Today we’re talking about my most favorite topic of all time. I could talk about this all day, all night, with my clients and with you. It’s the hot topic, the scale. Specifically, f*ck the scale.
I will need you to write this down. I mean, you could write down fuck the scale. Or you could also write this down, because it might be more helpful, you don’t need a scale to lose weight.
That’s right. That’s what I said.
You don’t need a scale to lose weight.
The scale is not;
- A plan,
- A strategy,
- A tip,
- A workout,
- A coach,
It is an inanimate object that weighs you.
In that moment, all of you, your hair, your skin, your muscle, fat, bone, water, blood, everything. And your body is constantly changing.
It is subject to change;
- Time of day,
- Time of month,
- Time of year,
- What you ate,
- What you didn’t eat,
- What you drink,
- What you didn’t drink,
- How much sleep you got,
- If you were sick,
- If you flew in a plane,
- If you just took a nap,
All the different things are going to change the number on the scale, and yet here we are chasing that number.
As if once we get to the number, now we have it, we won the prize. This is why it’s a little annoying, because once you hit that number it’s going to change again. In an hour, it is going to go up. In another two hours, it might go up again. It’s going to keep changing. Yet we keep chasing it. It’s like the Greyhound chasing the fake rabbit at the track. It’s a game, and it’s a game that we don’t win, ever.
It’s driving most women crazy. Not because the scale does anything wrong. It is definitely 100% Our thoughts and feelings. What we make the number mean about us, about our beauty, our worth, our desirability, or all the things about us as if we’re going to walk around town with our weight on a big poster board and carrying above our head like we’re at a wrestling match or something like that. Instead of saying round three it says 129 pounds, or 142, or 165, or 201, or whatever it says.
Nobody cares. Except us. We have in our minds somewhere, a number that we picked out. I do ask women all the time, about their weight loss, their weight loss goals, and why that’s their goal number. A lot of times that’s the number they weighed 18 years ago. 18 years ago! It was a long time ago.
Not to say that, Oh, you’re too old to weigh that, but let’s really talk about what happened.
- Were you in college?
- Were you smoking cigarettes all day?
- What has changed since that moment?
- Is that reasonable?
- Does it really matter what the number is?
- Is your goal, just a number, like that’s all you care about?
- Is it bigger than that?
- Is your desire for weight loss or fat loss?
Whether it’s weight loss or fat loss, I hope it’s more fat loss. Obviously no matter what, when we are engaging in weight loss, and we’re eating at a deficit of calories, we are going to lose some muscle mass. This is why Quick Fix diets are not the best because if you lose weight too quickly, you do risk losing more muscle mass.
Back to what your goal is. You’re probably not just looking for a number, but I’m guessing because you want to fit into your clothes or new clothes, different clothes, old clothes, right? You want to have your body look a certain way. You want it to feel a certain way. Probably how you feel in your body, or maybe how other people feel your body. I’m not judging.
You want to maybe feel more confident. You want to look good in clothes. You want to look good without clothes. You want to look in the mirror, and like what you see. I just want to point out that some of that is not going to come from a number on a scale.
The number on the scale doesn’t make you like yourself. It doesn’t make other people like you. It doesn’t make you more successful. It doesn’t put money in the bank. It doesn’t put every relationship you’ve ever wanted right in front of you. It doesn’t promote you in your job. It doesn’t. It doesn’t do anything other than satisfy that need for the number, which will be fleeting.
The number doesn’t stay that number, like a speedometer on a car. We can get up to 40 miles now we’re at 41. We’re back at 39. It’s going to fluctuate.
I want to share with you what you could do instead of using a scale.
If I’m trying to lose weight, how will I know if I lost weight if I don’t have a scale? That’s probably what your brains all already offered you. How could this even be a thing? How could I not use the scale? Isn’t it like a mandatory thing? Don’t I have to use the scale every time I go to the doctor’s office? They make me get on a scale.
PS, unless you’re going to the doctor’s office because you have a problem with the number on the scale. I mean you’re visiting them to talk specifically about your weight. There’s no reason to get on the scale. You don’t have to. You can say no, thank you. You don’t have to let them push you or bully you into getting on the scale. Unless you specifically made the appointment to say, Hey, I’d like to discuss my weight. When I go for a yearly physical, I don’t need to get on the scale. My doctor has eyes. As far as I’m concerned, it does not matter. I do not care. I don’t have to get on the scale. I’m an adult, I get to decide. I don’t typically get on the scale.
