I used to know how good my day would be before I ever stepped out of the house. My prediction wasn’t based on the weather report or my workload or my social plans; it was tied directly to the number on the scale. Certain numbers guaranteed a spectacular day. Other numbers were a sure sign of impending misery. The most incredible part of this phenomenon was the scale’s ability to FLIP a good day to a bad one (or a bad to a good) in the blink of a digital display.
At some point in my life, the scale finally lost its influence over my mood. I still hop on once or twice a week to get a reality check but a pound or two in either direction doesn’t affect my day one little bit. Sure, it gives me a data point I can use to decide if any of my behaviors need a little adjustment (fewer desserts, smaller portions, more exercise) but I simply refuse to let that number wreck my day.
For many people, the scale holds a lot of power. Many people I work with through Nourish weigh themselves daily and view the number as reward or punishment for the previous day’s behavior. Up a pound? Must have been that burger and fries at lunch. Down a pound? Must have been that extra long run. It doesn’t really work that way, though – last night’s cheesecake does not materialize as an extra two pounds while you sleep. I usually tell clients there’s about a one week lag between your choices and their impact on the scale. This is one reason I advocate weighing yourself weekly. Doing so allows you to watch for trends and to avoid sweating the normal fluctuations that can occur during a week.
Even for someone trying to lose weight, I still advocate the weekly weigh-in. Tracking a trend line from week to week will give you a more accurate picture of your progress toward a goal than charting every daily shift will do; the latter can make you crazy!!
As a culture, we’re pretty tied to numbers, whether they’re measuring pounds on a scale or the waistband on our jeans. Knowing your numbers can be useful, but letting your day be governed by them is a recipe for disaster. You’re so much more than a number; don’t let one rule your day. Try living beyond the numbers instead; that’s where you’ll discover your very best life.