The Truth About the Scale

This is often a subject that brings up a lot of negative experiences for most people. I've had clients who resisted to step foot on the scale and I have also had clients who habitually hopped on the scale daily in order to see what they weighed. In this post I will share my thoughts surrounding the scale and why many people have chosen to give the scale an enormous amount of meaning in their lives.

When I used to do monthly assessments with my clients I would usually put them through some sort of cardiovascular test, pinch them with a pair of calipers to get skin fold readings and then finally finish by having them do a weigh-in.

Most of my clients dreaded this day as I could see that they were visibly nervous, anxious or they weren't even there because they had called in ahead of time to cancel. Being new in the industry, I thought that assessments were beneficial towards showing a client their progress (or maybe lack thereof).

For a lot of them, the scale was the thing that they dreaded the most.

More often then not, they wouldn't feel great when the number popped up and they stepped off... Even when they lost a substantial amount of weight! I would then go on to try to convince them how they should feel accomplished and happy but it rarely worked back then. This is very common. People hate the scale.

But why? What's really going on here? How can a person who just lost 50 lbs feel elated when weighing in at 250 lbs and another weighing in at the exact same weight feel horrible after seeing the scale not budge for 3 weeks straight?

Answer: It is impossible for the scale to create meaning. The scale is a piece of metal. It can do zero harm to your emotional state. And we just proved it right? If the scale truly had the power to make you feel a certain way then everyone would feel the exact same way at certain weights. Example:

  • Most people associate seeing 300+ lbs on the scale as not a very good thing. But what about for the Pro Bowl Left Tackle on your local NFL team? He's doesn't see this as a negative thing, in fact he probably sees this weight as an advantage and a necessity for his career.

People subconsciously make themselves feel bad when they hop on the scale. The root cause of this is caused by what they think about themselves. The scale has absolutely nothing to do with it. It simply brings it to the surface.

You hop on the scale. The scale pops out a number. You see the number. You then attach meaning to that number. Not the scale.

The scale is a horrible indicator for body composition (you cannot differentiate between body fat, muscle, lean tissue, water weight and yes, feces, when you hop on the scale). The scale however is an excellent thought finder when it comes to getting to the root cause of what you think about your self.

Whether you are bigger and want to get smaller or smaller and want to get bigger, just know that the scale cannot make you feel a certain way... and that is great news, because you can choose to change what you think about yourself whenever you want without relying on a certain number to do it for you.

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