Last month I challenged myself to break up with my scale and a number of women from the Fitness for Women Reddit joined me. For an entire month I didn’t jump on the scale every morning like I had for the last decade. Read on to find out how it went.
The Break-Up Aftermath
After breaking up with my scale, I ate everything I could for two weeks. No, I didn’t run across the street to Taco Bell and try a Doritos shell taco, but I did eat things I normally wouldn’t. I ate fruit daily, including bananas which almost have more carbs in them than I usually eat in a whole day. I don’t even really like bananas that much. You know those Cuties clementines? I do love those and I was downing those like it was my job.
I wasn’t tracking what I ate, and even stopped my normal walking routine. It was like knowing I wasn’t going to hop on the scale gave me permission to completely let myself go. After about 10 days of this, I had to leave the house for something so I had to put on real clothes rather than the yoga pants I live in. I put on a pair of jeans and they were pulled tight across my backside. After just 10 days of eating with reckless abandon, I couldn’t comfortably sit in jeans that always fit.
The next weekend CK and I were going out of town to see some Cubs Spring Training games. I decided that I would enjoy the weekend of eating out, then get back on plan on Monday.
Monday morning I got on the scale but didn’t look at the number. I had CK record my weight so I could see how much damage I actually did during those two weeks, and how much I recovered in the subsequent two. For the remainder of the month I was back on track with measuring my intake and cycling my calories/macros based on workout vs. non-workout days. Luckily we were out of Cuties by that time.
On April 1st, I hopped on the scale and weighed in around 131, which was great because I had no net gain for the month despite enjoying my two week foodfest. I was curious to see where I was at mid-month when I did my blind weigh-in, so I asked CK and he told me I was…131 pounds. So, I hadn’t actually gained anything during the first half of the month and didn’t lose anything in the second half.
The Lifelong Commitment
Over the next two weeks, I sporadically weighed in. One day I would be 134, the next I’d be back at 131. Swings like this are normal for everyone, but especially for someone working out every other day and cycling caloric intake. Normally, a 3 pound increase in weight would have put me in a bad mood and made me give up on my goals (for a day or so before getting back on track). However, after breaking my weigh-in habit for a month, I felt ready to let go of the meaningless number on the scale.
I finally realized that unless you are drastically over or underweight, the scale doesn’t matter. If you are trying to build muscle and lose a bit of fat, the number on your scale isn’t going to mean a damn thing. You can put on 5 pounds but look better than ever. I’ve heard that said a thousand times and never believed it. Now I do.
I’ll still hop on the scale from time to time, more out of curiosity than anything. But I will no longer let the number on the scale have any negative effect on how I feel about myself.
I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be perfect with what I eat all the time. I always tell people it’s okay to loosen up once in a while if you need a break. In fact, cheat days can actually be beneficial mentally and physically. But, I never let it be true for me. Now I’ve come to my senses.
If you recognized some of yourself in my breaking up with my scale post, I encourage you to try a 30-day no weigh-in challenge and see how it changes your feelings about the scale. Drop a comment here and let me know how it goes.