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It's Time to Let Go of Childish Things--Like the Scale!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By SparkPeople member

"Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way."

--Jewel, "I'm Sensitive"

I've run into several blogs written by people who are truly suffering, who are slaves to the scale. They are desperate and miserable and my heart goes out to them, and how sad that they (and we) obsess over the number on the scale. If you are doing most everything right (and believe me I need to hear this for myself as well) and the scale doesn't move, it doesn't mean anything other than the number hasn't changed on that instrument.

It doesn't tell you that your blood sugar is down.

It doesn't tell you that your blood pressure is lower.

It doesn't tell you that your cholesterol and triglycerides are better numbers.

It doesn't tell you that, by continuing to work out and eat better, you continue to improve your health and lower your risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc.

A scale doesn't give you the most important information, so we have to stop obsessing about it not moving for a day, a month, or a year. Heck, the scale has not moved for me in years and yet I'm significantly healthier now than I have been in 30 years. My blood numbers and my sense of physical well-being tell me what I need to know.

Certainly, I look at my wedding picture of 30 years ago and see a beautiful, skinny woman and I wonder where she went. But, that young girl went through a whole lot of livin' and raised two tremendous young men...I'd say it was all worth it. What's the old saying about, when I was a child I did things as a child and now that I'm grown I put away childish things?

One of those things is the childish desire of an adult to be 20 again. We need to love who we have become and the road that got us here. Or, at the very least forgive ourselves, pick ourselves up, and move on. We must be kinder to ourselves.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all of us healthy, happy, and THIN, but that ain't gonna happen. What can happen though, is that we can find our own sense of joy and happiness within us and our lives and hold on to that. Hold it close to our heart and foremost in our mind and carry it fully in our spirit, so we stop destroying ourselves by abusing the little one that lives within each of us.

I've heard the term anawim--an old Hebrew word meaning "poor ones" and expanded by the Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox to include those who are forgotten and deemed unnecessary by society. When I think of my SparkFriends who use hateful words to describe their behavior with food and their laziness, even for brief periods, I cannot help but feel a very deep pain in my heart for their spirit within. It helps to envision this fragile spirit as our inner child. And, like it says in the Bible, "what you do to the least of these, you do to me." The least of these is the anawim--including your inner child--YOU.

What I'm asking of each of us is to honor our spirit, the little one that is within. Please be gentle with your words and thoughts. Love ourselves inside today, even as we hurt and feel lost. Our little one feels lost as well and needs to be cared for and nurtured. If we do not nurture our spirit with love and comfort, I fear we will never overcome our addiction to food and bad habits.

A thin person with a wounded heart (from the abuse we pile on it with self-hatred and nasty words and thoughts) is not a whole person, is not happy with themselves really--only with their appearance to others. So, the weight comes back on.

I have a soft heart that hates to see us be so mean to ourselves.

Start your journey, to health, joy, and thinness, on the inside. At the very least, we must mind our thoughts and words...they cause us greater harm than we realize.

Or, they can heal us.

Nine days after my first son’s due date, I was playing a very aggressive game of volleyball. No surprise, I gave birth the next day. I was nine months along with my second child when an umpire told me to tuck my shirt into my maternity pants while I was batting at a city softball game so he could see the pitch. Yep! That was me--active and determined not to let motherhood slow me down. But it did. I got lazy about my team sports and activities. It seems chasing around two little guys, shift work, being a wife, and maintaining a home didn’t leave time or energy for such foolishness. Eventually, I quit work to raise the boys, returning to my career in molecular biology when they were mid-teens.

At an early point, I decided to just raise the kids and deal with me later. I hope it’s not too late. I have a wonderfully supportive husband and father of our two boys. He sees me as the embodiment of a fulfilled mother with the resultant weight gain that goes with it--as if it’s my hard-earned badge of honor, you might say. So, appearance is not my big concern. Health is. Finding SparkPeople has been a true miracle for me. No meetings to attend. It’s all at my own pace. And no one is judging me. I’m accountable to myself, with the resources, support, and encouragement right there if I need it and ask for it.

Mostly, I seek out the small teams because I enjoy the closer relationships that are possible, while at the same time joining a couple of larger teams where I can be invisible, but still gain from others wisdom. My favorite team is “Virtual Cycling—Touring the Globe” because we get to pretend we are touring other countries while putting real miles in on our bikes. Our next “tour” starts this September.

