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Should You Weigh Yourself? The Pros and Cons of Using a Scale to Measure Your Weight Loss and Overall Health

December 7, 2016

weigh-yourself-scale-blog-postCurrently, it has been over 2 months since I have stepped on a scale.  I last weighed myself as I finished up a DietBet challenge around the ‘back to school’ time of year.  In that two months I have taken care to monitor my diet (most of the time ::wink wink:: ) and I have also been in the process of training to for a marathon this coming January 2017.

 

Given that I was conscious of my size in comparison to others since about the age of 10, I had a long tortured relationship with scales up until my late 20’s.  Stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office was often humiliating as a teenager.  The scale’s reading could make or break my whole day when I was spending 2-3 weeks “trying Atkins” again as an older teenager.  Then I could go a couple of years almost completely avoiding the scale all together, at the same time trying to avoid acknowledging that in fact I was morbidly obese by the age of 23.

 

Starting around age 27 my relationship with the scale became less tortured and more functional.  I had begun to change my life and during that time, seeing the numbers drop on the scale was incredibly motivating, especially since I was finally making a lifestyle change and approaching weight loss in a healthy way.

 

Read on to hear my PROS and CONS scale to measure your fitness (or weight loss) success:

 

PROS

  • Weighing on yourself on a scale is an easy way to track progress and notice changes.
  • If you are trying a variety of fitness routines, you can notice how your body looks at different weights. If you are consistent with weighing yourself, you can notice that your body may look different at the same weight, depending on your muscle and fat composition, as well as your level of hydration.
  • Rapid increases or decreases in weight can be an indicator of a medical need. Body weight is a measurement used by medical professionals from the day we are born until the day we die.
  • Seeing numbers going down (or up if you are of the seemingly luck few that are wanting to gain weight) can be motivating. I can surely say that often times when I am closely tracking my weight a loss of a pound or two can keep me on track with my nutrition that day/week.

CONS

  • Weighing yourself daily can easily turn into an obsession. If your mind is not in a healthy this may become a self-destructive ritual.
  • A plateau in your weight loss (or more so a gain!) can wreck your motivation and derail your fitness efforts. If you are not intentionally noticing the other benefits of your fitness efforts such as body measurements changing, increased strength and endurance, as well as an overall better feeling/mood you can soon find yourself feeling like a “failure” simply based on the reading of your scale.
  • A low body weight is not an exclusive indicator of health. If you are using a scale to track your weight in an attempt to get to your ideal “low” weight, your health can be damaged along the way.
  • A scale does not measure the positive, intangible qualities of a person. Whether you’re 10 pounds down, the same weight, or 10 pounds up, the scale cannot tell you how you have impacted the life of another person.  It cannot tell you what a valued friend or family member you are to someone.  The reading on the scale can’t tell you how funny your last joke was.  It just can’t measure the important attributes that make you yourself.

 

 

Ultimately the scale is just a tool that should be used with balance.  There is no need to weigh yourself daily.  A well rounded fitness tracking program would likely have you weighing yourself once a week, on the same scale, at the same time of day.  Your weight is just a detail in the overall package that is you.  If you have personal goals related to health and fitness this detail can be included in the tracking of your goals without a need to define yourself by the number.

 

Do you weigh yourself?  Or are you anti-scale.  I’d love for you to share your scale story below 🙂

 

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About chelseasfitlife@gmail.com:
I am a runner and fitness fanatic who is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. I live in Texas and divide my time between raising 3 children, teaching, and living a fit life.

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