55 Things the Scale Won't Tell You


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/17/2014 12:00 AM   :  28 comments   :  89,037 Views

Picture this: It's time for your weekly weigh-in, and you are confident that you've lost a pound or two. You've eaten very well this week and have been even more consistent with your exercise than you usually are. You take a deep breath, close your eyes and step on the scale, your heart skipping a beat. You brace yourself, open your eyes, and… your heart sinks into your stomach and you clench your fists. Your weight is up one pound since last week.

What's going through your mind? Is it a frenzy of horribly negative self-talk? Do you feel like a worthless failure who can't do anything right? Do you swear and stamp your foot and move the scale to another spot on the bathroom floor in the hopes that the number will change?

If you've had any (or all) of these reactions after a disappointing weigh-in, you're not alone. But think about how crazy that roller coaster is! Why should a number on a scale make you feel so nervous—and then so painfully defeated when it isn't what you had hoped for? Why should a number on a scale ruin your day and make you say horrible things to yourself that you would never dream of saying to a friend? 

We've all been sucked into the scale's siren song from time to time—and it makes sense why. The scale is appealing because it shows an instant, tangible metric of how you're progressing, and it seems like an easy way to tell if your weight-loss plan is working. But it's also easy to get too attached to that number—and you might start to define yourself based on what your morning weigh-in says, despite your best intentions. What's worse is, that number you're so fixated on might not even be an accurate gauge of your true progress! Your body is a complex machine; depending on fluid shifts, hormonal changes, when you last ate, how much sodium you've ingested, and multiple other factors, your weight could fluctuate by several pounds in just a single day.

So, the next time the number on the scale gets you down, step off, take a deep breath, and remember this: The only thing the scale can tell you is the amount of force that gravity has on your body at any given moment.

What can't the scale tell you? A whole lot:

1.      What a good spouse/son/daughter/mother/father/grandma/grandpa you are
2.      How amazing you are at your job
3.      How fast you can run
4.      How much passion you have for your hobbies
5.      How unique your laugh is
6.      How loyal you are
7.      How much better your clothes are fitting
8.      How much water you drink every day
9.      How much you rock your favorite outfit
10.   How much you've grown emotionally
11.   How great your hair looks
12.   How smart you are
13.   How much your blood pressure/cholesterol/blood glucose numbers have improved
14.   The status of your relationship with food
15.   How motivated you are
16.   How  many flights of stairs you can climb
17.   How well you're raising your kids
18.   How many lifelong memories you made on your last vacation
19.   How thoughtful you are
20.   What a great smile you have
21.   How much easier it is to carry your groceries since you've started working out
22.   How good you are at making healthy food choices
23.   How close you are to your friends
24.   How loved you are
25.   How well you can cook
26.   What a genuine person you are
27.   How much muscle mass you've put on in relation to fat lost
28.   The number of good books you've read
29.   How many amazing places you've seen
30.   How many volunteer hours you've logged
31.   How endearing your quirks are
32.   The number of steps you take per day
33.   How ambitious you are
34.   How many times you've passed up a treat for a healthier option
35.   How promising your future is
36.   How appreciated you are
37.   How far you can walk
38.   The number of fruits and veggies you eat every day
39.   How you handle stress
40.   How funny you are
41.   How many inches you've lost
42.   How much knowledge you've gained about healthy living
43.   How compassionate you are
44.   What a good pet owner you are
45.   How confident you are
46.   The number of compliments you've received
47.   How happy you are
48.   The number of medications you've been able to stop taking since getting healthier
49.   How strong your relationships are
50.   How much weight you can lift
51.   The number of people who admire and look up to you
52.   How many challenges you've overcome in your life
53.   How talented you are
54.   How much you've touched the lives of others
55.   How much you're learning and growing every day

Turns out the scale doesn't know so much, does it? The next time you weigh in, take the number with a grain of salt. Never let the number on the scale become the only measure of your worth; make healthy choices, be consistent and trust the process.