Do you have an inspirational story you think we should include on the dailySpark? Do you have any funny stories about weight loss? Send them to editor@dailyspark.com. Include the subject line: From the Mouths of Members

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STORMYG56 10/12/2020
OMG!!! What a wonderful motivational piece! I am so taken with what you have written & I realize over & over again, that I am not kind to myself, as much as I am kind to others. Thank you for describing Our Spirit!
This has been truly inspirational!
My friends call me Gail or Gstorm Report
NASFKAB 8/11/2020
Great Report
The scale drove me insane. I just weigh at the Doctors every 6 months. I can tell by my clothes if I gain, or lose. I learned that the scale was not my friend. Report
NJJEZ1 6/23/2020
I gave my scale to Goodwill and started weighing at the grocery about every 2 weeks. I was very content with that until their scale broke and no one was in a hurry to fix it. After 4 weeks I panicked and went out and bought a digital scale. BIG MISTAKE!! I was so disappointed that I had only lost 1 pound in 4 weeks. I moped for 2 days. Then I figured that it must be the new scale. The next week I had lost 3 pounds. The poor scale. The grocery finally fixed their scale Report
GGRSPARK 1/12/2020
My scale is acting up as well, plus been away fir two months. I do like to check my weight, but recognize how a bad reading will alter my day. I have tried to be more self aware and in the meanwhile, pay attention to mood. This blog is excellent. Time for ‘me’ may be an arm’s length away, and putting others first is often the only path. Report
KHALIA2 12/8/2019
Thanks! Report
thank you Report
Beautiful blog. Thank you. I needed to hear this today. Report
The scale is but one tool for us to determine how we are meeting our goals, just like a tape measure, blood pressure readings, glucose numbers, there is nothing childish about a scale unless it is the way you in particular treat the information you receive from it. Losing weight to me has nothing at all to do with wanting to look like I was 20, god forbid I ever have to go back in time like that. I feel much more comfortable at a lower weight, my knee feels better, my BP is lower, besides when I was 20, I wasn’t done growing yet and only about 5’4” I would look pretty silly at 5’8” and only 120 lbs. Report
My doctor does not consider the scale as childish. Perhaps we should give up the childish act of blaming the scale for our own actions or reactions. Report
Very powerful message that I needed to hear today....Thankyou! Report
I enjoyed your insightful article. Thank you. Report
Thanks for the reminder. I've written a similar blog about the scale myself, but I forgot my own words. You are right. I feel stronger and healthier than I have in a long time. I am able to do more than I ever could, but, once again, I got caught up in a number. This number really gives me no information and deep down I know it. I just have to be reminded of it every now and then. Thanks for the reminder. Report
I loved this blog - I've been dealing with the number on the scale for a day or two, and this was just what I needed to read. Report
I salute you for a thought-provoking blog. It has brought me to what is truly important! Report
You hit the nail on the head - the most important benefits of watching what I eat and exercising more is lower cholesterol, better blood pressure and most importantly for me is lower blood sugar. All of these things I hope will show improvement when I have my bloodwork done in a few weeks. I've been sparking since mid-August and am hoping for improvement is all areas. Report
Thanks for reminding us of the important things life! Report
I love your view of life and being healthy!! I really needed to "hear" that right now! Thank you for helping me keep focused on what is truly important and being such a wonderful inspiration!! Report
Great blog -- I've been stuck for a week on the scale and beginning to get discouraged. You've made me realize that number is not the important thing. Report
Great blog! You are walking in my shoes, and profession. I use my new grandson as my reason to get in better health. The obsession with the scales number is behind me. I weigh myself very infrequently now but use other gages on how I am doing. Good for you!! Report
i never thought of it that way, thank you for your insite! Report
What a great post, I know that I am guilty of stepping on the scale, anxiously awaiting that number to change. Thanks for making think outside the box, this will help me immensly. Off to hide the scale. Report
Wow! What great insight in a well written article. I appreciate the other side of the scale in what it doesn't tell. It is all balance in our daily walk in healthy living. Report
Thank you for this beautiful blog.. I did not think about that before, but after I read this post I am very motivated. I am a slave of the scale too. I lost 37 lbs already and I am just dying to loose the last 15 lbs, I weight myself twice a week and lately I have not seing results. I think that is because of my obsesion to loose them fast. Thanks againg for this post. Report
The battery in my digital scale is dead . . . and I haven't replaced it for a while. I notice that in the absence of weighing myself, I have paid more attention to how I feel and other indicators of improving health like improvements in my skin, the quality of my sleep and how my clothes fit.

