"When should I weigh myself?" you ask? Some say to do it daily, some say weekly, and some day never. Some say morning and some say night. In this post you'll find out what I recommend in terms of when to weigh yourself.
When To Weigh Yourself
I used to weigh myself daily. No, that's a lie. I weighed myself multiple times per day. After every meal at one point, actually. It became a straight obsession. It started off innocently and then quickly spiraled out of control. The number on the scale dictated my entire mood for the day. That's when I realized I had a problem and needed to stop weighing myself. If you want to hear more about my story you can find all of the detail in this post I wrote on how I was able to make peace with food and my body.
Now, I realize that not every single person out there has such an addictive personality as I do and the same obsession may not develop. But, I still stand behind my stance of when to weigh yourself being... never. Here's why:
- The Health At Every Size movement (HAES) is showing that our weight is not as strong of a predictor of our health as we once thought
- Your weight fluctuates daily, chasing a number will only lead to frustrations (Put this into perspective, pooping affects weight, 1-4 lbs!!! So, what does that number even mean?!)
- It can hinder your ability for your body to tell you what it truly needs (for instance maybe you're getting sick and you're feeling hungrier. Ignoring the fact that your body needs more energy because you want the number to go down will only elongate your illness. Feed a cold, feed a fever! Not feed a cold, starve a fever...silly!)
- It can lead to an eating disorder. Self-weighing behaviors is associated with ED psycopathology.
How To Stop Weighing Yourself Everyday
Weighing yourself can become more than just something you're used to doing. It can become a habit, something you feel compelled to do. Simply saying "Well, just don't do it" isn't helpful, I get that. I've been there. So, here are some realistic tips for you to put into play to make those thoughts of "I need to weigh myself" go away.
Get rid of the scale. No, no. Smash it. GET ANGRY! Doing something profound like this can make it easier for you to stick to your guns and NOT step on it.. because it's gone.
Okay so you smashed your scale, right? Well, from personal experience I know how easy it is to run to the store and just buy another. How do I know this? Because I've done it...like three times. If you follow along with the blog regularly you know how much I recommend journaling, because it WORKS! It's such a simple task, but so effective. Study after study has proven this. Here is a great article on the health benefits of journaling! Jot down what you feel the scale would do for you and if that's true. Would it give you validation? Does it really define your success? etc. You can try writing one of my fave intuitive eating affirmations. I have a list of 20 of my fave intuitive eating affirmations here!
Have support. I can't say enough how important it is to have support. Have a girlfriend (or guy friend!) or two to be able to talk to about this. Don't let those thoughts swirl around in your head, they become 100x worse. Talking (or text!) it out!
How To Weigh Yourself Without A Scale
Okay, listen up. Sometimes we rely on the scale to see "how we're doing". Which, really doesn't correlate. I mean, that number fluctuates so much, isn't a determinant of our health.... so how it it a good assessment of us? I do think it's important to check in with yourself and see how you're doing overall. That is being mindful and getting in tune with your needs. Instead of using the scale for this (which doesn't tell us anything) try taking your internal temperature of a few areas of your life like:
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Emotional health
You can rate these on a scale of 1-10 and see which areas need a little more attention. This is a MUCH better way to "check in" with yourself VS the scale. You're weighing your needs, if you will!
I recommend doing this at least 1x a week. It can be a nice part of a Friday routine, to see how the week went and make adjustments for the next.
I Just Weighed Myself!
Okay, so you try everything I've mentioned and... you still weighed yourself. What now?! Shake it off, girlfriend. Easier said than done, I know. Grab your journal and answer these few questions:
- What does that number mean? I mean TRULY mean? Answer this question based upon what we know from the section above where we chatted about the reasons to NOT weight yourself
- Does that number change anything?
- Out-loud, say 3 non-scale related things that you love about yourself. Maybe you're compassionate, driven, kind, etc. Those don't change depending on the number you see.
- Talk it out. That support system we chatted about earlier? Well, dial those numbers! Talk it out!
So, there you have it. When to weigh yourself? Don't. Even if you feel like you'd mentally and physically feel better at a lower weight, focus on how you FEEL, not a weight. Only your body knows where it feels best at. No number on a scale can tell you that. It will only give you the WORST mood swings!
If you're wondering what to do about doctor's appointments or other times you might be weighed, don't worry. Most of the times you can ask not to be weighed at a doctor's office. Unless you have weight based meds there is a good chance they'll be totally fine with it. WAY more people ask this than you'd think! Also, you can be weighed backwards, so you don't see the number. Just be careful with discharge summaries or online portals. The number may sneak into those places!
Leave a comment with your thoughts! Have you smashed a scale before?! Let me know!
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