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Do You Care About the Number on the Scale?

Credit: austinevan

Credit: austinevan

Earlier this week, Jenn lamented her marathon weight gain and swore off the scale until her race is over in January. Most of us have a number we like to see on the scale. I know that for me there is a number I see that will tell me that I need to increase my workouts or that I need to be eating in a little more often. I don’t obsess about that number or weigh in every day, but it’s good to check in every so often to make sure I’m on the right track. How about you?

Let us know your scale thoughts in the comments! —Erin

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7 Comments
  1. Jules says:

    The number on the scale can be a useful tool. It can measure progress, get you back on track, but it can be taken too far. Having been big all my life, yes I weighed 200 lbs in elementary school, the scale became my enemy. I became obsessed with the number in the box. It became the voice of opinion, screaming negative, destructive thoughts each day. My daily moods were based on that number.

    Now, I am learning to use it for what it was intended, a tool. It is a number, just like BMI or size tags that depend on the designers opinion. My blog is dedicated to this issue, Big Girl Bombshell. The tag line is: It’s the Attitude, Not the Scale. Being real about weight issues means dealing with the emotions that fuel the habitual unhealthy habits that got me there in the first place. One of those has been the scale and what it represented.

  2. Chrystalle says:

    I really needed a fifth answer choice– I have a no-scale rule, EXCEPT for when I know I need to lose weight. In other words, I prefer to just use my clothes as a guide. But when my clothes get tight and I know I need to drop weight, I like the scale because it gives me those small measurements so that at least I know I’m making some sort of progress. But even now, as I am actively trying to lose the 15 pounds I gained over the last two years (my fiance and now husband is a REALLY good cook!), I space my weigh-ins out to about every 10 days or so because I hate the scale so much!

  3. I haven’t looked at my scale since last January – it wasn’t planned, I’ve just been too lazy to buy a new battery for it. Since January I’ve felt better about myself, eaten healthier and I think I’ve done a better job of maintaining my weight.

  4. I don’t really care what the number is. I know my weight fluctuates a lot naturally, so I don’t freak out, but I still use it to more or less keep me on track.

  5. Scott says:

    I think that scale weight is about as irrelevant as physical information can get. The idea that people need to “lose weight” is flawed to begin with and is exacerbated by our collective obsession about the number on the scale. Instead, I’ve chosen to—and highly encourage my friends to—follow more indicative measures of success: body fat %, how I look in the mirror, and how my clothes fit.

    The main problem with scale weight is that it paints an inaccurate portrait of your current physical state. Body fat and body composition—what’s really important to us—can’t be measured accurately on a scale. So, even if you’ve working your butt off to build lean muscle and burn fat, the person who is obsessed with scale weight will only see his or her number increase and think that they’re doing something wrong when, in fact, they’re doing things exactly right. How much you weigh isn’t nearly as important as what you’re actually weighing. And when you start focusing on losing fat instead of just losing weight, you’ll win on both fronts.

  6. Susan says:

    I threw out my scale a year ago when I hit my goal weight and only occasionally step on the one at the gym. Oddly, I’ve actually lost more weight since getting rid of it! I carry all my weight in my belly, so I find my pants are a better indicator anyways. A couple pounds here or there doesn’t mean much to me.

  7. Steph H says:

    Numbers play a big mind game on me, so I have never owned a scale. I know when my clothes are tight that I need to buckle down. I know I shouldn’t give that info that much power but it’s just one of those things.