Nutrition: Stop Listening to the Scale

Two feet standing on a scale with the word "STOP" written on a sticky note over the number reading
Lifestyle Resources > Nutrition

The scale tells us a story. It’s a long, boring story. Not about who you are, but about what your number on the scale is. Day one you are number x. Day two you are number y. And then…you are number x again. It’s a narrative that hovers over you like a dark cloud.

I think we allow this story to define ourselves because it is one of the only accessible tools we are given to measure our health. To be fair to those who weigh themselves every day, it’s easy to use this number as a parameter. Also, weighing yourself is cheap and easy. We get a dopamine rush when this number goes down, and a wave of disappointment when it goes up. I’m not going to lie, when I do weigh myself, I feel giddy when I see the number go down.

BUT…and it’s a big but:

What you weigh says nothing about what contributions you made to society that day, the impact you made on your kids, what nutrients you put in your body.

When I take a step back, I’m realizing that one of things that weight says about us is if you are obese or not obese. Research shows that the fear of gaining weight can actually cause disordered eating and longer-term weight gain.

Cultural norms place so much emphasis on weight that we just look at weight and ignore other health factors of people in larger bodies. You and I are doing this without even knowing it. It is the water that we are swimming in. Our view of weight is truly harming women, our children, and future generations.

Stop listening to the scale, stop letting it tell your story. You are perfectly capable of that.

Hobbs, Michael. (2020-present). Maintenance Phase. [Audio podcast].

Satter, Ellen. Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook. (2008). Kelcey Press.