The scale is not the whole story.
There is a scale at my gym that seems to be a smart scale.
You input your height and gender, estimate the weight of your clothes… and then you (or maybe it’s just me) step on it gingerly while barefoot, as if the more gently you step on it, the more gentle it will be as it sorts through calculations. It then spits out a little slip of paper with your weight and percentage of body fat.
One day I got on it and it told me I was down just over a kilo from my last visit. I grinned at that little slip of paper, grateful it was reflecting all of my hard work. The next time I got on it I wanted to throw that piece of paper across the room in a fit of rage. This time it told me I was a few percentage points higher in body fat than the first time I weighed in on it, a little more than a month before. Even knowing that the scale can be off by a big percentage, I was frustrated and I couldn’t help but feel discouraged and moody the rest of the day.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my true weight — not simply what the scale says.
I would be a hypocrite if I said “Don’t worry what the scale says,” or “Don’t focus on trying to change that number”. Because there is a number and a size I’m not comfortable with. And though I do think you can and should be happy no matter your size, you can also have goals to work towards.
But here’s what I’ve decided to tell myself when I do hop on that scale:
The scale doesn’t tell the whole picture.
It’s only one small part of my overall health and fitness.
The scale doesn’t define who I am as a person.
The weight of a woman is more than a number that flashes on a small screen. The real weight of a woman can’t be measured by a machine, because it includes so much more than how much or how little fat you have on your body. Heart measures true worth.
So, the next time I get on the scale at the gym and it spits out its little slip of paper filled with data, I will remind myself of these things. And though I may be that weight or that certain body fat percentage, I’m also more.
I’m a mother. My body has carried six babies and has delivered four children. It has stretched and pulled against the weight of carrying over 5kg of twin babies, a 4kg baby boy and an 3.5kg girl. It has held over 30 pounds of toddler in its arms, the weight of 13.6kg of twin toddlers on each hip — and my legs and back are strong enough to walk those tantrum-ing three-year-olds through a store without second-guessing myself.