I want to tell you this, not because the scale makes me mad or sad or puts me in a rage or I hate it. It’s just inconsequential. I don’t care. What does it matter? I don’t think it matters at all. Here’s why.
1) Clothing and the mirror
I know how my clothes fit or how I want them to fit. I have eyes. I have a mirror. I know when it comes to eyes and a mirror, sometimes our eyes will lie, they will. I get it.
Sometimes we’re so used to looking in the mirror and finding faults or problems. That’s what brains look for, the problems. It’s like, oh my gosh, what’s up with my hair? Or my gosh, I need to pluck my eyebrows. This is a problem. That’s a problem. This doesn’t look good. That color is terrible. Blabbity blah. On and on and on.
Sometimes we just stop looking in the mirror. We avoid the mirror. I’m telling you, the biggest gift you could give yourself isn’t trying to get a number on the scale, it is learning to like and appreciate yourself right now. Whatever the scale says, or doesn’t say. Whatever size clothes you’re in or not.
Look in the mirror and be like;
- You’re a bad*ss bitch.
- Good job today.
- I like those glasses on you.
- I like your smile.
- Looking good.
- Doing a great job.
The same thing you would say if your child was standing right next to you in that mirror.
I want to tell you a quick little story. About six years ago now, I remember standing in the bathroom. It was the bathroom my kids use. We’re standing there, I think with both of them, looking in the mirror. I don’t know why. It’s a very large mirror in there. We’re standing and I literally grabbed my stomach. I said, Mommy is so fat. I was saying it was in slow motion.
First of all, I have no idea what prompted that. As soon as I said it, I was like, I will never say that again. I was horrified. I’m like, I cannot believe I said that about myself. I said it in front of my kids. They don’t remember that and it has never happened since. I really think about them, my kids.
If you don’t have kids, think about your 10 year old self or your 12 year old self. What would you say to her in the mirror? Or if you’re the mom and you’re holding her hand and you’re both looking in the mirror, what you’re going to say. Work on that. That is going to be a huge shift that you’re not going to get from any number on the scale.
If you’re like me, you’ve been a lot of different numbers on the scale and it was never enough. Never good enough. Never lasted long enough. I still have problems. I still don’t like what I see in the mirror. Still not lean enough. Thin enough. Pretty enough. Now I have loose skin or cellulite or I can see this or what about this. All of that bullshit.
We need to be able to look in the mirror, like what we see, and find something nice to say. I know a lot of coaches have done this, where they literally have a framed picture of their younger self. Just as a reminder, right?
A lot of what we do as adult women is spend time re parenting ourselves, especially if you’ve got a lot of messages as a kid or a young adult that you;
- Aren’t good enough,
- You’re fat,
- Not thin enough,
- You need to lose weight,
- Boys don’t like fat girls,
All of that garbage.
It is up to us, right now, to reprogram some new and better things. It starts with making that intentional look in the mirror. The more you look in the mirror, you will get better at trusting your own eyes. You will get better at seeing the result of your work. Seeing your stomach is looking less bloated or it’s looking flatter or your arms are looking more toned or more defined or thinner or whatever you’re looking for. It’s in there. It’s in the mirror. It’s happening right in front of you.
If you don’t appreciate you, why would anyone else? I know it can be a little bit emotional when I have this conversation with people about looking in the mirror. Pretend you’re standing there holding your 10 year old self’s hand. You and her. What are you saying to her? That’s the conversation we want to have.
The more we can trust ourselves with the mirror, the easier weight loss actually becomes. We don’t have to rely on the scale. We have clothing. We have our own eyes and our own brain. The mirror. All of our phones have a camera.
I’ve mentioned this before in a podcast because one of my clients was like did you know you can have a private folder in your camera. If you’re worried that someone’s going to see a picture of you that you took in your bathroom and your sports bra in your underwear. Which by the way, I have a lot of those pictures from a long time ago. You can hide them.
