Throw Out the Scales
The Dreaded Scales
I have strong views about scales as a measurement. Like so many women I spent a huge part of my teens and 20s standing on those horrible things. I obsessed over them. I counted calories in and calories out and willed those scales to change under my mere gaze more often than I want to even consider trying to count.
Quite frankly I think they are a horrible invention and should only be used (and sold to) medical and wellbeing professionals. They should not be for indivudal use.
To start with they are a grossly inaccurate weighing device to start with. The majority you buy are not calibrated, nor serviced. Tell me a singular piece of medical equipment you would believe in if it had not been calibrated?!
Yet you jump on those things and believe the number as if its real!
Secondly how we weigh ourselves on them is also against basic scientific practices. Do you weigh yourself religiously in the same clothes or no clothes at all? Do you take a best of three and average it? Are you being measured with your head up and someone else doing the readings? Do you do it at the same time of day?
I know the answer to all of the questions as do you!
Do not even get me started on all the variables of fluid retention that can impact women in the specific field I work in from breastfeeding to mensuration.
Throw them out!!!!
I have absolutely no idea what my weight is and have no intention of ever knowing in my life time. The last time I saw a figure on a set of scales was when I was pregnant with my second son. At the time of writing this blog he is about to turn eight years old next week so that is the best part of a decade.
When I was pregnant with Ray yes I got measured but I never looked at the scales. I had to have some major surgery when Ray was six months old and they needed to take my weight for the general anesthetic and even then I stood on them and didn’t look and asked they did not read it out. I did this again with the surgery I have just had and made sure the nurse weighing me understood very clearly that she was not to read this out.
I never weigh any of my clients - in fact I do not count calories and very rarely give exact portions of any food or food group!
Here is what your weight on scales do not measure or tell you:
* Your overall wellbeing
* Your strength
* Your muscle mass
*Your fat mass
* What your body can do
*What your brain can do
*Your mental health
*The nutrient density of what you are eating
*How much toxic products or foods going into your body
* Insulin resistance
* Your self-worth
*If you have given birth or not
You get my point right????!!!!!
My biggest advice is if you have them at home
THROW THEM OUT - NOW!!
You will know if the actions you are taking in your wellbeing are creating changes. This will force you to focus on the inward feelings and changes first -good - that is what you should be focus on. It will force you to find other ways to measure your progress like what your body can do! How much vegetables you ate in a day.
Because we live in a society that focuses so heavily on our outward appearance do not worry others will tell you if it has changed. Do no rely on it (PLEASE) but it will come regardless. The way your clothes fit and feel will also likely change - and even that is a whole other kettle of fish right!
My body has changed so much over the last decade. I have had a total of five pregnancies, two miscarriage's and three full terms babies. I have had two rounds of major neuro-surgery in that time too.
How the hell does a number of the scales reflects what my body has gone through, what I am doing to keep up with my wellbeing or currently at present working on recovering from my second surgery which was end of November last year.
I took these photographs two days ago in the gym. I hate taking photographs of myself working out or post. I have no idea how to stand (and do not care). I am always careful and reluctant to post such photographs too as I know it can drive such negative feelings and emptions. I share them though to show you my actual body and my tummy which is how it is after this huge journey as well as surgery I had back in my early 20s. I also want you to see how happy I was.
With that as a disclaimer do you know what I had just done prior to this? I had been up at 5am, sorting two puppies (one very small) and three children. I had done a 45 minute strength session with my trainer and then gone for about a 40 minute hill run. I had cleaned 45kgs which is the heaviest I have done to date even before surgery. It is a running joke between my trainer and I about me lifting my body weight because I have no idea (he does for this reason but knows I am not to know!!). I then went on to do a full days work before the evening mum-shift.
I am so much more than my weight as are you.
Throw them out!!
My last little nudge to you is this point. For those reading this with children too, irrespective of gender, do you want your children to see you jumping on those and getting disappointment, or frustrated? On the opposite side of the coin do you want them seeing you elated when you see the result you want but it has come from harmful practices to get there?. Think about what this is role modeling to them? What you would want for their wellbeing?
Throw them out.
You are so much more valuable and have so much more to offer the world than that stupid number.
x Dr Julie
P.S You might like reading my other blogs in this little mini-series on mindset and setting nutrition goals which are not focused on your weight! One of my other popular blogs right now is one I wrote just before my surgery on my third postpartum journey.