Wednesday Wisdom: The Scale



I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. Nothing serious, just a well-check. When my name was called, I stood up and walked toward the nurse. We stopped in the hallway and she told me that she needed to get my weight and blood pressure. “Please step on the scale.” she said.

Deep sigh.

I removed my coat and stepped on the square platform. In a matter of seconds, a number read out on the screen. As I peered at this number, I took a deep breath. Closed my eyes. And mentally subtracted 5 pounds. (After all, I had on jeans AND boots.)

I stepped off, she took my blood pressure (which was awesome, I might add) and we proceeded on with the appointment.

No big deal.

But that 5 second event of stepping on that scale stayed with me all day. I was disappointed in the number and slightly annoyed. (Is anyone ever pleased with that aspect of visiting the doctor? Or happy with the results?) But more than that, it had me thinking about how much power we allow that number to have over us. How we sometimes base our worth on the number it gives us.

I threw away my bathroom scale a few years ago. It was old, it wasn’t accurate, and it was just sitting in the bathroom closet taking up space. But after today, I was considering buying a new one. One of the fancy ones that would actually be worthwhile. You know the ones that measure your body fat, visceral fat, metabolism, skeletal muscle, body age, etc.

Because here’s the truth. The scale is not the most accurate measure of health, nor is it the best way to measure your progress with a fitness program. You are far better off to track your measurements – waist, hips, thighs, and arms. The number the scale shows you can vary depending on several factors, including water retention and your recent fitness activity.

The scale doesn’t define you.

Your weight doesn’t define you.

Dr. Steve Maraboli says it best:

“The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful.”








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