Please, Please, Please Stop Obsessing About the Scales

02/07/2014 12:13 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2014
  • Katie Lowe Blogger, health and body image warrior

I beg you. Implore you. Throw shade at you 'til you give in. Whatever works, really.

Just stop obsessing about the number on the scales. Because it does not, and should not, define you.

It's just a number -- and one that doesn't pay any attention to who you are, what you've done, or whether or not you're a good person. It doesn't take into account water retention, undigested food, or how recently you hit the bathroom.

All the scales do is measure -- roughly -- the force on you due to gravity. That is all.

We live in a world of quick fix diets and Biggest Loser-style success stories, which means we're surrounded by the idea that a) the scales are really, really important and b) it's possible, and normal, to lose "double-digits" every week.

Let me be clear -- neither of these things are true.

Extreme diets -- like Slim Fast, the Atkins, cabbage soup and the rest -- play into this. Sure, you'll see the scale drop dramatically in a short space of time -- but chances are, you'll be losing water, muscle and potentially also kidney and liver function. Big woop.

Long-term health, though, is just that: long-term. It's an investment, so instead of getting the quick win hey-I-lost-16-pounds-in-48-hours rush (and inevitable crash), you get the pleasure of being healthy and happy. Oh, and chances are you'll get leaner, fitter, and probably gain great skin, hair and nails as an added bonus.

The scales are only tangentially relevant to this. They're one approximate measurement of many.

So listen carefully, 'cause I'm delivering a little bit of tough love.

If you're measuring your success and personal happiness on the scales, you are doing it wrong. You will not succeed in changing your lifestyle, or being happy when you're still pinning your hopes on losing ten pounds the second you make a couple of lil' lifestyle changes.

I'm telling you this not to be snarky, but because you deserve to be happy. I have to shout about this, and beg you to listen, because Weight Watchers, Diet Chef, and Slim Fast are all giving you the wrong message with their multi-million dollar advertising budgets.

I don't have one of those -- but consider me declaring to you, personally:

You are not on The Biggest Loser. Your body is not something that can be changed in a day. You are so much more than just a number.

So put the scales away, and focus on living a healthy life. Go by your dress size, your energy levels, your measurements, whatever.

Just please -- please -- stop giving a damn about the scales.