The Scale Is the Devil

January 29, 2014


135. This number has been haunting me for a while. It's something that I've come to obsess about, worry about and have even cried about. At my smallest, I was 135 pounds. I felt good, I looked good and having reached that number (when I was once around 158 pounds), it was a way to validate my ability to control life. I was a vegetarian, worked out daily, was disciplined, but suffered from depression (which oftentimes caused me not to eat). But it didn't matter because 135,  was my trophy and there was never a reason to shy away from telling people how much I weighed. 135 was more than just a number on the scale. It defined my willpower, and ultimately who I was. Fast forward five years later post marriage, graduate degree, 3 cross country moves, numerous half marathons, 1 marathon and being a full-time entrepreneur, I'm still obsessed with 135 even though I'm a ways away from that number, but probably healthier, mentally and physically than I was five years ago. I found that I constantly beat myself up because I couldn't seem to make my way back to that number.

2014 is the year that I've decided to confront my scale demons. Here's the deal. Your body weight isn't the end all be all and can be quite deceiving. Your body mass index (BMI) and overall fitness level should also be a part of the equation. Also, realize that the number on the scale can fluctuate because of water retention and hormones ("Help! Why Does My Workout Cause Weight Gain?"). What helped me come to this revelation? A few things. Other than my husband constantly hiding the scale from me, a testimony from one of our members help me come to my "Ah ha" moment. She's around 5'7", weighs 160 pounds and wears a size 6. SAY WHAT?????? BUT, she lifts weights consistently and is working on becoming lean, not losing weight.  I also read a great article, "Why the Scale Can Do More Harm Than Good." It was if a light bulb was finally switched on in my head.

Now, the flip side of that is according to my height and body fat, I still need to lose weight AND put on some muscle. Doesn't this put me back in the place of obsessing over the scale? No. It's not about achieving a certain number of the scale to validate me, it's about being HEALTHY. Muscle mass is HEALTHY. Being at the recommended BMI is HEALTHY. Being a certain number on the scale IS NOT healthy. There has to be a happy medium and it's body weight + BMI. Have you had issues with obsessing over the number on the scale? Are you willing to admit it?  


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