Are you using the scale the wrong way?

Imagine you have a weight loss goal. Say 30 lbs. You hop on the scale day-after-day, only to see it go down one day and up the next. A month goes by and you’ve lost one pound.


One of two things likely happens at this point. You quit or you continue to weigh-in while simultaneously beating the crap out of yourself for not losing more weight.

Let’s face it. When we step on the scale, we want good news. And we let the scale determine whether we’ll have a good day or a bad day.

We give this thing way too much power. It’s a number. But what you think about that number is everything.

Imagine you set a 30lbs weight loss goal. You see the scale go down one day and up the next. In a month you lose 1lb. WTF?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Let’s say today you do all the right things – you know, exercise, sleep eight hours, eat lots of veggies, hydrate – and tomorrow the scale says the exact same thing. Or goes up. What do you make that mean?

If you make it mean that what you’re doing isn’t working, that’s a misuse of the scale.

Or, let’s say today you eat too much at dinner and have one glass of wine too many, and the scale goes down tomorrow. How do you interpret that?

If your takeaway is that you got away with something, that’s also a misuse of the scale.

If you expect immediate feedback from the scale, you’re using it wrong.

The thing is, the scale gives you very little information about how you lived your life yesterday. So, if you allow that number to determine how motivated you’ll be the next day, you’re likely to quit.

Even worse is continuing to weigh yourself amidst starts and stops, beating yourself up for not having enough willpower. Super unhelpful. I’ve never seen anyone shame herself into a smaller dress size.

Remind yourself that your body is constantly making changes at the cellular level, changes unseen on the scale. Trust that what you’re doing is moving you in the right direction, that your body is making microscopic changes that will add up to something significant. Focus on non-scale victories, as many as you can find.

So, what is the correct use of the scale?

It can provide information over time to see if what you’re doing is helping you reach your weight loss goal, and if you need to make changes. (By the way, it only measures your overall weight. There’s more to it than that.)

It can also provide the opportunity to clear up any head clutter you have about what the number means. If you allow it to reflect your self-worth or influence your self-esteem, start by noticing the thoughts. Then question the hell out of them.

Your weight is an objective number. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Why You Don’t Feel Motivated (and what to do about it)

Have you ever set a weight loss goal, got really clear on what you wanted, set up a realistic plan to get there, and then, after the initial burst of energy, your enthusiasm faded? Or maybe sometimes you don’t even get that far before you lose your motivation.

What happens?

It’s hard to put your finger on, I know. You still want to fit in your pants looking sexy as hell. You still want to come home from work with energy to do more than watch TV or scroll through social media.

But those desires aren’t enough to overcome the reluctance of “I just don’t feel like it.” Why not?

Essentially, our brains don’t want to do anything hard. Or scary. They don’t want us to venture out of the proverbial cave, but rather to stay warm and safe inside. (I love this short clip of an interview with author, Mel Robbins, on why motivation is garbage.)

What I know, and have personally experienced, is that waiting to feel motivated is a huge waste of time. Because it doesn’t happen. We only feel motivated when we cultivate thoughts that encourage a feeling of motivation.

Ever set a weight loss goal, put together a plan and started following it, then, after the initial burst of energy, your enthusiasm faded?Here are three ways to overcome the inertia of not feeling motivated:

  • Recognize and be intentional with even the small decisions. You know the voice that says “Oh, it’s just one cookie” and then you eat the cookie? Or a glass of wine, a few minutes snooze in the morning, a workout…it’s just one. But that insidious lie keeps you from reaching your deepest desires. Robins says “Your life comes down to your decisions and if you change your decisions you change everything.”
  • Ask “What do I want more than this?” I have an amazing coaching client to thank for this one. When you experience the desire to procrastinate, for example, by noshing on some chips, ask yourself that simple question. If you find yourself in the pantry too often, put it on a post-it where you’ll see it regularly and ask it before you even pick up the bag. It works.
  • “This is hard and I can do hard things” has become a mantra among my clients. We decide to look at doing hard things as the way we evolve to better, healthier versions of ourselves. It’s like when you work out: your cells develop better oxygen carrying capacity; your muscles tear down and build back stronger. But only because you did the hard thing of pushing yourself physically.

Please do not waste another moment waiting for motivation to strike to pursue your weight loss goal. Even serious authors know they have to write, day after day, even when they don’t feel like it. Even if they churn out crap sometimes. They keep going. And that’s what produces a best seller.

It’s kind of freeing to know that motivation is crap. No need to think something is wrong with you. No need to “wait” for it. You can learn to create your own motivation with your thoughts. So powerful, don’t you think?

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