Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Think Scales Might be of the Devil

I’m partially convinced that the scales we weight ourselves on might be of the devil. Why? Because they possess too much ill-gotten power. When I was a young teenager suffering from continuing body image issues, I practically starved myself while exhausting myself in exercise daily, hoping that the scale’s number would change. I got on the scale MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY, and when it did not change, I got upset with myself. I felt like a failure. On one occasion, I jumped up and down on the scale until it broke.

Yes, it seems scales have too much power. They convince us to go on diets, to eat more, to eat less, to exercise more, to exercise less, to buy this new dress and to try to get into an old dress. They take our emotions on rollercoasters of sadness, depression, despair, and even excitement and joy. They play with our minds. One day they tell us we weigh 160 pounds. Later on that day, they will tell us that we weigh 165 pounds (please understand that I’m educated…so I know that this is fluctuations in water…but just go with me). Scales even set the mood for the day. Getting on a scale at the beginning of the day very well might determine how you feel, act, and react for the entire day. Yes…scales…they contain too much power…power that has been abused and manipulated at times.

But guess what?

I will continue to get on a scale.


Well, I moved to Florida some months ago and gained about 15 pounds. And that is not 15 pounds of muscle. I have lost 7 pounds already, however, let’s not talk about my current weight loss endeavors in this blog. We will save that for a future blog. The better question is, “does the number on the scale even matter?” This can be somewhat difficult to answer. Current standards use your weight and height to determine if you are overweight/obese ( Multiple studies have found associations between being overweight/obese and multiple diseases (heart disease, certain cancers, hypertension, stroke, etc.). But there are many people who are overweight/obese who do not suffer from any of these illnesses. Matter of fact, there are many people who are of NORMAL WEIGHT who DO suffer from these diseases. My advice to people when they ask me the question about weight is “never look at your weight in isolation.” Always looks at your weight in correlation with your waist circumference (less than 35 inches for women; less than 40 inches for men), and your basic labs. Your labs would include your glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. So if you are overweight, but eat pretty healthy and exercise, your waist circumference is under 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men) and you have no issues with elevated glucose levels, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, I would tell you to keep doing what you are doing. But if you are overweight or obese and suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or even pre-diabetes, I would definitely tell you that you need to work to decrease that number on the scale. Losing weight will help you lower those lab numbers to manageable levels. Just don’t become a slave to the scale. Your goal should be A RANGE, not a particular number. I believe weighing yourself once a week is more encouraging than weighing daily. I recently heard a friend tell me that they heard a recommendation to weigh every three weeks. I don’t have that much willpower. But you decide what is best for you. Just don’t become a slave to the scale. Look at it, but don’t let it control you internally.

KEY POINT: Determine to have a positive outlook on yourself no matter the number on the scale while working to get into a range you believe is healthy for you. LET YOUR SELF-ESTEEM WRAP ITSELF IN LOVE RATHER THAN THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE.

Until next time…

-Jenelle N. Robinson

Find the appropriate numbers for glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol:

1 comment:

  1. Weighing yourself is a very addictive behavior. Although I know I'm not the only one who does this, the compulsion to weigh in everyday can be overwhelming. Through this post, you were able to capture exactly how I feel on a daily basis. Thank you for your frankness and transparency I really appreciate it. I will be putting my scale away today (-: