95% of people regain lost weight within 2 years. 98% have regained it within 5 years. Most will gain extra too. Many people go through cycle after cycle of dieting with weight loss and weight gain.
Those statistics are all based around a number on the scale. It doesn’t tell us what methods were used to lose weight (healthy or unhealthy) nor does it tell us what emotional, social, and possible mental, effects (both good and bad) were experienced during the weight loss and regain.
The scale tells us a number. A number that reflects the body’s relationship with gravity. That’s it. It certainly doesn’t tell you how healthy you are or how awesome you are.
Our bodies have a preference towards weight gain. They have a weight they are comfortable at (known as our ‘set point’) and fight pretty hard to maintain that set point. Just because you want to weigh X doesn’t mean your body wants to.
So instead of focussing on a number, which for many people results in elation when it goes down and devastation when it (inevitably) goes back up, focus on your health behaviours. These include emotional, social, and mental, as well as physical behaviours. (This paradigm is known as Health at Every Size, you can read more here www.sizediversityandhealth.org)
These behaviours are much more closely associated with health than weight is. They can also be undertaken and maintained regardless of what the number on the scale shows.
Aside from some specific exceptions, I personally believe there is no reason for most people to step on the scale. And I certainly don’t think stepping on the scale is a good way to measure your health or your worth.
I encourage you to really think about the relationship you have with the scale. If it’s negatively impacting you, just get rid of it (even better – smash it! See instructions below).
If you have a fairly neutral relationship with the scale, maybe ask yourself why you really need it? What is it offering you? Are there other ways you can get more in touch with your body and nurture your health?
If you’ve got a positive relationship with the scale (???), this post really isn’t for you so continue on your awesome way…
And lastly, if you have an eating disorder, disordered eating, history of dieting and weight cycling etc: don’t even think about it, just get rid of the scale. Smash it. Throw it off a bridge. Run over it with your car. Host a ‘goodbye scale’ party and use it as a piñata. It doesn’t matter. But get rid of it. You don’t need it. Your worth isn’t defined by it.