— Life —

Do You Weigh Yourself?

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You know how some people say they don’t weigh themselves? I’m one of those. For some people, weighing themselves reassures them that everything is on track and keeps them motivated. For me, it was something I’d done since I was eight years old, and eventually I felt like I was doing myself more harm than good.

So, almost a year ago, I stopped weighing myself.

I’ve since discovered there’s a perception that people who don’t weigh themselves don’t care about their weight. Whilst this may be true for some, I’ve come to the realization it’s not true for me – despite the fact I once claimed otherwise.

If I didn’t care about the number, then it wouldn’t negatively affect my decisions and mood, but it does. A friend suggested that all I’ve done is elevate the power of a number over my personal power – and maybe she’s right – but what I do know is that tossing the scale has changed everything for the better. It’s certainly played an important part in helping me focus on defining and developing habits that feel sustainable, rather than chasing the next “quick fix.”

Stepping off the scale felt more like getting off an emotional roller coaster. I no longer feel a deep sense of shame about my weight, and it’s completely shifted the way I see myself. I finally stopped obsessing about the same 10 pounds I’ve repeatedly lost and gained for years, and instead, focus on how I want to feel.

If weighing yourself is sending you into a regular spiral of shame and robbing you of your happiness, then it could be worth your stepping off the scale, too.

Whilst some may argue that wanting to weigh less is an anti-feminist, trivial pursuit, and I should weigh myself and claim my power – regardless of the number – my experience with ditching the scale has been nothing but positive. As a result, I love my body and find joy in food, but I think and talk about both much less and discuss and do far more interesting things instead.

The subject of weight is grey and immense, and the answers on how to solve the associated issues are long, complex and psychological as much as physiological. No one person has the ability to address everything and yet we’re constantly being sold the idea that there is one solution, be it a program or therapy or whatever worked for the person selling it. Never mind that every single one of us is unique, and therefore what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

If you take only one thing away from this series, I hope it’s this: The only right way to get fit, healthy and deeply connect to the woman within is the way that feels right for you. So maybe you’ll keep weighing yourself, or maybe you won’t.

I know this much for sure; I won’t be climbing back onto my scale anytime soon.

The Pro-Body Project is published fortnightly. You can read the first entry here or the next entry, “Remember Why You Started” here


10 Comments

  • Reply Carol ("Mimi") April 13, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I go through phases of weighing myself almost everyday and not weighing myself at all. Like you, I want to be more concerned with how I feel and how my clothes fit than with a number on a scale. I do think that daily weighing helps me when I’m trying to stick to a weight-loss plan.

    • Reply Esther Zimmer April 18, 2017 at 4:26 am

      Hello Mimi! (I hope it’s OK to call you that – I noticed on your ‘About’ page that it’s your favourite name!). Thanks so much for commenting, it’s so interesting to read what other women do and what does/does not work for them. I’m certainly not against weighing yourself if that works for you, but it really did feel like being on an emotional roller coaster for me. And often, my clothes would feel much looser and yet the scale would remain the same – which I put down to the exercise I was doing – but I’d fixate on the number anyway. I don’t follow weight-loss plans because I yo-yo dieted for far too many years, and whilst it’s taking time, what I’m aiming for now is a attaining optimum health and fitness in sustainable way. Esther xx

  • Reply Barefoot Warrior April 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I do weigh myself. I have a love hate relationship with it. Love it when it goes down; hate it when it goes up. I try to void it, but, the temptation usually wins out. I can’t get rid of it, because, my husband would kill me.
    Also, is it weird that I suck my tummy in whenever I weigh myself??? Like it makes a difference???

    • Reply Esther Zimmer April 18, 2017 at 4:34 am

      Hi Melinda! I love the name of your blog, “Barefoot Warrior”, how wonderful! Thank you for commenting, I did giggle when I read your last line about sucking your tummy in when you weigh yourself, I used to do that too. And yes, I know all about that love hate relationship with the scale, I guess if it had gone down more often it wouldn’t have had such a negative impact on me but the truth is it pretty much stayed the same, whatever I did. My husband bought a new scale whilst I was away recently, he texted me telling me all about it and how accurate this particular brand is meant to be, I replied, “I’m so happy for you because you’ll be the only one using it”. I love him dearly and I know he loves me – but I’m definitely not getting back on the scale! Esther xx

  • Reply Jennifer Dunham April 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    It was so great to read your perspective on this! I too want to be focused on creating long term healthy habits and a wellness lifestyle. I do step on the scale, but it is very infrequently and becoming even less often!

    • Reply Esther Zimmer April 18, 2017 at 4:40 am

      Hi Jennifer! Thank you, as always, for commenting. All I can say is this; creating long-term healthy habits takes time and that can be frustrating when we’re fed so many “quick fix” messages and methods, but none of those worked for me and the way I see it I’m creating a fabulous foundation that will take me into my 60s, 70s and hopefully beyond. I don’t want to be chasing quick fixes my entire life and I can assure you that taking the time is worth it, I’m not exactly where I want to be yet, but I feel connected to my body and comfortable around food in a way that I’ve never felt before. I wish you all the best on your own journey! Esther xx

  • Reply Laurie Stone April 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I hardly weigh myself anymore. I go by how my clothes fit, which can be just as damaging to my ego, but somehow easier to deal with. The scale can be cruel.

    • Reply Esther Zimmer April 18, 2017 at 5:04 am

      Hi Laurie, thank you for your comment and you’re so right, the scale can be cruel and for some reason the fit of clothing less so. I don’t know how or why we get so bound to a number on a scale or the size of our clothes, it’s how we feel that matters and yet I know I can be feeling fabulous, weigh myself and that feeling can immediately vanish. Which is why I stopped. Having said that, I’ve also been very fit and lean and had days/weeks when I felt terrible about myself, no matter how low the weight and how loose my clothes felt. Low numbers don’t always correlate to feeling fabulous, but that’s the message we’re fed as a society – or more accurately – as women. Esther xx

  • Reply Susan Tolles April 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I haven’t weighted myself in years. I can tell when I’ve put on a pound or two by the way my clothes fit, and the way I feel in general. And…when I can feel my rear sagging! I don’t even look at the scale when I go to the doctor. I have excellent blood pressure and cholesterol, and I’m sure she would say something if I was out of my healthy weight range. This has been such an inspiring series, Esther, and I am so grateful for your insights.

    • Reply Esther Zimmer April 18, 2017 at 5:11 am

      Susan, thank you so much for your comment and kind words of encouragement, I’m very grateful! And it’s so interesting to read your perspective as someone who hasn’t weighed themselves in years, it’s great to know it’s worked for you and how you maintain your weight without being obsessed by a number. I don’t look at the scale when I go to the doctor either – and I ask her not to mention my weight unless she feels there’s a need to. So far, so good. Esther xx

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