But I have become curious to find out how much my weight has changed and I plan to get a replacement for that battery today. (Ironic that I read your blog post today, huh?) Report
This is such a deeply sweet and worthwhile post for ANY human being to read! Great point about what the scale does not tell us. Report
Great post and oh so true! I find that I can become a slave to the scale and then get down on myself when it stalls. I forget too that I am much healthier than I was before just by eating better and moving more. Report
ETA: I had not read the blog writer's comment that the spark editors had changed her blog title to focus on the scale when I posted this response, nor realized it was an old blog as it was up on my sparkie page today and I thought it was new.

I am sorry whoever wrote the title of this blog to make people who use the scale appear "childish" but at any rate I still love my scale. :)

I really thought this was a nice blog entry regarding so many points but I totally disagree with the emphasis on disregarding the scale.

For me, the scale is my friend, a tool that helps me chart my personal little "bodybuilding" and fitness journey and my more than 100 pound weight loss (maintained by dint of the weekly weigh-ins for approx. 10 years with ups and downs).

I realize that for some others the scale is a negative factor and maybe those individuals do need to stay away from it. I also realize there are other factors in weight management and health than the scale.

But why is there always on online "diet" and lifestyle sites this emphasis on negativity regarding the scale or whatever measure of success people choose.

I love my scale. It never lies. Report
the scales do not define who I am. It's just a number. I haven't weighed myself in months. I am working on getting healthier and becoming a new me. The scales don't tell me if I am attaining that goal. My morning workouts do, my eating right does and how my clothes fit does. Thanks for the nice article. It was well written. Report
Reading your story was like having one of those light bulb moments.The last several months the scale & I have been enemies. I was beginning to have self doubt in myself instead of being proud of all the hard work I've accomplished this year. Thank you for opening my eyes, reading your story couldn’t have come at a better time for me.
Thanks so much for this blog. I've seen several people today that are having that struggle. I still do on occassion but I'm trying to change my thinking! Thanks for helping reinforce those good changes. Report
Nice to see somebody else who thinks the same way I do. Report
Because I have congestive heart failure (controlled by medication), I have to get on the scale every day because I have to watch my water gain. As long as I stay within a fluctuation of 5 pounds either way, I can accept the reading easily. If I go over that by 2 or 3 pounds, I'll watch more judiciously what I eat for the next few days. Report
Thank you so much! Report
Thanks for your insightful blog, ultimately it's about our overall health and the number on the scale does not determine that. Though I do weigh myself because i desire to lose weight, I'm not compulsive about it and it gives me an indication as to if I need to tweek some of my habits to obtain desired results.
Thank you for your insight into the importance of nuturing ourselves to good health.
~Zena~ Report
It is too bad that the editors made it sound like scales are childish. Each person needs to do what works for them. If stepping on the scale every morning works for you please don't stop because it doesn't work for someone else. Report
Thanks for the Virtual Cycling Team invite! I love the photo on this team's page--what a humorous motivation! I also agree that SP is a great way to interact and chart goals/progress without having to go to face-to-face meetings. Works well into my schedule, and I can attend regularly! Report
Great blog - for me the reminder to nurture our spirit with love and comfort was what I needed to hear today. I try to look for the beauty within myself and in the world around me as I work on the habits that will reform my lifestyle to get me back to the "fit life" where I want to spend my time. Have a good vacation - no need to respond, may see you over on virtual cycling, it sounds intriguing and I definitely want to check it out! Report
Thank You !!!!! Report
I found this a very interesting article as well. Thank you. Report
Loved the article, really liked your bio. Thank you for focusing on "self-talk" which is another aspect of weight loss that doesn't get as much attention as the scale. Report
Rosalini, I love that you are proud to be able to give blood!

I played a concert on my due date. My dad looked at me in my Maternity Concert Black and said, "Barbs, you look like a bowling ball!"

