How much weight should you give the scale?

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Primary Blog/How much weight should you give the scale?


Raise your hand if you weigh yourself daily. I did for many years. Sometimes more than once per day. To say I was addicted to the scale would be nothing short of the truth.

In fact, beyond obsessing over the number on the scale, I would live my day based on those numbers. If the numbers were low, I gave myself more liberty with food and drink. And if the numbers were higher than I wanted, I worked out longer, increased my cardio, and watched everything I put in my mouth.

Those three numbers owned me. I put my value in those numbers, and beyond the food and exercise, my mood was greatly affected based on what the scale said. I would beat myself up internally if the numbers were slightly elevated and feel elated if the numbers were lower than expected. This relationship was very unhealthy.

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are more commonly discussed and treated in the mental and physical health world. However, I would like to add addiction to the scale to the list of issues surrounding the body, mind, and mental health.

As a fitness, health, and nutrition expert and coach with many years of experience, I have seen and heard it all regarding body weight. "If you are this tall, you should weigh this much; if you're a boy, this is how much you should weigh; and if you do this amount of exercise, you will lose this much; only eat this so you can weigh this,"...etc. The list could go on and on.

Any time you go to the doctor, they weigh you, and if you fill out a health form, they ask for your weight and height. They do this to determine your BMI (body mass index). And one of my major frustrations with the medical industry is the emphasis on BMI. Your BMI is only one small (and inaccurate) measurement of a healthy body. It is simply an equation of your height and weight. BMI numbers do not account for your body composition, which is a much more significant determining factor in your overall health.

Weight is neither one size fits all nor a healthy body. Many factors, such as water, muscle, bone density, fat, genetics, sex, ethnicity, exercise, diet, sleep, and more, determine your weight. So why focus on the number on the scale when the only objective truth about the scale is that it tells us the amount of gravitational force that is holding us to the earth?

We focus on the number on the scale from the moment of birth. Literally, the first thing the nurse does when you are born is put you on the scale to see how much you weigh. And from that point on, your weight becomes a focal point of your health. There will be worry if you are overweight or underweight, how much you should weigh at each age until maturity, and then again if you become pregnant, how much weight you should or shouldn't be gaining.

Over and over, there will be a request for your weight and height. But the thing is, we can't do anything about our height; that is strictly genetics. So, the emphasis then moves to weight since there are endless ways to manipulate that. Countless times per day, we are inundated with images of what society has deemed the ideal body: what size we should be, how much we should weigh, and the newest and fastest way to achieve XYZ. It then becomes clear why we are addicted to the number on the scale and place so much value on what it says.

We have put so much emphasis on our weight as either an image ideal or a health issue that we have lost sight of all other aspects of a beautiful and healthy body, including but not limited to daily healthy habits and a healthy mindset.

I am not invalidating the significance of body weight as a whole but instead trying to instill that, as a society, we give too much weight to our weight. In certain situations, body weight is a concern; it must be monitored closely. However, these situations are real medical issues and far less common than the household scale.

The truth is that our weight fluctuates daily and sometimes hourly. The average adult's weight will fluctuate 5-6 pounds daily depending on our food, exercise, sleep, and hydration. Not to mention that true weight loss and weight gain do not happen overnight or in a week. Actual weight, the muscles, and fat that make us look the way we do, and what we find attractive take time to build and burn.
Let's stop placing so much value on something constantly changing (the number on the scale), and lasting results (sustainable fat loss and actual muscle gain) take time.

What if instead of weighing in daily and focusing on the number on the scale, you redirected your attention toward your daily actions? Mastering your sleep patterns to get quality sleep for 7-8 hours a night, ensuring you get some form of exercise every day, eating a nutritionally balanced diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and learning to meditate or journal, being mindful proper hydration. Mastering these habits instead of worrying about the scale will do wonders for your health.

Muscles and fat don't come and go based on one workout or meal. They are built or burned based on what we do daily, consistently, and over time. In other words, if you learn to master your daily habits and actions that support your goals and stop focusing on the number on the scale, you set yourself up for lasting success and a significant increase in happiness and satisfaction at the moment.

When you move from being numbers-focused to action-focused, you will begin to create real momentum toward your health goals and appreciate your body for all it does for you consistently.
I love the saying, "What you focus on grows." I want you to remember this: When you focus on healthy lifestyle habits rather than the number on the scale, your health will increase, and the weight, either lost or gained, will fall into place.

So join me in ditching the scale and mastering your healthy lifestyle.

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Hi, I Am Jaime Duggan

CEO Of Empowered Health

Your dedicated healthy lifestyle coach and certified personal trainer. I'm here to guide you through a transformative journey of wellness, offering personalized strategies for proper nourishment, effective exercise, and quality rest. Beyond the scale, we'll focus on holistic well-being, emphasizing sustainable, empowering habits for a happier life. I cherish family time, wholesome cooking, joyful physical activities, and reading, which fuel my own health journey. Ready to become your best self? Let's embrace this wellness journey together!

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