• well….you did it i dtched my man in the scale. he simply never made me feel light enough.
    be light

    From dagmar
    February 22, 2012

Coaching Corner: The Scale – Terrorist or Tool?

Many of my coaching clients ask, “Should I weigh myself?” My standard answer is to ask a couple of questions: 1) Do you think you need to weigh? 2) What does the number on the scale mean to you?

Many people are terrified of the scale. I know, because I was one of the terrorized. There was a time in my life when my scale and I were on intimate terms. In fact, I even bought one that could talk. He had a rather pleasant voice (except when his batteries were low). When I stepped on him, he announced my weight and wished me a “nice day.”

I became obsessed with the man in the scale, like a bad boyfriend. My morning ritual involved lining him up just right (I knew which position on the tile would give me the lowest reading). After eliminating everything possible, including clothes, shoes and jewelry, even my elastic hair band, I would blow out the air in my lungs (surely all that air would weigh something…) and step, ever so lightly, onto the exact spot I knew would deliver the lowest reading. I had this down to a science.

It got worse. Over time, I began weighing myself at various times of the day, getting different numbers each time, of course, depending on my food and water intake, amount of exercise, time of month, etc. A low number often led to a binge, but a high number set off a panic attack, followed by some form of self-punishment—a few more hours sweating it out at the gym and/or a night of starvation.

The turning point for me was an illness that took months to diagnose and a year of recovery. You see, when we abuse our bodies, whether by over- or under-eating or exercising, it eventually comes back to bite us.

After a great deal of self-reflection and some work with a counselor, I eventually began to identify the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that were driving me to obsess over the number on the scale. I now own a new scale, which, by the way, does not talk. I check in occasionally (about once a week) just to see how I’m doing. The number still varies, and I’m fine with that, because here’s what I’ve learned:

The number is just that: a number—a plain, stupid digital readout. It doesn’t say anything about who I am as a person. It’s there to help me. Like an air traffic controller, it gives me valuable information about my course, so, if necessary, I can make corrections.

If the thought of a daily or weekly weigh-in strikes terror in your heart, try looking at it as a simple reality check. Use the scale as a tool, and realize that it is only one way of measuring your progress. Glance at the number and say, “So what?” After all, it is not a judgment of your personal worth. It’s simply a way of knowing if you’re moving in the desired direction.

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