What comes to your mind when you think of getting on the scale? Is it dread, fear, or possibly even anger? Most people dread stepping on the scale, but if you want to lose weight, learning to weigh yourself daily will help you lose weight faster and keep it off. Follow the recommended steps below and stepping on the scale will no longer fill you with dread!
When I tell my weight loss clients that one of the basic tenets of successful weight loss is daily weighing, I get a lot of push back. For most people, the thought of getting on the scale creates so much anxiety.
Research supports that people who weigh themselves daily are much more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight loss.
A 6-month randomized, controlled study found that daily weighers lost on average 9.2 kg (20.24 lbs) at 6 months compared to 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs) for those weighing themselves less than daily. The participants who weighed themselves daily lost significantly more weight. They also adopted many more weight control behaviors that helped to maintain their weight loss long-term.
It’s much easier- physically and mentally- to get back on track after gaining a couple of pounds versus gaining five or ten. But knowing the facts doesn't make stepping on the scale any easier.
If you have a goal to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll want to start weighing yourself daily, and to do that you’ll want to learn how to make weighing a neutral activity. You won't be able to do that when you make the numbers mean something personal.
Giving a negative meaning to the numbers on the scale will sabotage your weight loss and, more importantly, affect the relationship you have with yourself.
It’s important to remember that numbers are neutral and they don't have the power to control you and influence how you feel. Numbers are data and can very effectively guide you toward your goal when you understand that the numbers have nothing to do with your self-worth.
When you step on the scale those numbers mean something to you because you're making them mean something.
What thoughts are you choosing when you see numbers on the scale? Most people aren’t even aware of their thoughts, and there's good reason for this. We have well over 40,000 thoughts a day and most of them are unconscious. Much of what the brain does is at the unconscious level. People may notice feeling disappointment, shame or anger, but they don’t understand the thought creating the feeling.
Here's a process to help you learn how to change the experience. The next time you get on the scale, do the following:
1. Look at the numbers.
2. Identify what you’re feeling and write it down.
3. Identify the thought creating the feeling. Ask yourself, "Why am I feeling this?" Pay attention to your answer because this is the thought behind the feeling. You may have more than one feeling. For each feeling investigate the thought behind it. Write it down.
Peel away at the onion and you’ll discover the thoughts that are creating the drama about the numbers on the scale. You can choose to make the numbers mean something positive or something negative about yourself. It's a choice.
4. Replace the negative thought with a positive thought that serves you. How you speak to yourself will influence how you feel. Why choose words that will only hurt you? Ask yourself, "How do I want to feel?" Choosing to feel hope, curiosity, excitement, and love will allow you to make much better choices for yourself. It's much easier to make healthy choices when you feel positive about yourself.
The only way to feel differently about the number on the scale is to change the thought that isn’t serving you. You know you’re thinking a negative thought if you’re feeling a negative emotion.
What could you think instead? Any thought that makes you feel better is a viable option. Maybe you could choose to think:
The numbers on the scale help me understand what food choices are right for me.
Knowing my numbers is a step closer to controlling my weight.
Numbers are only data and don't determine my self-worth.
I'm a step closer to my goal every time I weigh myself.
I'm making myself a priority and weighing myself is an act of self-love.
Choosing to make it mean something positive about yourself will move you toward your goal. Negative thoughts only move you away from your goal.
It’s nothing but a number on a scale. Nothing more. When you learn to look at the information in your environment as neutral and not as a reflection of your worth, the journey becomes so much easier.
I’m learning how to play golf and I had my first lesson this past week. I’m so new to the sport that I had to be taught how to hold the golf club. The instructor taught me the basics and after hitting at least 100 balls I was thrilled to be able to even hit the ball!
When I missed the ball, the instructor told me what I did wrong. He analyzed what he saw and gave me feedback. The information he gave was simply data, like the numbers on the scale. It wasn't criticism nor a judgement. It didn’t mean I wasn’t trying, or that I’ll never be able to figure it out. Trust me, I wasn't good, but if I allowed the experience to frustrate me, there's much less chance that I will keep trying. My goal is to learn how to play golf, and I won't get there if I berate myself.
Your health journey is the same. Learn the basics, learn how to interpret your results and what to change based on those results. Change your thoughts so they are working for you and not against you.
Here’s a thought spin that may change your belief about the numbers on the scale. Think of daily weighing as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. It’s an opportunity to teach you what foods work for you and give you energy. It’s an opportunity to understand what is going on in your mind. The more in control you are of your mind, the more in control you are of your life.
Weighing yourself is a wonderful opportunity for self-exploration as you learn to move your life in the direction you choose.
The degree to which the numbers on the scale impact you can be a good indicator of how much you allow other extraneous factors in your life to control you.
Learn to control your mind and you will learn to create your life instead of reacting to it. Remember, they are just numbers!
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