8 Things That Happen When You Stop Weighing Yourself
1. You become more aware of how you’re feeling. I don’t mean the feeling caused by a voice in your head that tells you to ignore the hunger, tired muscles, or plain exhaustion. I’m talking about how you’re really feeling. Last summer, I woke up most mornings and limped around like an old person because I was so incredibly sore. While being sore can feel amazing and serve as a token of hard work, I constantly daydreamed about how nice it would have been to sit on the couch and do nothing but sip tea and eat fruit for a whole day. I’m still fighting a battle with exercise, but the odds are now a lot more in my favor because I can’t say, “If I work out today, I’ll be closer to a lower number.” By not knowing about a number, you get the chance to acknowledge when you’re feeling tired and craving rest.
2. You will no longer feel committed to an act. I used to dread Tuesday mornings because they meant I had to dehydrate all Monday evening, in order to convince myself that my fluid intake wasn’t affecting the number on the scale. I’d wake up dizzy and parched, and would run to weigh myself so that I could then drink water. Because I stopped weighing myself, I stopped worrying about when and how much I drink. You stop worrying about a ritualistic act that may make or break your day. You won’t be concerned with doing something over and over, time after time, even though it may upset you. It’s one step towards becoming footloose and fancy free…and hydrated.
3. At first, you’re unsure about how you feel about yourself because your feelings were once associated with a number. I think I’m still in this phase, and I may be for quite a while. When your body image is based a lot on a digital number, it’s silly to suddenly expect that number to mean nothing. Sometimes you just want to know, you know? But the bottom line is, at this point in recovery, no matter what number I see, I know it will bother me a bit. Right now, I’m working on reaching a place where I genuinely recognize its insignificance.
4. That being said, when you are number clueless, you get to make the choice to control how you want to feel about yourself, regardless of what the scale shows. You get to say, “I look amazing in this dress,” or pair of shorts, or pair of underwear, instead of, “I’d probably look amazing if the scale had shown me a different number this morning.”
5. Your overall mood will no longer be determined by a number. One of the worst aspects of an eating disorder is the effect it has on those around you. My eating disorder built such a terrible barrier between my family, friends, and I, and that was sometimes caused by knowledge of my weight. My whole day came to revolve around that stupid number. If I liked it- WOO awesome day! If I hated it, I was bitter, curt, sad, irritable, and frustrated until I could weigh myself the following morning. Nothing could distract me from what the scale had read. I would ruin the day for myself and whoever I was with. Without knowing that number, you control your mood. You get to walk past the scale and decide, “It’s a beautiful day, and nothing can hold me back from loving every moment of it.”
6. You will notice and feel proud of real physical differences. One day you’ll be able to lift a weight that wouldn’t budge the week before. Or you’ll move up ten pounds on the leg press and think, Heck yeah, I’m a badass!! Or maybe you’ll find that you can bolt up the flight of stairs that once exhausted you. The fact that muscle weighs more than fat used to make me shy far away from strength training. Without freaking out about a number, I get to feel genuinely excited about becoming strong and toned.
7. SFP. Salt, food, poo. Sometimes we bloat. We eat a lot of salt or too many carbohydrates and don’t drink enough water process them, so we deal with some water retention. It’s called water weight- it happens. We rehydrate, and it goes away. Sometimes we eat. A lot. If I eat two potatoes and an eggplant for dinner, have I gained four pounds? No, I’ve gained two potatoes, an eggplant, and a delicious meal. And they’ll go away. When? Poo is when. Your weight difference before and after going to the bathroom can be shocking. The bottom line: worrying about and aiming for an extremely specific number is ridiculous because, no matter how much we scrutinize, our weight fluctuates constantly. What’s the point in looking at a number that’s never even accurate?
8. You’ll begin to see that you are so much more than a number. I know it’s a lot more easily said than done, but baby steps, right? By refusing to even acknowledge my weight, I’m working on dissociating it with how I look at myself. My goal is to define myself by what matters, instead of meaningless digits. Eventually, I’ll look at myself and see nothing but a body made by God, for God, with a mission, a family, health, happiness, and countless other things to rejoice in…you will too!