Last night I sat down and turned on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. With years of school, certifications, and enough knowledge, I know that these weight loss style shows are unrealistic, unsafe, and pretty bad examples to America. Yet, something still draws me to them and I look forward to eating my bowl of yogurt while mindlessly laughing, crying, and becoming overjoyed for these individuals through their struggles and successes. Call me evil or sadistic, maybe it’s the trainer in me, but watching people being pushed to their limits in a workout is very entertaining.
Anyways, last night I sat down with my bowl of yogurt (and maybe a little big scoop of ice cream) and turned on the TV. One of the first things they do on the show is to make the individual stand on a scale in front of family, friends, and even strangers to find their starting weight. As the lady did this last night I cringed. I thought to myself “how mean and embarrassing it is to make these poor people do this in public!” and I also thought, “I could never do that, even if I was ready to step on stage again, I would be too mortified”.
As soon as those thoughts entered my mind, I started thinking what a sad statement that is to make. Why would letting other people know how much I weighed on the scale make any difference in my life.
Would these people judge me? Think of me differently? Not like me?
And truthfully, when I thought about it the answer is, NO, absolutely not.
The number on that scale is just that, a number. It has no meaning to anything, and I truly mean ANYTHING. Heck I compete in figure and how much you actually weigh plays no significance in how you place, none. The people standing next to you on stage don’t know how much you weigh; the judges don’t even know how much you weigh.
So why is it that we put so much focus and value on that number?
Say What? How could this happen?
You hang your head, scream a little, and mope around all day feeling “fat”. As far as YOU are concerned, it’s a bad day. You carry these feelings with you all day long. You’re snippy with your spouse, annoyed by your coworkers, and let’s not even talk about the traffic. Never once does it occur to you the amount of stress you have been under this week, how much water you have drunk, how poorly you have slept, or how much sodium was in your dinner last night. You only focus on one thing: the number on the scale, and you let it rule your life.
But here’s the thing: this only matters to YOU.
The number on the scale is an arbitrary way of measuring progress. It can be a useful tool, but at the end of the day it is just that, a tool in the grand scheme of your journey. That number doesn’t make you a better or worse person; it doesn’t change your personality or your morals. The number doesn’t tell me how good of a job you do at work, how good of a parent you are to your kids, or that you are a hopeless romantic who loves flowers and long walks on the beach. The number on the scale doesn’t even tell me how healthy you are.
Therefore, I challenge you to lose the significance of the number on the scale. Do not wake up and let the number that morning determine what kind of day you are going to have. Choose to have a good day and know that whatever the scale says you are working towards your goals. In fact, you might as well go ahead and drop the scale, hide it once and for all. Use your health, energy levels, emotions, and program sustainability to measure your progress. Change your focus to putting your best foot forward every single day. After all, if you are doing your best what more can you do? The journey should be enjoyable and one that makes your life better, not one that adds stress!