In this post, I will give you some tips on how to stop weighing yourself and talk about why it’s an unnecessary and even harmful behavior.
When you are recovering from an eating disorder then stopping weighing yourself can be one of the first recommended behavioral changes to reduce triggers for a relapse.
Whether the number on a scale is higher or lower it can still be triggering and set you back:
- If the number on the scale is higher than you think you will likely panic and fall back to restriction.
- If the number is the same you will hope that it won’t get any higher which adds pressure and fear.
- If the number is lower than you thought it can flare up the ED and diet thinking that “the lower the better”, plus, feel like an added pressure to make sure the number does not get higher or even keeps getting lower.
As you can see, the scales won’t help you in recovery either way. It’s just a tool ED happily uses to keep you in a trap with a false sense of control.
The scale is not a good measure for anything
In reality, your weight is not a good measure of your physical health, nor it is a measure of your mental health. Many people in the “normal weight” category are also not healthy or avoid illnesses, but because their weight is “normal” their true health factors are often overlooked.
And a person who might be “overweight” may be healthy and eat intuitively, have a good relationship with exercise and also have great mental health. All of that can be ripped off when this person starts a diet because of the “lose weight for health” BS.
Also, the scale can’t tell you how much you should eat or guide you to normal eating. Much likely focusing on your weight is one of the biggest reasons why you can’t turn into your internal messages to guide you to eat (intuitive eating) and instead, let the external factors (the scale) dictate how hungry you should be and how much food you deserve at any given day. This is a recipe for disordered eating and even eating disorders.
And even more so, the scale can’t dictate how lovable, worthy and good enough you are. Weighing yourself has a negative impact on your mental health, self-worth and body image problems.
Evidence suggests that weighing yourself is associated with psychological distress, lower levels of body satisfaction and problematic dietary behavior such as binge eating and skipping meals. Also, daily self-weighing was found to result in poorer mood and lower levels of self-esteem.
As you can see, weighing yourself does more harm than the false-sense of control you may think it will give you.
There is no reason to keep weighing yourself in recovery other than to self-sabotage your progress. If you ever need to weight yourself for medical reasons you can do it in a doctor’s office and even then you can ask for a blind weigh-in.
5 Tips On How To Stop Weighing Yourself
- Firstly eliminate the biggest trigger for this behavior in the first place – the scale! Get rid of the scale, smash it, give it away, donate it, ask your friend or a family member to get rid of it. Do whatever you gotta do to eliminate this thing from your life!
- Go cold turkey! Just stop weighing yourself. Do not go and weigh yourself in your parent’s or friend’s house or at the gym. Make a commitment to stop this behavior. Going cold turkey may seem hard but it is the quickest process to get rid of this habit. Going slow and stopping weighing gradually is like slow torture that makes you keep wanting to weight yourself for longer, plus having to stop yourself from doing so for a longer period – aka slow torture!
- Find an accountability partner. It is easier to stop a behavior when you have a good support system. Tell a friend, your spouse or a family member about your goal and let them support you and keep accountable.
- Write out your reasons for WHY stopping weighing yourself is important and 100% MUST for you. What are the positive things stopping weighing yourself will give you? What are some possible negative impacts if you keep weighing yourself? Keep these lists somewhere you can see every day to always keep you on track and motivated to keep going.
- Use positive self-talk and affirmations to change your thinking. In order to stop an action habit, we must stop a thought habit. Behind every action, there is first a thought that triggers it. What thoughts make you want to weigh yourself? Identify those thoughts and then reframe them to something more positive and helpful. For example, the triggering thought is “I am fat” and then reframe it to a positive affirmation like “My body is smart and it knows how to keep my weight at its own best place for me. My body is more than a number on the scale and my worth is in who I am, not how much I weigh”. Or something like that. Make your own affirmation that resonates and feels true for YOU!
If you want to have more one on one support for your recovery then apply for my 12-Week Recovery Coaching Program. This is where you can feel guided and supported, get step by step recovery approach with weekly goals and homework assignments. Read more and apply HERE.