This article was originally published on Better After 50.
I used to weigh myself two times a day all through college and until I had my first child -- and began again after my second was born. It started because the daily dorm breakfast of buttered cinnamon toast (three slices) ended up pushing on the seams of my jeans. When I finally got on the scale - it turned out I was up 8 pounds - Never had a weight issue before and now I was freaked.
That set the whole ritual of weighing in obsessively in motion. This is not a love/hate relationship -- it's something I saw as an obligation -- hence -- no fun! My scale and I have not been the best of friends. For the next few decades as I pass that scale in the bathroom my inner voice nags me, "check that scale to make sure you're not getting fat "-- and then if I'm really feeling powerful, I bypass it. Finally I have made a major power move and I think I've broken this annoying habit. It's been three months and no nagging inner voice cajoling me to step on the scale -- I'm winning the battle but the war won't be over til I throw the damn thing out.
As a BA50, I think my body is smart and knows how it's supposed to look. All I have to do is feed it and exercise it and dress it and be grateful I'm able to do what I do everyday. I'm done with the "fight" to try to have the "boy" hips of some of my friends -- I've learned to embrace my curves. Hey, have you seen the curvaceous top model Kate Upton -- a full figured runway model who is now the face of Sam Edelman, Express and Guess Clothing, Bobbi Brown cosmetics and on the cover of Elle and Vogue. She's got plenty of skin and it looks damn sexy. Fashion may be trending to a more full figured look and frankly I'm hoping that takes the pressure off our teenagers and 20-somethings.
So as I walk on by that ridiculous digital floor mat and bypass the poundage check I know there's at least four good reasons why it's about to be tossed in the recycle bin:
- Weighing-in actually has a reverse health effect on me. If my weight is below what I thought it would be -- I am suddenly starving and inevitably eat my way back to equilibrium. If my weight is up, I feel miserable and cranky and it ruins my day.
- Scales Lie. They don't really give you your true weight so why torture yourself. We all know that scales don't reflect hormonal changes like water retention or irregular bowel movements. Also, If you have a crooked floor or a worn out spring in your scale -- lean to the left or right -- you can get the numbers to move in your favor. Or if you've been working out a lot we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. So, honestly, you've learned very little from the weigh-in.
- Disempowering the scale is an act of courage and liberation. Anthropomorphizing the scale is a bad power move and we all do it. The scale does not hold power over you -- it's an inanimate object for goodness sakes. Ditching the scale and taking my body weight into my own hands feels freeing.
- Not weighing myself feels like a daily act of kindness and self love. Self acceptance is not always easy -- but it's a lot easier when I don't get on the scale. Just slipping on my shorts or jeans and being in my day - not obsessed by a number that's "imperfect" feels like a gift.