Mom hit him. Report
This is awesome and I totally agree. The only reason I am weighing in once a week is because I signed up for a challenge that requires it... otherwise I gauge how my clothes fit and how I feel and weigh about once a month, if that... Congratulations on your healthy journey and thanks for sharing... Report
Hallelujah and Amen! I step on the scale about once a month, if I feel like it. I've lost about 40 pounds since 12/08. The important thing to me is my heart rate. Before I started to walk it was in the neighborhood of 110-118 beats per minute. It's down to 80 beats per minute now, so I can donate blood when the local drive is in town. Thanks for a great post! Report
Thank you for your wonderful message! Report
I understand the purpose for the writing of this article... but I feel the approach of avoiding the scale alltogether is the path of the least resistance, and one to avoid. I personally feel the scale is a valuable tool as many others are. And comparing the info received from a scale to that of blood sugar, etc is like comparing apples to oranges.

By avoiding the path of least resistance we need to also measure our mind set towards the numbers we wish to see or avoid. I think either way we are on a journey that is to be embraced regardless the numbers. This is what makes us stronger a leader of our own right and personal journey.

To take the path of least resistance doesn't help build a solid, sturdy and strong foundation. As I said many times;

“If the foundation you stand on is weak the results will be minimal.

on the other hand......

If the foundation is strong and balanced the results will duplicate”. Report
I was in a doctors office one time, and his scale measured my weight 7 lbs heavier than my home scale did. Of course, when I weighed myself at home, I'd just gotten up and done the bathroom thing BEFORE I weighed myself, and at the doctors office, I had on my shoes, a belt, my purse and a bag with my embroidery in it, plus I'd had 2 meals already (breakfast & lunch). After seeing the doctor (which he did not say a word about my weight), I took my chart out to the nurse/reception area to make my next appointment, and when I laid the chart down on the counter, I saw that the nurse (a tiny little thing I knew from working at the hospital) had written in big bold letters across the top of my chart (on the outside of the manila folder, mind you) OBESITY. This upset me so much I have never gone back to that doctors office. The nerve of her! I thought. I wear a size 12 and am active, and just because of what the scale said she labeled me obese. This is something I will never forget, and I don't like weighing myself anyway, before this happened. My weight at that time was 172. Yes I was overweight, and I knew it, but that word hurt me deeply!

So I can feel for anyone who finds that words hurt them. I agree completely with Patty. Report
I'm in the unenviable position of not being able to get an accurate scale measurement since I require two spring scales to get a weight at home and I only see the doctor about once every six months (his scale can measure a bariatric patient accurately). I've had to find other ways to measure my progress...like the ones mentioned.

Here's a few others:

- I can shop at Wal-Mart now and buy my clothes instead of having to order them online from a plus sized site (sometimes even the women's clothes, though this mostly applies to men's work clothes)

- You can see my eyes in my face now

- You can see my cheekbones

- I'm actually HUNGRY in the mornings for breakfast now and not hungry when I go to bed

The scale didn't tell me any of this. If I didn't need the occasional measurement for challenges and the pleasure of seeing that ticker move, I would just throw them away. Report
I posted this to a couple of SparkPages but thought this would be more efficient for now:
Unfortunately the emphasis on disregarding the scale was added by the DailySpark editors by way of changing my blog title. So, I've been surprised at the numerous mentions of the scale in the replies. The glorious thing is....y'all got what I was saying, anyway!. For that I am grateful and awed by your stories, your journey's. The scale was not the focus of my article as you figured out. The heart of my article was how we treat ourselves. But you guys understood that. Like the rest of you, I use my scale judiciously and have no intention of tossing it. As other comments have said, 'It's a valuable tool." I'm sorry the editors changed the focus by changing the title of my blog, but I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

As much as I'll try to get to everyone to offer a personal "Thank you" and to tell you your comments have touched me deeply, I have to say it will take me a while. I'm gone on vacation for a couple weeks--no electricity or running water! I'll be thinking of you all. Thanks so much! Report
I've been trying to get this message through my own thick skull for quite awhile. I've been wondering why in the face of all the other success do I get so caught up in that number? My clothes are either saggy or the too small's are wearable, my sugar's are good and I'm much more aware of them, I feel better in general and have had people tell me I'm loosing weight. I can see changes other's won't see in my physical being but if the number doesn't do what I want, I feel like such a failure. I find myself saying "I lost 2 inches off my hips but that *&%# scale won't move!" I got teary when I read this, my inner voice definately responded.
Thank you. Report
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