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  • 28
    Sounds interesting to me, I want to try also this idea on my home and see what it happens, I hope I could also lose weight with this kind of healthy diet. Thank you for posting this article and share your ideas to us. - 3/16/2015   10:18:57 AM
    I needed to run across this article today. I didn't weigh myself because I felt that I had gained. I will weigh this week. - 2/24/2015   2:05:33 PM
  • 26
    Thank you so much for this article. It made me feel better about myself just reading this. The voice inside was not being very nice and was making me feel very down about myself. - 2/4/2015   8:42:00 PM
  • 25
    I really needed to 'hear' this right now. Thanks for the reminder. Weight loss can be so tough sometimes. - 12/13/2014   9:55:12 AM
  • JUSTASEC2014
    These are also 55 things people should remember and/or consider BEFORE they judge a person who is overweight...just sayin' - 9/21/2014   12:38:26 PM
  • 23
    "be consistent and trust the process" Love it!!! - 7/11/2014   12:34:57 PM
  • 22
    I will love to know how to weigh properly. Do you stand straight or squat on the scale? Anyone please let me know the right thing to do. - 4/25/2014   2:40:38 PM
    I need to share this with a bunch of people I know. Thank you for such a truthful article - 4/9/2014   1:37:35 PM
    Good article. - 4/3/2014   10:13:14 PM
  • 19
    Great way to start my Spring! Super!!! - 3/20/2014   9:36:00 AM
  • 18
    Excellent article! We should all keep these things in mind when we get discouraged. - 3/19/2014   7:06:32 PM
  • JOBZO1
    This is a great article. Thanks. - 3/19/2014   2:36:31 AM
  • 16
    too true. It is FRUSTRATING thought when one is trying to lose weight to NOT see results. - 3/18/2014   10:09:21 PM
  • 15
    It is not so frustrating when I know I was off track the day or days before....but when I have done well...ate healthy, exercised....I look to the scale in hopeful anticipation of the proof of my success....when it is up from the day before...I feel deprived of the proof of my success. I am working on the self talk to get me through the days when the scale is a liar. But I will continue to track daily as it is one method of monitoring my progress. And at my current weight it is hard to see the results - except for the scale. - 3/18/2014   4:34:02 PM
  • 14
    I agree you are more than a number, but, of course there is a but. You still have to look at that gain and address it. Just don't think it will go away on it's own. It might, but you could also ignore it and see another gain in a day or so.
    You should always weigh at the same time of day, early morning, before eating.
    I can gain 4,5 lbs in a day and then by the next morning be back to normal.
    People have to remember the scales is really your friend.
    It helps keep you on track.
    The only person you can get angrey with is yourself.
    And you are the only one who can make changes. - 3/18/2014   3:58:37 PM
    One of the things I've learned is that when the scale goes up, you just return to healthy eating and stay there until it goes down. I used to get discouraged when it did not go down overnight, and now I know it often takes 4 or 5 days. - 3/18/2014   8:25:32 AM
  • 12
    No number defines you as a person, but you still have to pay attention to them whether your cholesterol, the balance in your checking account or your weight. We just have to strive for a balanced outlook. Ignoring numbers isn't the answer either. - 3/18/2014   6:27:41 AM
    Thanks, I needed this! :)
    - 3/17/2014   10:23:23 PM
  • 10
    Had a less than awesome weigh-in this morning, so this really was the perfect article for me today! Thanks. - 3/17/2014   9:10:35 PM
  • 9
    It would be nice if these were things that applied to everyone . . . but still, great reminder for those that these reasons apply to - 3/17/2014   5:49:24 PM
  • SANDRA_99
    I really needed this also. My husband always tells me to not let the number on a scale define you as a person. - 3/17/2014   1:27:32 PM
    I needed this today...thanks! - 3/17/2014   12:29:38 PM
  • 6
    This is great stuff. I love how interspersed with good advice articles, you have ones like this, that empower you and tell you what you might not be hearing from other people, and especially not the scale. Kudos SparkPeople for nurturing our emotions as well. - 3/17/2014   12:20:45 PM
  • 5
    Great post! I think I might create a list with some of those points and tape it to my scale! - 3/17/2014   12:16:53 PM
  • 4
    Oh MAN!!! This is the BEST blog on SparkPeople! Thank you!!! - 3/17/2014   10:59:57 AM
  • 3
    What a great article! Just what I needed today. I have been acing my Fitbit step count every day and eating healthy and using moderation and still I was at the top of my maintenance range today. Thanks for helping me put things into perspective. - 3/17/2014   10:45:35 AM
    One way that I've been able to get past this is using a Quantum Scale. You set it when you start, and it only shows you how much you've lost total. It's so much better than seeing a number, which sometimes can be overwhelming. It's also a great reminder of how far I've come. Particularly for people overcoming an eating disorder, consider one. They're pricy, but it has been SO worth it for me. - 3/17/2014   8:28:33 AM
  • 1
    I needed to see this today. My weight is up and I am mad at myself but yesterday I helped out a friend--and sing 10 songs that I had never seen before so--I am more than a number on the scale. - 3/17/2014   7:16:49 AM

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