
For instance, two individuals who weigh the same may have vastly different body compositions, with one having a higher proportion of muscle mass and the other having a higher proportion of body fat.
Moreover, weight does not factor in other indicators of good health, such as:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol levels
- Mental well-being
In fact, an unhealthy focus on weight loss can lead to restrictive diets, obsessive exercise, or other unhealthy behaviours that can be detrimental to our health and well-being in the long run.
Even world renowned weight loss programs such as WeightWatchers now focus on overall health as opposed to calorie counting and traditional weigh-ins.
2. Weighing ourselves can lead to negative emotions
I know as much as the next person how horrible weighing ourselves can make us feel. This is because our weight can fluctuate daily, and we may not always see the number on the scale that we were hoping for. This can lead to feelings of guilt, or desperation, particularly if we have a certain number in mind that we want to achieve.
For many, our weight is tied to our self-esteem and body image, and seeing a higher number on the scale can reinforce negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy. This emotional rollercoaster can harm our mental health and overall well-being and can lead to a negative cycle of disordered eating or overexercising to try to control our weight.
3. It can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise
Weighing ourselves frequently can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise by reinforcing the idea that weight loss is the only indicator of success or progress. This can create an obsessive focus on the number on the scale, which can lead to restrictive diets, over-exercising, or other unhealthy behaviours.
Seeing a higher number on the scale may lead to feelings of guilt or shame, which can trigger restrictive eating or skipping meals altogether. On the other hand, seeing a lower number may lead to a false sense of achievement, which can lead to overeating or bingeing.
An unhealthy focus on weight can overshadow the enjoyment of physical activity, leading to over-exercising or engaging in exercise that we don’t enjoy, solely to burn calories. This can lead to burnout, injury, or other negative consequences.
4. Stop weighing yourself because it’s demotivating
Another reason to stop weighing yourself is because it can be demotivating. Weight loss is not always a linear process, and there may be fluctuations in our weight due to factors including but not limited to:
- Water retention
- Hormonal changes
- Menstrual cycle
Seeing the number on the scale not budge, or worse, go up, despite our best efforts, can be discouraging and demotivating.
An unhealthy fixation on weight loss can create an all-or-nothing mindset, where we feel like a failure if we don’t see the number on the scale move in the direction we want it to. This can create feelings of disappointment or hopelessness, which can make it difficult to stay motivated and committed to our health and fitness goals.
Therefore, it’s important to focus on progress rather than perfection, and celebrate the small wins along the way.
This point alone is a good reason to stop weighing yourself.
5. It encourages a narrow view of health and well-being
Weighing ourselves frequently can encourage a narrow view of health and well-being because it reinforces the idea that weight is the most important measure of our overall health. This can create an unrealistic and limited definition of success and progress, which can be demotivating and lead to unhealthy behaviours.
Focusing solely on weight can also overlook other important indicators of health, such as body composition, strength, endurance, and mental health. This narrow focus can create an unhealthy mindset where we believe that achieving a certain number on the scale is the only way to feel good about ourselves, which can lead to feelings of disappointment, frustration, or even humiliation if we don’t achieve our desired weight.
An unhealthy fixation on weight can create an all-or-nothing mindset, where we believe that losing weight is the only way to achieve our health and fitness goals. This can lead to restrictive diets, over-exercising, or other unhealthy behaviours that may provide short-term results but are not sustainable in the long run.
CONCLUSION: Why you should stop weighing yourself
In conclusion, I have come to the realisation that weighing myself frequently is not a sustainable approach to my health and well-being. I have learned that weight is not an accurate measure of overall health and that an unhealthy fixation on weight can lead to negative emotions, an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, and a narrow view of health and wellness.
I have discovered that focusing solely on weight can create an unrealistic expectation of weight loss that is not always achievable or sustainable in the long run. Furthermore, an unhealthy fixation on weight can lead to unhealthy practices such as crash dieting, over-exercising, or other extreme measures that may provide short-term results but are not sustainable in the long run.
Instead, I have learned that it’s important to adopt a more holistic approach to my health and well-being that focuses on sustainable habits and lifestyle changes. This includes engaging in regular physical activity that I enjoy, nourishing my body with a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole foods, and practicing self-care and stress management techniques.
By adopting a more holistic approach to my health and well-being, I can achieve sustainable results and maintain my health and fitness goals in the long run. I have come to understand that my worth is not determined by a number on the scale, and that true health and well-being are about so much more than just my weight.