"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Monday, November 14, 2011

My "Toss the Scale" Moment

For a long time, I both hated and was obsessed with the scale. I thought whatever number flashed in neon colors at me was magical and determined how I felt about myself. I remember being in seventh grade and getting on the scale for the first time in awhile, wearing a brand new pair of size 17 jeans (I'm pretty sure I didn't wear jeans through sixth and half of seventh grade because I liked the comfort/room of sweatpants)... and seeing a pretty high number. That killed me! I had known, of course, that I was heavy-- especially going to a school where there were only 18 girls in my entire grade, I stood out. I also did ballet, and I most definitely stood out there too. The scale, however, solidified it for me.

It was those size 17 jeans and that pretty high number (at the time) that made me first go on Atkins. Thirty pounds and quite a few sizes smaller later, I didn't stand out anymore. But, of course, I couldn't keep up the low-carbing. I started working at Dunkin Donuts in eighth grade, then went to high school (where I was introduced to carby cafeteria food and essentially lived on pizza and Subway during theatre season) and stopped dancing... By the summer of junior year, I was back up to that size 17-- but was 40 pounds heavier than I was at my heaviest in seventh grade! How the hell could that possibly work out?

Long story short, I yo-yo low-carb dieted junior and senior year, but stayed pretty much in the size 12-16 range. Then I started my quest for weight loss and health second semester of freshman year of college (i.e. through Paleo/Primal/real food), and have never looked back. I also stopped weighing myself at some point last year because it was silly-- why should I go by a number? I knew I was healthy, and I've been out of plus-sizes since early 2010 for the first time since that weight loss in seventh grade... so what was the point?

Today solidified why the scale is stupid. I had to get my vitals taken today so a health form for my study abroad program could be signed, and it turns out I am three pounds lighter now than I was at my heaviest in seventh grade!! I was a size 17 then... and a size 6 now. WHOA.

Clearly, that number on the scale means nothing. It doesn't measure health. It doesn't measure your clothing size. It's completely pointless and only serves to stress people out that they're "fat" if they see a certain number. So stop obsessing over a number, especially if you're working out and building muscle, because muscle weighs more than fat! Want more proof? Check out Everyday Paleo's "Attention Scale Addicts, Part 2."

So toss the scale. If you're keeping track of your progress, buy a measuring tape instead and go by inches-- not weight-- lost. Sure, it's awesome to say "I lost [insert #] pounds," but what does that even mean? Nothing, really! I think it's so much more of an accomplishment if you can say "Well, I didn't lose any weight, but I lost [insert #] inches and am now [insert #] sizes smaller!" That number on the scale doesn't represent anything, so please don't freak out about it! Just get rid of it! You are more than a number!

Quote of the Day:
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." -The Buddha


  1. That's so true! I went paleo 2 months ago (and I am working out 2-3 times a week) and one of my pants which I wasn't able to wear for the last six months fits again! But does it show on the scale? NO. I've lost several centimeters from everywhere on my body and maybe 2 kilogramms. So I decided to forget about the scale and just be happy about my forming new body. :)

    PS: I just discovered your blog and totally like your thoughts!

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