The cultural obsession with weight loss is not entirely devoid of merit. Obesity rates in these United States have, after all, been moving in only one direction since the late-20th century—that direction is aggressively upwards. Sedentary lifestyles and hugely abundant calories have combined to render vast swaths of the American citizenry anything from a bit heavy to severely overweight, oftentimes to a debilitating extent.
Holding oneself accountable in terms of pounds lost/gained is a natural reaction to this trend, particularly for the more healthy-minded. For this reason, among others, the keeping on hand (or foot) of a bathroom scale is seemingly perfectly sensible. Or so the prevailing wisdom would suggest.
These five reasons to throw away your scale will warrant serious reconsideration as to the item’s original rationale, while encouraging a closer look at what healthy living entails.
#1: Weight is Often a Misleading Figure by Which to Measure One’s Health
Many a fit professional athlete, exercise enthusiast, and military/law enforcement professional is (technically speaking) overweight in accordance with the antiquated height/weight guidelines which prevailed concurrently with the rise of in-home weight-monitoring devices. The reason for this incongruity, of course, is the failure of certain guidelines to account for muscle mass in relation to body height.
Bodybuilders, powerlifters, and even many pugilists, track athletes carry with them far more muscle tissue than does the average human being. This additional body mass often places these paragons of discipline beyond the limits of a “healthy” weight by traditional standards, an incongruity which is easy enough to reconcile when one factors such a person’s physical capabilities. But a bathroom scale, in this instance, would reflect only the athlete’s pounds, offering nothing in the way of a true vitality assessment.
#2: A Broader Focus Will Benefit Your Weight-Loss Efforts
Measuring one’s health by way of counting body pounds is akin to measuring the quality of one’s computer by the width of its monitor; the latter instance takes into account nothing in terms of memory capacity, processing speed, accessory compatibility, as the former does not account for overall lifestyle, vital indicators, diet, or activity levels. This is not to argue that overall body mass has no place in the assessing of one’s health and wellbeing, only that a broad spectrum of interrelated factors should comprise the assessment.
#3: Track It Over a Longer Stretch of Time
Change, particularly with respect to those things worth changing, is oftentimes slow in the realizing. Weight loss is certainly no exception to this more or less universal maxim. Whether attempting to shed a bit of midsection adipose tissue or cut your overall body weight in half, lasting and sustainable improvements in health and wellbeing require a great deal of discipline and ongoing commitment—never are such ends realized in the space of a day.
The presence of a bathroom scale is likely to encourage daily weigh-ins, which can themselves prove both misleading and discouraging. Weigh-in from time-to-time, but doing so each and every rising of the sun is certain to mislead.
#4: Counterproductive Discouragement
Weight, contrary to the popular cliché regarding age, is more than a mere number. It is a measurement of one’s overall mass, whether consisting largely of muscle tissue or of fat deposits. It is a worthwhile factor to be considered when gauging one’s general health, but it does not stand alone in this formulation. Too often are those seeking to improve their lives discouraged by the readout of an indifferent (and imprecise) measuring instrument; they needn’t be. Count this as perhaps the most compelling of those five reasons to throw away your scale.
#5: You’re More Than The Sum of Your Pounds
A person is, in most cases, much more than what meets the eye. Similarly, we are not merely the sum of our bodily pounds, especially not where an honest measuring of one’s overall health is concerned. By all means, keep an eye on unwanted weight, and dust-off the bathroom scale here and there. But do not limit your self-assessment to the cold readings of a mere bathroom instrument.
Commit yourself to healthy living, exercise often, eat well, and keep the interlocking components of human vitality in complete perspective throughout. Poundage is but one element of a broad and complex system. Live and be well, preferably without the misleading metrics. At least one of the five reasons to throw away your scale should resonate.