Having a healthy relationship with the scale is incredibly difficult. Our health and fitness journeys can sometimes be completely overridden by this one silly number we may be trying to obtain. I know from personal experience that this number can mess around with your head. I get so many questions from you guys (especially young girls) in my DM’s asking me how to avoid getting upset when you step on the scale, and I felt that it was important that I finally address how to fight the number on the sale! Here is how I fight the number on the scale.
Get to know your body…. No, really
This may sound simple, but I believe that this is the most important step in fighting the number on the scale. By “getting to know your body” I mean truly study your body. How does eating a certain food affect you? How does a certain exercise make you feel? How does it respond to lack of sleep? A lot of sleep? Caffeine? Do you feel better when drinking more water? Sugar keeping you up at night? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. My advice? Take a week and focus on your body (while it takes longer than a week to truly get to know your body, this will be a start). Eat how you normally would, do your average daily routines, and journal. Write down how a meal made you feel, how exercising made you feel, how you felt waking up in the morning. This will help you track patterns, changes that need to be made and give you solid concrete information to help you truly learn how to feel your best in your body. A scale will never tell you these things, I promise.
Forget the goal weight number
You know that number? THE NUMBER. “When I weigh ___ I will ____”. Setting a goal weight is probably the single worst thing you can do for yourself and your journey. It depletes confidence, body image and diminishes any goal we set for ourselves. We normally choose a weight that is way too low and unobtainable. If you must set yourself a goal weight, I recommend giving yourself a range. Did you know that the average adult ranges 5-6 pounds PER DAY? Allow yourself grace, because it’s normal to fluctuate weight. Giving yourself one set number will deter your journey for better health and fitness, not help it.
Focus on how you feel, not how much you weigh
This goes hand in hand with the two points above. By getting to know your body well, you can begin focusing on the real changes… what is happening on the inside and how you are feeling. Does increasing your exercise give you more energy? By meal planning and preparing your food ahead of time, is your body feeling better? We like to call these “non scale victories”! Things you can see or feel that have nothing to do with the number on the scale. My personal favorites are being able to do more reps, feeling stronger during a workout, having more energy! Just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean you aren’t losing inches or making progress elsewhere. I promise, there are many other areas to focus on to see your progress.
Remember MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT
I changed up the type of training I do adding in more strength training and my diet, sleep, stress are all about the same. Lauren - why is the number on the scale going up?? I know muscle weighs more than fat, but it still freaks me out. Sound familiar? You are not alone.
YES muscle weighs more than fat. My question to you - how are you feeling? Do you feel more energized in your workouts? Are you looking in the mirror and noticing more muscle tone?
We may see some changes on the scale because your body composition is changing and you might see differences in your shape and measurements. This could be partly due to you gaining some lean muscle while decreasing body fat. While this typically only occurs with people who are newer to lifting weights and paying closer attention to their nutrition and training in general, it doesn’t mean we won’t see this even if you’ve been at it for awhile.
So with that being said, weight fluctuates up and down based on where you are in your cycle and some days you might retain more water from that alone. And muscle is also more dense than fat so that means if you gain muscle your scale weight goes up even as you’re slimming down.
When in doubt, THROW IT OUT
It may come down to just tossing your scale all together. Scale obsession is a real thing. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the number, obsessing over calories or macros due to this number… just toss it out (or hide it). As I said above, you can fluctuate 5-6 pounds per day, so weighing yourself multiple times a day can lead to further deterioration of self confidence, self loathing and feeling like you need to punish yourself for the fluctuations.
Fighting the number on the scale isn’t easy. But it is possible. Inside the Grown Strong community we aim to focus on our non scale victories and how we are feeling to fight this number. Creating support, and a group of women around you who are going through the same issues, really can help to push you to focus on things outside the scale. Click below to check out Grown Strong.
Do you struggle with fighting the numbers on the scale?
Comment below with your scale woes and let’s fight this thing together!