Often when we take a picture of ourselves, we won’t see, what we’re looking or hoping for. If every Monday morning, I snapped the picture, in 4 weeks, 10 weeks, 20 weeks, 40 weeks, I’m going to start to notice those differences. I’ll be very happy that I had those photos. I’ve been very disappointed in myself because I disliked myself so much I wouldn’t get in photos and I didn’t take pictures.
I have very few of myself. I even noticed when my kids were little, there’s very few pictures of myself. I think a lot of moms can relate to that, where there’s just pictures of the kid or there’s pictures with the kids and dad or you know the other mom or relative or what have you. You got to get into photos and take photos of yourself. These are just photos to give you the visual reminder that you are making progress.
A lot of my clients will also use old school tape measures. It’s not like every day you’re going to see a difference. Let’s say every two weeks or every four weeks, you’re going to do a measurement. Many will do just that bust line. They’ll do the natural waist, which is the highest part of your waist, that thinnest part. It’s over your belly button. The umbilicus is right across your belly button. Your hips, the broadest part of your hips. Some people will even do a thigh measurement or an upper arm measurement, totally fine.
Keep those somewhere. Write those down. If it’s every month, you’re going to check in there. I’ve had clients where the scale hasn’t moved that much but they’re like, I lost eight inches off my waist. I’m like eight inches off your waist. I mean, that’s fucking nuts. Who cares what the scale says?
Ultimately, I don’t want a number on the scale. What is that? What are they going to laminate the scale? Take a picture of the scale and blow it up and then frame it for my house or send in an email? Who cares?
I want to wear all my clothes. I want to feel good in them. I don’t want to be fidgeting with them. I don’t want to have to do 90 squats to stretch out the pants. I don’t want to worry anymore.
That’s ultimately what’s going on. That’s the big transformation. It is not about making the scale go down. It’s not about the new low carb diet or the macros or just becoming a smaller version of myself. Trying to willpower and grit all the way and hope that I can keep it off. I want to stop suffering. I want to stop the torment. I want to stop the game that I’m allowing the scale to play. I’m participating in the game. I’m actually driving the game. This scale is just an innocent victim here.
You don’t need a scale to lose weight.
- You’re using it two or three times a day.
- You’re letting the scale dictate what you can eat.
- What you can’t eat.
- If you should not eat.
- If you need to exercise harder, faster, longer.
That’s a problem.
That is very hard to sustain. That means all of your choices for the day, your mood for the day, everything, is dictated by your thoughts about the number on the scale. Notice I didn’t say the scale dictated it, it is your thoughts about the number on the scale. The reason I’m specifically talking about the scale, and I think I could probably talk about it all the time is because I feel like we all need to coach about it, vent about it, and really see it for what it’s worth.
Inside my coaching program, Self Made, we did this last year and we’re going to do it again this year. We’ve called it “No Way May.” We are offering clients, they don’t have to do this, I don’t tell my clients what to do. I offer, like, you know this would be something that has worked well in the past. Let’s think about not using the scale for the month of May and using all of these other ways to gauge how we’re doing. There are some other components to it. Obviously, clothing, your eyes, a mirror, your camera, a tape measure. Those are all data points, different ways that we can assess and evaluate.
There are some other things, of course, we want to get really clear. What are we trying to achieve? Weight Loss never happens by accident. It doesn’t. It just does not. You get sick maybe or I don’t know, a tapeworm, but it just doesn’t happen by accident. It does have to be intentional. You have to know what you want and what exactly that means.
You can’t just say I need to lose weight. I should lose weight. I should weigh less. We have to think about what we are actually going for? Again, that brings us back to why we are using the scale when it really should use a pair of jeans or a belt or a blouse or something that we want it to either fit or fit better. We need a plan, ultimately.
We need intentionality. We need to have something written down. Whether that is a plan I write in advance, I plan my day in advance, or that I’m going to keep say a food journal. I’m just going to be able to see that these last three days, I didn’t really eat very much at all, or I over ate. I want to be able to see that so that I can say what is working and what is not working.
If I just am just using the scale and expect that the scale is going to help me lose weight. No, we have to have that intentionality. We need to have a plan. We need to be honest with the plan. That’s why a lot of diets actually don’t work.
