Why I Stopped Weighing Myself

Chicago Yoga

It's been over 4 years since I’ve weighed myself. I don’t own a scale. Even when I go to the doctor’s office, I make sure they don’t tell me what I weigh. I don’t want or need to know.

Throughout high school & college, I’d weigh myself 2-3x a day and record my weight in a notebook. I’d weigh myself first thing in the morning naked and again right before bed. Sometimes I’d even weigh myself after my workouts to see how much progress I’d made. My weight could fluctuate 3-5 pounds a day and 5-10 pounds a week. My life existed in numbers: the number of calories, grams of protein, fat, & carbs I consumed daily. Consuming calories meant I had to track the number of calories I had burned. It was a vicious, never ending cycle. I was fixated on hitting a number on the scale that my friends and I had determined was THE ideal weight - despite the fact that we were a range of heights and body types.

Eventually I outgrew my obsession with the “number”, but it wasn’t without a hard and fast fall. I was hospitalized in college for several days with dangerously low potassium. I had been prescribed a diuretic in high school to prevent kidney stones. Though I never had one, I was deemed exceptionally high-risk by a leading nephrologist because I was leaking calcium. The diuretic helped me control my water weight but it also caused my potassium levels to plummet. Diuretics, coupled with extreme diet & exercise are a recipe for disaster. I stopped taking diuretics & never got a kidney stone. Who knows if I ever needed them in the first place, but I learned an invaluable lesson: I am more than a number & I don’t need a collection of data to determine my self worth.

Now I can tell exactly how I’m tracking to my health & fitness goals by looking in the mirror, if I’m able to use  heavier weights in my workout, or by trying on my clothes. I realize my approach probably not the norm but it’s what works for me. Once you figure out what works for you mentally & physically you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. I’m not suggesting you start or stop weighing yourself - do what’s right for YOU.