Confession- sometimes I let my self-worth be defined by what the scale says. Yikes, right? Considering my excessive preaching on self-love and striving for a healthy body and being strong vs. skinny this might be hard to believe. Well, believe it!
Let’s start with a story.
When I was a teen, we looked at magazines. There wasn’t really social media and the following of fitness models, etc. No Instagram, and Facebook had literally just started and it looked nothing like it does now.
Also, the big thing in fitness at the time was being a size zero. In fact, double zero was better than zero. Why? Well, a bit of a history lesson… That was when the obesity epidemic started really being discussed and there was an over correction of the problem.
There was a one size fits all solution that was pushed and that solution was that skinny equals healthy which is absolutely not the case at all.
Back to my story, when I was in high school, I was a size three, which now I look back on a size three and chuckle with my runner’s butt and CrossFit infused legs, size three seems small! But at the time, it really messed with my head because I wasn’t what society was telling me to be.
My parents were always advocates of me being me and telling me I don’t have to be a size zero. As long as I was healthy, I was doing great!
It’s a sad thing to say that even with all of their encouragement and support that the pressures of society dug their claws deep into my brain! The scale doesn’t say what it did before I had a baby. Yes, I lost over 60+ pounds and over all, I feel amazing. However, sometimes I look at the scale bounce back and forth a few pounds here and there and it messes with my brain a bit.
On this healthy lifestyle journey, how do we break that chain to the scale?
First, let’s be practical shall we? While trying to lose weight to get back to a healthy and comfortable weight, we have to know if we’re making progress, right? Of course! The problem is when the scale becomes an obsessive tool and we start stressing over minor weight fluctuations such as bloat or menstrual issues.
Being a female, our weight will fluctuate by a few pounds. As annoying as that is, it’s a simple fact of life. Stepping on that scale every single day is enough to make a girl go absolutely insane and we’re just not about that life. Nope, we’re not obsessing, we’re living.
Here’s my suggestion: as you’re trying to lose weight, weigh in once a week, on the same day, in the morning before you get dressed. Once you’re back to normal, I suggest weighing once a month. Yep, once a month. That once a month should not be the week before or during your period, so plan accordingly!
This allows you to breathe a little bit and it really helps you learn to live that healthy and balanced life without stressing about a pound or two here or there.
Does muscle really weigh more than fat?
Next, realize that as you gain muscle through your strength training workouts, your weight will fluctuate a bit. Ever heard the old saying “muscle weighs more than fat”? What that is really saying is that per square inch, you will have more muscle than fat.
Example: Let’s say you’re using one of my 30 day Instant downloads for the gym. There is weight training in those plans which will help you lose weight from fat. As you start lifting heavier because you’re getting stronger, those muscles become more dense.
Translation- even though your shorts fit amazingly and you’re getting compliments on your peach, the scale might say a few pounds difference. That is the part of the process so don’t stress!
The scale saying the difference is probably the hardest part. Believe me when I say that I get that. I 100% understand the “wait a minute, is that right?” moment. Yep! If you’re sticking with your strength training workouts, you are gaining muscle! That is a hurray moment!
You are not defined by a number.
Finally, remember that your self-worth does not equal a number. Let me say it again, but this time a bit differently.
You are not defined by a number.
I know that this can be hard. Remember my story? I still struggle with it sometimes!
I’m really big on wanting to leave a legacy and when I’m dead and gone, will people remember “Amber weighed 130 pounds and was a size 5” or will they remember “She loved Jesus, was healthy, strong, independent and helped other women learn to be that way too.”
Understanding that your worth comes from Something far greater than what a teenie tiny scale says is essential to understanding that you are not defined by a number on a scale. Even if you have to repeat it to yourself over and over until you believe it, do it!
“I am more than a number. My worth is not in what the scale says”.
You’re speaking Truth, sister and that is essential to breaking the unhealthy bond with the scale.
See? Those are three logical steps that get you on the right track to break the unhealthy bond with the scale.
We slice the number of times that we weigh ourselves down to once a week for when you’re trying to lose weight and once a month once the weight is lost and you’re back to maintaining. This is huge for making sure that you don’t stress over a pound or five (ha!) of bloat!
After that, learning the difference between weight from fat and weight from muscles will help you determine if you’re staying on the right track or if you need to make a few adjustments! Remember, if adjustments need to be made, do not just hop on an extreme diet! Think long term!
Then lastly, teach yourself that you are not defined by a number. What that scale says does not say anything about who you are as an individual woman. It is simply information that gives you the ammunition you need to make decisions about your health and be in charge of how you live!
Believe me when I say that I know this is so much easier said than done. It truly is a learning process and I still struggle with it! But, remembering that this is a journey and not a destination can really help put your mind at ease that you’re not on a time schedule! Enjoy the journey and learn your body. Along the way, celebrate your body and what it can do, every single day.
I believe in you.