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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 3:06 am | A Few Clouds 47º


Collin McShirley: Why It Might be Time to Ditch the Scale

Exercise, be fit and active, eat right and be healthy. Sounds great, but it seems that the constant urge to diet and lose weight is something that plagues many people today.

The common thought is that you should weigh yourself, but it turns out that there is more harm done than good.

The occasional benefit to weighing yourself is drastically outweighed by negatives that come from weighing yourself. Here are some of the reasons it may be time to ditch the scale! 

It Can be a Trigger!

Once you step on that scale, all you see is a number, and that number can make you feel amazing, or give you some important information about your health.

But for a lot of people it can just make you feel bad.

This number has the power to make you feel horrible about yourself, and could possibly lead you to the very dangerous world of eating disorders.

Keep in mind that is an extreme possibility, but it is also a reality for many people who judge themselves purely on the number and how they look versus how they feel.

More often than not, people who weigh themselves will end up really sad and with the bad vision of themselves.

In short, numbers on a scale can produce the same feeling as someone saying horrible things about you.

It Gives You a Number

A scale is not human, or a doctor. It gives you one piece of information, and it cannot account for other variables.

All it does is give you your weight, which at the end of the day is just a number.

What a scale does not account for is when your last meal was, how much water or fluids you’ve had, what time of day it is, what you’re wearing, your height, your age, your gender, how much muscle versus fat you have (your body mass index), when your last bowel movement was (sorry for that image), and so much more.

When It’s OK to Weigh Yourself

You should weigh yourself very rarely because you don’t need to see a number every day that will either make or break your day.

You should just live a healthy lifestyle and be happy.

Of course, there are certain weight ranges for people to stay in, in order to be healthy, but that still doesn’t mean you need to weigh yourself constantly.

The scale is not the boss! It should not make you feel scared or nervous, and it should not hold power over you.

In fact, it’s one number and without knowing the context of what else is going on in your body, it shouldn’t count.

The best thing you can do is pay attention to how your body feels.

Do you feel nourished, content, alive, happy, full ... Instead of basing everything off of numbers like the scale provides or that the size of your clothes provides ... Focus on how you feel in your body.

This feeling will guide you to feeling content, strong and powerful.

Collin McShirley, MA, IMF, is certified and specializes in mindful eating, emotional eating, body image and self esteem; she provides coaching services in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Goleta; and she developed the program, “Break Free From Emotional Eating and Learn to Love Your Body.” She grew up in Santa Barbara​, graduated from UC Santa Barbara and received her masters in clinical psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara. Click here for more information, contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter: @CollinMFTI. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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