Dr. Megan Rigby
DNP and Certified Nutritionist
Is your happiness being determined by a numerical value? When you look down at the number just beyond your toes, does your mood change? Do you believe this figure is the best indication of your health? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time for a break-up. Happy or sad, this relationship is lopsided and you are simply giving the scale too much power. The time to make a change is NOW.
It may seem obvious, but the scale measures overall weight. This includes our bones, water, muscle and adipose tissue. This number varies from day-to-day based on sodium, hydration, hormones, exercise and even stress. Influxes are a normal occurrence in the human body. The success of your nutrition and fitness cannot be solely based on this variable which can differ from hour-to-hour. It is important to remember that changes in body composition during a fitness journey do not always result in shifts on the scale. Rather the emphasis should be placed on energy levels, inches lost, how your clothes are fitting, and your overall feeling.
The best way to move on from this unhealthy relationship is with a clean break. The scale has shown its true colors and there is no hope that it will change. You cannot attempt to slowly wean yourself off because that desire and impulse is far too strong. It rests on your bathroom floor just waiting to catch your eye. Time to remove the batteries or banish it to the closet. For too long, it has been a part of your daily routine and had the ability to dictate your emotions or behavior. Even if you didn’t vocalize it, you had some ideal number in mind. Some combination of digits that would signify success. It is completely natural when embarking on a health and fitness journey to consider the scale as a valuable metric. However, it’s time for a priority check and a realignment of what really matters.
First things first… You must find happiness with yourself. Cliché, I know, but the truth is the scale certainly won’t do it. There is typically an underlying issue we have not addressed and our failed attempts to find physical success reflect that. A continuous loop of hope, short-term success, frustration, disappointment, and ultimately quitting. We regularly allow ourselves to fall into this vicious cycle due to lack of movement to some arbitrary number. This makes us more vulnerable and susceptible to the ever enticing “fad-diet” which promises to solve all our problems. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Our true and primary goal must be sustainable, long-term success.
Healing the mind and body from within should be the first steps to any nutrition and fitness journey. We seem to overlook or undervalue internal measures because they aren’t visible and are more difficult to quantify. If we place all our energy on the external physique, we will undoubtedly fail at some point. Therefore, balance is key. Eating healthier, exercising regularly, and focusing on a positive mindset will allow you to reap rewards in health, vitality and overall well-being. These are all things your relationship with the scale was missing and it could never provide. No hard feelings… You’ve moved on and are looking forward to what lies ahead. Feeling good on the inside is your new crush. It checks all the boxes and gives you butterflies like you’ve never felt before. Sounds like a keeper.