Scale knowledge & scale obsessions
It seems to me people use the scale for self gratification & less for health. When you look on the scale and see that you lost weight, what comes to mind? What comes to mind when you see you have gained weight? The scale has managed to scrutinize people’s perspective on fitness and health. It’s being used to give superficial achievement and recognition, chews at a person’s self esteem and causes one to obsess over their weight. Scales are useful, I agree. I just want to know what will it take for people to see past a number and look at the whole picture.
the whole picture is: the number is the answer, but the solution is what you do with that answer.
For someone like myself, I have to rely on the scale when preparing for my powerlifting competitions. Not my favorite aspect of the sport but I understand the importance of it when it comes to tallying up our weight classes. When I am in my off-season, the scale is behind me because I don’t like managing my weight so closely — it adds unnecessary stress to my day and causes me to panic about something that isn’t worth the panic (especially since I already struggle with body image issues). Telling you to not use the scale isn’t why I made this post, because again I have to use it, but sharing insight and creating a positive outlook will help you identify ways to overcome negative effects the scale might cause for certain individuals.
Rule of thumb when using a scale — try to be consistent about when you use it, where it is placed in the house and what you are wearing. All of the above can impact the number. Secondly, if by using the scale, it becomes too stressful or overwhelming and fills you with anger/frustration; walk away from it and don’t look back (mental health is important!). Sometimes it is best to take a break from weigh ins and focus on the overall appearance of one’s self — how do your clothes fit? any new muscle definition showing? THEN take a look at the overall scope of things: how have you been sleeping? do you have more energy? do you feel more focused? etc. <—– all of which are important factors in health/wellness. Not just about how you look , but how you feel is just as important.
The scale used in medical practices:
Now wait a minute, I know many of you medical field doctors, nurses, physical therapist, and people in the fitness profession will say the scale plays a vital part in BMI measurements and creates a starting point for the patients you deem necessary to lose weight. This is true, BMI is still recognizable by a lot of health professionals & used widely & yes it does give a visual as far as something a patient or client can follow easily — but, this is where we can change how the scale is used in order to create results and not just orders (nobody likes being barked at, or reminded about their weight) — so if we want to continue using the scale for such reasons, expect it to harm the mentality of many people because not everyone will walk away understanding the importance of health & well-being based on a number on a machine, the small percentage of people who do understand will be fine — but the other numbers will give up because they aren’t educated on how this number translates to their daily living (if at all)
Oh, and I realize we like to list off health conditions that can stem from being overweight or under weight but again, sometimes it doesn’t translate to their daily living or lifestyle, they need to know that by getting diabetes, how that can hinder or add on obstacles. I like putting things into perspective so there is a mutual understanding as to why this weight loss and/or weight gain should be made priority or at least somewhat important to them as it is to us to help them.
The Lasting Impression:
Nothing is perfect, we are all human and we make mistakes, we fail and sometimes life is hard.. I would know, trust me! but the scale doesn’t have to be an enemy , it doesn’t even have to be used at all to be honest if you don’t want to — but if you are making a choice to use it then know ahead of time that a number simply is just a beginning & what you do when you see that number is the first step in deciding how you use it.
A scale is only a scale, we determine what that number means to us.