I Stopped Weighing Myself: Here’s What It Did For My Self-Esteem
It was the winter of 2012. Marco and I had been dating for six-months and spent most of our free time together. Something we did (and still do) regularly was go to the gym together. I’d head upstairs to “glide” (as he calls it) on the elliptical and he’d stay downstairs to lift weights.
I’d always been afraid of weight-lifting, fearing that it would make me “bulk up” or gain weight. I’d been a cardio girl since the first time I’d stepped foot in a gym. However, around this time… I wanted to try something new.
I’m not sure exactly what it was… but something clicked and I wanted a change from the ol’ cardio routine. So, Marco started helping me with weight-training. I don’t know about you, but for me, it was terrifying to start lifting weights in the gym. I thought people would be watching me, thinking “that girl has no idea what she’s doing!”
Truth is, people really don’t pay as much attention to us as we assume they do!
A few weeks into lifting weights, as I regularly hopped on the scale, I saw a steady pattern in the increase of my weight. This steady climb really got under my skin. Even after I’d started working on having a positive body mindset.
I loved that I was feeling stronger, I loved that I didn’t have to spend hours on the elliptical, and I loved that I was working out in a way that made me feel… empowered.
But I was still FREAKED out by the climb I was seeing on the scale. Would it just keep going up? Am I going to get bulky? Am I doing something wrong?
I remember this day like it was yesterday: I was standing in my studio apartment with Marco and I’d just stepped off the scale. I said to him “I think I’m going to go back to just cardio and stop lifting weights.”
Marcos response was something along the lines of… So, you’re going to stop doing something that’s been really fun and is healthy for your body because of the number on the scale that doesn’t really mean anything?
BAM. At that point I knew… What am I letting this number do to me? I’m about to give up a healthful habit that’s helping me to feel strong, confident, and empowered all because this little number I see seems to be climbing?
It was right then that I decided to give up the scale. But I didn’t vow to give it up indefinitely. I vowed to put it away for a month, and Marco was helping me to be accountable. I promised to tell him if I stepped on it so he could support me and talk me through it with me.
I stuck that scale in the back of my closet and never looked back. After one month passed I asked myself: “Do you want to weigh yourself?” And the answer was no.
I had continued to lift weights and began to feel better and better in my body. Empowered. Enjoying exercise, and just happier. My self-esteem had majorly improved and I was proud that I had worked through this roadblock.
I had let go of something that had held me back for so long.
In order to let go of the scale I had to think through these questions:
- Does the scale itself actually have ANYTHING to do with my weight? NO
- Does the scale actually do anything to change how healthy I am? NO
- Therefore, am I safe to let it go and still feel good in my body? YES
I had to realize that apart from giving me some form of measurement, the scale actually had nothing to do with me being healthy.
But the choices I made daily had everything to do with my health.
For me, health isn’t measured in numbers. It’s measured in how I feel day to day. It’s measured in how I speak to myself. It’s measured in the joy I have. It’s measured in how I care for myself, and treat my body on a regular basis.
So, since late 2012, I have not weighed myself. When I go to the doctor, I simply turn around and say “Do you mind not sharing this number with me?” and every time they say “Oh, sure. No problem.” It’s as if they hear it more often than we’d think.
That scale that I’d once stuck in the back of my closet? Well, it stayed there for a couple years and visited the trashcan later on. I went to donate it one day and thought to myself “Honestly, this isn’t something I want to share… I’m going to toss it.”
Letting go of the scale has given me so much freedom in my body.
Now on days where I feel heavy, I don’t run to the scale to confirm that I’ve gained weight and punish myself. Instead, I’m able to be gentle with myself and remember that for the rest of my life, I’ll always have days where I feel heavier – this is normal.
On days where I feel great in my body, I don’t have to run to the scale to confirm that I’ve lost weight. Rather, I just continue feeling good. I embrace the feeling and continue making normal/neutral choices around food & my body. All is okay in the world. I’M CALM.
So, I want to ask you… Are you currently weighing yourself? How is this serving you? What role does the scale play in your life? Would letting go of the scale give you more freedom in your body?