Why does it ‘hurt’ to step on the scale?

If you’re trying to lose weight and using the scale as a means of greater accountability and objective information, you may notice a familiar pattern.

When you step on the scale, and it goes down, you feel great (for a few minutes). You feel validated, in control, and as though you are improving your value.

When you step on the scale, and it goes up, you feel sad. You feel disappointed. You feel defeated. You feel as though you have let yourself down. You feel as though your personal value has dropped.

Why is this?

Even if you felt great in the morning, put on a pair of pants that you haven’t fit into for the last year, and by all other meaningful measures appear to be progressing- if that scale says otherwise no other measurement system matters.

If someone rigged your scale so it would falsely read you as 5lbs heavier, you’d be crushed. Adversely, if that same person rigged your scale so it would incorrectly read you as being 5lbs lighter, you’d be (temporarily) over the moon. Even if you are the same person, in the same body, with no other significant differences.

What is going on here?

You are using the scale as a means of validation for more profound issues that have very little to do with your health or your body.

We often use our body as a source of ‘protection’ or saving grace from more deep-seated issues that we have not adequately dealt with.

So when you step on the scale, and it hurts, it is not about your weight. It is not about right now. It is about the thing that made you sensitive to the scale in the first place. It’s about the thing that you are looking toward weight loss to fix or cover-up.

When we step on the scale, and we see a ‘positive’ result, we can temporarily feel in control. We can feel worthy. We can feel like we aren’t all the negative things we tell ourselves we are throughout the rest of the day.

When we step on the scale, and we see a ‘negative’ result, we affirm all of the bad things we say about ourselves each day. I don’t have any control. I am a disappoint. I am weak.

You need to ask yourself, ‘where does this come from’?

Next time you step on the scale, and it doesn’t say what you would like to say, dig into that feeling. I.e., I feel sad. I feel deflated. I feel like a failure. Now attach a physical sensation to those thoughts and emotions. I feel weak, heavy, and as though my posture starting to sink.

Now ask yourself where else in your life you feel those feelings. Both as far back as you can remember in your past as well as recent moments where some incident left you feeling the exact same way as the scale does.

That is the real issue, and healing that issue is the source of satisfaction and happiness that you are trying to attain from the scale.

Without doing this work, you will constantly be chasing a number on the scale, and regardless of where that number goes, you will never feel whole or satisfied.

Most of us need to lose weight. Most of us need to take better care of our bodies and spend more time moving them and taking care of them. But wouldn’t it be nice if you actually felt satisfied and rewarded for the good things you do for your health each day? Even regardless of the cosmetic result?

When someone says ‘I want to lose weight.’ Or ‘I want to drop fat.’ Or ‘I want to be more muscular and/or toned.’ All that person is saying is ‘I want to be ok. I want to be whole’.

To be whole, you need to crack the nut that pushes you to seek scale based reward. It is also usually (but not always) the same driving force behind your various forms of food, drink, technological distraction, and laziness based systems of self-medication.

This is the hard, deep work that nobody talks about and nobody really wants to do.

This is also the reason why the health and fitness industry is at an all-time high, but health and fitness success and outcomes are at an all-time low.

You don’t really want a new body. You’re just hoping that a new frame will make you whole again.

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