Brainwashed By The Scale By Jessica Bowser Nelson

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Feb 20, 2018 | Last Updated: Aug 8, 2018

Brainwashed Scale

The scale.

Those two simple words can easily conjure up feelings of dread, leaving your palms sweating and your heart pumping.

Did I mention shortness of breath too?

Very few people are ever excited to hop on the scale, so it got me thinking. We are easily derailed when this small, square, cold inanimate object doesn’t report back the number we want to see or hear (because we ALL hear voices when getting on scale, right?). That moment can make or break us.

But WHY?

Why do we place so much of our own value and self-worth onto a number that very few even see or know?

We act as if our weight that appears is now a scarlet letter displayed for all to see across our forehead (I promise it’s not).

We let it DEFINE us.

Think about it. How many people actually know how much you weigh? Hmm.. just the doctor maybe and I’m sure they aren’t keeping it at the forefront of their memory. Yet, how many days have been ruined by that number that appeared on the scale that NOBODY KNOWS? We have to change our relationship with the scale.

Don’t get me wrong. The scale CAN be an effective tool.

And of course, we want to track our progress because what we focus on, we improve upon. But the key is to use the scale as just that, a measurement tool. That’s it. It’s a way to gauge our progress over time. ONE way.

So now let’s discuss 3 things we can use INSTEAD to define our progress. We will call these NSV’s- Non Scale Victories.


1. The Way Things FIT

Woman Taking Selfie

As you are going about your health and fitness journey, making wiser food choices and incorporating exercise into your daily routine, this is one of the greatest rewards: The way things FIT.

It might be the moment you slip into a previously snug pair of jeans, and it doesn’t feel like a workout just to get them on. Or it could be your grandmother’s ring slipping onto your finger with ease for the first time.

Maybe you even reached unchartered territory: a new notch on your belt. All of these are victories in your journey and should be celebrated, so take a bow.

And keep in mind, as you start to build lean muscle, the scale could start to creep up as your clothes start to fit better. Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less room. Yet another reason to not allow the number on the scale to define your progress.

It’s very important to adapt other ways to track your progress such as taking photos regularly, measuring inches lost and recognizing the long list of non-scale victories along the way.

2. The FIGHT

Benefits Of Excercise

The benefits of exercise are far more reaching than just the way you look. And believe it or not, the way you look has so much MORE to do than simply with the image looking back at you. Let’s talk about the NSV of The FIGHT.

I’m talking about that moment when you want to throw in the towel when you want to give up, when you want to call it quits, when you don’t have one more rep in you and then…..YOU DO IT ANYWAYS. That feeling! That moment when you go just a little bit further than you thought you could.

When you show up on a day when you had every excuse and reason not to. This is the moment you find your fight, and it’s a powerful, life-changing moment.

Next time you are in your workout, and you think you can’t do one more. DO one more. Dig deep inside of yourself, grunt, scream, cry. Do whatever you have to do but just do one more. Find your FIGHT! It’s in that moment that one of the greatest Non-Scale Victories are achieved because you realize you CAN. You are CAPABLE!

“It” is possible! And right now, in this moment, “it” might just be an extra push-up or a burpee, but the more you find your fight in your workouts, the more you will also find your fight in your life.

So do one more rep, go 5 seconds longer or increase your weights just a pound or two more. These small wins WILL compound into great results over time.

The FIGHT is a priceless NSV that will trickle into every area of your life.

That number on the scale that we were placing so much importance on before is growing a little less important now, huh?



If you’ve been derailed by the number on the scale before, then you know feelings MATTER. So we need to get them working FOR us vs. against us. That is why this Non-Scale Victory is my all-time favorite: The FEELING.

I’m talking about energy, endorphins, a sense of accomplishment and loving the skin you’re in. All are common side effects of adapting a health and fitness routine.

If you aren’t getting these feelings from your workout, then perhaps you are not doing the right one for you, and it might be time to try something new.

You cannot put a price tag though at the moment you go from hating that person in the mirror and picking apart every flaw to loving you. This is a Non-Scale Victory that blows them all out of the water. Because when we FEEL good, we DO good. I know parents especially are not only busy but have taken on the role of making everyone else’s needs in the family as a priority.

But, you have to be on that list too. We all have to regularly fill up (aka put things in and do things to help foster those feelings of confidence and self-worth) to effectively be able to give out all day long.

Focus on the activities that make you feel ALIVE, such as fueling your body with the right foods, working 30 minutes a day into your busy schedule for exercise to relieve stress, and starting your day with a positive book or podcast. All will help you achieve the FEELING.

Read Next: How To Keep Your Mind Healthy On Your Weight Loss Journey?


FACT: You are more than a number on the scale that nobody sees.
Focus on the Non-Scale Victories like the way things fit, how much you are showing up to fight for what you want in life, and ultimately, how you feel when you are making healthy choices. All of these things will help fuel your journey to a better you and the scale will follow.

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