It’s no secret that weight-loss (and maintaining that loss) is often an emotionally-charged journey. In Western culture especially, overweight and obesity are hyper-criticized and discriminated against — in media spheres, relationships and more. It really hurts to struggle with weight.
Even more so, all this talk about “good vs bad” and “gross vs unattractive” can steer us away from the actual reason our weight matters to begin with — for our health. It’s hard to stay objective with your health goals if your heart plummets deep into your chest every time you step on a scale, sweating, and see a number you’re not completely satisfied with.
Why Measure Objectively?
Admittedly, it’s almost impossible to strip emotion out of the equation. We care deeply about people and things which are important to us, and health is a non-negotiable priority.
Still, an objective lens is important because it allows you to see so much more — your goals, your challenges, your progress, and your victories that reach beyond a number on the scale.
When you’re laser-focused on a number, you’re probably not seeing why that number matters. It’s not because it defines you or categorizes you into a group that’s either accepted or unacceptable. After all, that way of thinking is subjective. At some point, you’ve got to realize that this number is merely a loose indicator of your health status — that’s it.
Keeps for Keeping it Together
Don’t let a number make or break your day. Instead…
Understand the Way a Scale Works
Basic scales don’t pay attention to muscle mass, body composition or even height. They are imperfect tools. They’re also highly swayed by factors like water retention, sodium buildup, same-day meals and hormone fluctuation, and they doesn’t always reflect hard work. Knowing these limitations can help you break your emotional attachment to the scale.
Communicate with Your Healthcare Team
Beyond the scale, you’ve got your health to worry about. Keep the communication line open with your healthcare providers by visiting them regularly for checkups and exams. Your health might be improving drastically, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at slow progress on a scale.
Measure Non-scale Victories
Again, the scale doesn’t show you everything. Maybe you’ve got more energy or you were able to accomplish a difficult exercise. Maybe your clothes fit differently, or maybe you’re just proud of the progress you’ve made toward breaking a bad habit. Record those victories because they matter.
Talk it Out to Someone You Trust
Are you a victim of living in your own head? Talk about your struggles with someone you trust — maybe a spouse, friend or counselor. It may take the wisdom of someone else to remind you that you’re doing a good job just by making an honest effort to improve your health.
Don’t Make Weight-loss Your Everything
You’ve got a life to live beyond worrying about the scale. Don’t forget to enjoy it! Socialize, break out of your comfort zone, hone your craft or hobby, and set non weight-related goals too.