“You are more important than this number.” I remember seeing this image a few years ago, and even though I knew it was true, I still couldn’t break my daily habit of going on the scale. I gave the scale so much power over my happiness. I let it control me.
Every single day I would obsess over the number. If it was higher than I expected, I would get upset and start questioning everything I was doing. If it was lower than expected, I would celebrate. I would feel beautiful, skinny, like I could take on the world. I had a toxic relationship with the scale for years, and even though I knew it was bad for me, I couldn’t stay away.
When I started working with my health coach and working through my various issues one-by-one she told me to throw the scale away. My husband told me to throw the scale away. And still I couldn’t do it. I relied on that scale. It scared me to think of not going on the scale each day. It scared me to think of what could happen.
My husband would try hiding the scale from me, but time and again I would find it. It made me feel like I was in control somehow, even though I wasn’t, and it was impeding my progress. Over time, as I got healthier by working with my health coach, we would discuss the scale, but still I couldn’t give it up. Eventually, though it ended up not being my decision.
One day this past winter my husband needed to weigh something in the shed behind our house. That was the last time I ever saw the scale. He never brought it in the house again. I’ve been in the shed and haven’t seen it. Wherever the scale is hiding, it is well hidden now and you know what, this was the best thing that could ever happen.
It took me 2 1/2 years since working with my health coach, but with the scale out of the house I think it has finally lost it’s power on me, and that’s because I was forced to let go of this bad vice of mine. In total it has taken me 18 years to give up the control that I felt the scale gave me.
The most amazing thing happened when I threw out the scale! It literally felt like a giant pressure was taken off my shoulders! It took time, but sure enough, day by day I no longer missed the scale. I can proudly say I haven’t weighed myself in about 6 months and not only is that amazing, but it’s a huge step forward! Instead, I rely on how I feel. How do I feel when I put on my clothes? How do I feel when I’m working out? How do I feel when I look in the mirror? These questions give me a more accurate readout than a scale ever would because it empowers me to boost my self esteem, and I am no longer relying on an arbitrary number.
I still struggle. There are days, or weeks, where I go through this period of hating how I look. I know we all go through that at times, and it’s hard. Sometimes it makes me change up my hairstyle or dye my hair, and then I feel happy again. Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping busy and fixating on a healthier obsession than obsessing about what I look like.
So, how does this fit into the M.U.D. Lifestyle? Now, I am living Mindfully. Each day I try to embrace how I look. I try not to think about weight and remind myself that weight is just a number. It’s nothing more than that. I gave it the power to be more. I gave that number a life of it’s own and a control over me that impeded my growth. By my husband literally removing the scale from the house, it made me embrace that I am Unique. It made me question what the scale was really doing to me. It made me appreciate that there are better ways to judge how I am doing overall. It forced me to make healthier Decisions. If I don’t feel good about how I look, change something. If I think I need to push myself a little more when I go to the gym, than I do that. If I’m feeling good I celebrate it. If I’m feeling down, I ask myself why and try to figure out how to make myself feel better. It’s all small steps that have propelled me forward. I don’t need the scale to do that.
The scale was just a number. The things that number didn’t show me were numerous. It didn’t tell me how much I worked out, it didn’t tell me if I was eating correctly, it didn’t tell me that I was beautiful, it didn’t improve my self-esteem, it didn’t help me make healthy decisions, it didn’t tell me if it was a good person. Overall, it told me nothing of value.
So, you know what? Throw out your scale. Stop giving it power. It is just a machine with a battery in it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Embrace your M.U.D. Life and find your happiness!
Note: I struggled with an eating disorder from the ages of 14 to 30. It is possible get better. For me, working with a health coach one-on-one finally helped me battle my demons. I still struggle, but it’s nothing as bad as it used to be. If you need help, consider reaching out to one of the sources below. Love yourself. Love your life. Find your happiness. M.U.D.
NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association):
The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness:
Lantern App (Recommended by NEDA):