That’s why macros really don’t work for a lot of people because we’re not completely committed to it. We don’t completely track. We don’t really write everything down. We’re not really doing it, we’re kind of sort of half assing it. You really have to be committed to it if you really want to lose weight.
Take all the pressure away from the scale, and let’s really do the important work. Ultimately you want to fit into your clothes, you want your body to look a certain way. So why rely on a scale? People have lost weight and they didn’t look any different. You’ve probably had that same experience. The scale went down but you didn’t feel any different. Your clothes didn’t feel any better. You didn’t look any different.
We can take the scale out if you want, and you can play along just like my clients in Self Made. Or I’m not supposed to talk about this but I’m opening up Self Made. You know why? Because I love it. I love a month that starts on a Monday. Monday is May 1. I imagine I have dozens of listeners, like yourself, which I am so grateful for. If this message is resonating for you. If you’re liking what you’re hearing, imagine if you had a plan to go with it. Imagine if you had accountability to go with it. That’s what you’re getting in Self Made. It doesn’t matter.All the gizmos in the app and I have coaching calls, who cares? Ultimately, the result is you moving from suffering despair, disappointment, frustration, confusion and overwhelm, to going to a place where you feel confident, secure, assured, and you know you’re on the right track.
That’s ultimately what Self Made is. It’s taking you from disempowered to empowered. That’s, that’s what we’re doing. I’m inviting you to do it with me. If you would like to do that, I’m going to make sure they drop my call link, let’s do it that way. I never like to convince anybody that they should work with me. I want to make sure it’s a good fit. We can have a chit chat, whether it is before May 1, doesn’t really matter. I’m going to open this up for all of May. You don’t have to physically start on May 1.
If mentally, you’re ready to do something in the month of May, I’m going to open up 25 spots. I want to tell you, that’s not going to be a lot because I am running a special little challenge group and they’re gonna get some dibs on this too. If you’re feeling compelled to lose weight, and keep it off for life, I invite you to work with me inside Self Made.
There is also another option, Self Made Society. It’s kind of like the little sister to Self Made. It’s more of a do it yourself because there isn’t that level of accountability. It still has a lot of great info coaching calls, you’re going to get all of the same philosophies I have around flexible nutrition, around hormone friendly fitness, and around how we reframe a lot of the diet, the weight loss, the thoughts and beliefs that are probably holding us back.
What you can take action on.
You could decide for the month of May to put your scale aside and look at weight loss. Maybe you’re not ready for that, maybe just weighing yourself once a week. Maybe using more of a tape measure or taking the weekly photo of yourself.
At the very least write this down, you don’t need a scale to lose weight. I promise you. I hadn’t been on a scale in over nine years. I had to get on a scale for an insurance policy. A little medical physical they give you but I did not even look at it. I told her I said I don’t own a scale. I don’t care about a scale but that was a thing I could not say no to. Believe me, my doctors know I don’t get on the scale. So it can be done. And it can be very freeing.
I’m not telling you to stay off the scale because the scale is bad or it makes you mad or it is sad and we’re going to stick our heads in the sand. Many of my clients choose to use the scale and learn how to neutralize their thoughts and feelings about the scale and to make it just like checking the weather app. I don’t look and see it’s 35 degrees and raining and I don’t slam my phone against the wall being so mad like I want to do with my scale. We learn how to use the scale in a neutral way that works for us or we or we don’t use the scale. The scale is not necessary for weight loss.
NOTES IN ANCHOR
Listen to me…F*ck the scale. No seriously…f*ck it. You don’t need a scale to lose weight. It is nothing more than an inanimate object that weighs you. And it weighs all of you, not just your fat. It weighs your muscle, your fat, your bones, your hair, your skin, your clothes…….everything.
What it says also changes at any given moment. Different times of day, week, or year will all weigh differently. Weighing in the morning will be different than at night, and so on. It can also change based on so many different factors including hormones and water weight. The scale is quite simply an unreliable tool that leaves us with unrealistic expectations. We aren’t going to hit a certain number on the scale and solve all of our problems. We won’t win a prize.
So since we are giving the scale a big middle finger… Let’s look at some other ways we can track our progress and reach our goals in episode 46 of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss, now!
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience.
Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.
Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you unf*ck your diet brain.
She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.
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