5 Reasons to Ditch the Scale and Just Go Run

Friday 5Ahh, summer is here! The sunshine-y extra hours of daylight, the flip flop and sports bra tan lines, the poolside beverages and … the season for itsy bitsy bikinis and fad diets.

Ewwwwwww.

As I page through my US Weekly (we all have our guilty pleasures), I can’t help but notice the cluttered headlines:

“Slim Down Diet”

“10 Day Grapefruit Juice Cleanse”

“Try such and such celebrity diet: (two rice cakes and a salad and hold the dressing!”

As someone who has battled an eating disorder, the media messaging, especially during this time of year, irks the heck out of me! As athletes, we need real nourishment: fats; proteins and carbs. When I was in the worst of my disorder, I’d weigh myself morning, noon and night. I’d obsess over that single number. It would determine my mood. It was awful. So, today-as a gentle reminder to ignore those stupid ads and “bikini body” BS articles that areย everywhereย during the summer months, I give you five reasons to ditch that stupid scale and just go RUN!

Suck it Shape! It takes months of hard training to get a STRONG body that can run super fast PRs!

1. The scale is lame. Use fitness as your scale. Your 5k time is a much better number to obsess about than the number on the scale!

2. The scale lies! We should worry more about our body composition than our overall weight. A typical scale can’t tell the difference between fat tissue and muscle tissue and we all know muscle weighs more than fat. Runners like us may actually weigh more than nonrunners of similar size.

3. The scale is fickle. Body weight isn’t static. It depends on our hydration levels and can be affected by how much we’ve sweat from that insane tempo or if we’ve just eaten a hefty steak dinner to recover from that 20 miler. This doesn’t mean you’ve gained or lost weight; these are just daily fluctuations!

4. The scale is a shallow s.o.b. It cannot measure: beauty, compassion, determination, well being, mental toughness, bad-assery or anything that’s of importance in life, so, who needs it?

5. It feels good to beat the ever-living crap out of the scale. Taking a hammer to the scale feels so liberating, you won’t even know what hit you! BAM! Being strong is sexy. Remove copy machine and insert scale:

Do you weigh yourself or not weigh yourself? Why or why not?

 

*Note: Some doctors may recommend use of a scale for healthy weight loss plans. I’m not an expert, by any means, and I have a strong aversion toward the whole stress of the scale thing, so take this post as you will. But I, for one, can honestly say I haven’t weighed myself in over two years (except for physicals/dietician check-ups), and it feels SO GOOD. In my opinion, scales are for fish.

 

I'm a new momma, full-time non-profiter, and coffee lover. I write about healthy body image, half marathon training, and recovery from eating disorders. I'm currently training to maintain fitness throughout the winter and break 1:27:00 in my next half marathon.

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5 comments

  1. I was obsessed with the scale for awhile and now I ignore it for the most part. I feel so much better when I’m not obsessing about my weight

  2. I think this is a great reminder for those of us who fall into the trap of thinking that “lighter is faster.” I struggled with that last summer…I was training hard, preparing for my wedding (!!!), and having trouble hanging on to my appetite due to stress and hot Texas weather. I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight–it was just happening–but I liked it and assumed that the closer I got to looking like all those elite/rail-thin marathon runners, the better my performance would be. I found myself obsessively watching and anticipating lower numbers on the scale, hoping that they would translate to quicker splits on my watch.

    It took me several months to realize that, although I was definitely thinner, I wasn’t any faster. My calorie intake was too low, my muscles weren’t recovering well, and I was struggling more with fatigue than I ever had in my life. Once the summer heat went away and the engagement stress was over, I settled into the routine of marriage (and life with a guy who loves me no matter how I look!) I was able to experience a reality check and see that, for me, losing weight is not necessarily the way to gain speed. So, I fixed up my eating habits and stopped watching the scale. I learned how to cope with Texas summers. And despite the fact that I am heavier than I was at this time last year, I’m also a lot stronger. Those extra pounds aren’t slowing me down at all — I won my very first 21k trail race last weekend!

    Thanks for another great article…Happy Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aimee – love this! I can completely relate – especially in terms of the fatigue. Restricting calories while trying to maintain a training regimen is a dead end road for me, and I’ve learned my lesson.