If you have a love-hate relationship with your scale, I highly recommend that you break up with your scale once and for all. Throw away your scale. Hide it. Tuck it into the back corner of your basement. Here are ten reasons to seriously consider it.
1. Have you ever had a day when you are feeling great and then you step on the scale and your day is permanently ruined? A scale can make or break your mood in an instance. Stop letting the scale play head games with you.
2. If you really want to know how your weight is impacting your health, get a tape measure. What really matters is your waist circumference. A high waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of health problems like type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. If you are a male, your waist circumference should be less than 40 inches. If you are woman, less than 35 inches.
3. Your weight alone is a poor indicator of your health. You can be very thin and unhealthy (be malnourished, have osteoporosis or high cholesterol for example) or overweight and healthy (no heart disease, good cholesterol etc.). Don't get lulled into believing that your weight can determine if you are fit or not. Get a complete physical by your doctor to determine how healthy you are.
4. A scale doesn't tell you about your strength and endurance. Can you run a mile? Can you touch your toes? Can you walk comfortable? These things are what really matter to your life. Not being able to do these daily activities tells you a lot about the state of your health.
5. Use your clothing as your guide. Your clothes help you to have a better perceptual awareness of your body. Numbers on a scale do not. Your scale may "tell" you that you've lost five pounds -- but how do you "know" it? Your clothes help you to sense it. Without even stepping on the scale, clothes alert you to whether you have lost or gained weight.
6. A scale does not measure your body fat to muscle ratio. As you become more fit, your muscle mass goes up and therefore your weight increases. A scale is not sophisticated enough to know the difference. Therefore, if you need to know more about your body, get your body fat composition evaluated by a personal trainer at a sports clinic or wellness facility.
7. A scale doesn't consider your healthy weight "range." It only gives you one number. Within a day or two, your weight naturally goes up and down depending on things like your water intake, salt consumption, PMS and other factors. So, it is natural for your weight to fluctuate a little rather than stay on one exact number.
8. Do you use your scale for punishment or reinforcement? Do you reward yourself when the number is down and punish yourself when it is up? A scale can't determine your worth even though we often give it that power.
9. As human beings, we love to quantify things, to see our progress in numbers. Instead, focus on the process of eating mindfully rather than the outcome results of a number on a scale. If you are eating healthy, your weight will drop. You have more power over the doing activities to keep you healthy than moving the numbers.
10. Scales are not all the same. Don't be surprised if your weight at home is different than what they record at the doctor's office. Scales are machines. While relatively on target, for the weight obsessed, even a pound difference can throw you into a tizzy.
For some, a scale is a helpful tool. For others, a scale warps your emotional relationship with your body. If this sounds like you, I hope this has convinced you to rethink your relationship with your scale. Say audios scale!
By: Dr. Susan Albers (see Dr. Susan Albers on Dr. Oz on Thursday January 21st!). She is a psychologist and author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Eat, Drink & Be Mindful, Mindful Eating 101 and Eating Mindfully.