A 500-Word Argument for Smashing Your Scale into 1,000 Pieces

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Let the positive, grateful-to-be-alive vibes flow, folks—it's Thanksgiving month. To get the ball rolling, I thought I'd share a few of the things (off a much longer list) that I'm very thankful for from this past year, including all of you epic people.
  • Accepting that even though I still really, really hate distance running, I'm pretty good at running sprints and that's cool, too. We can't all be marathoners.  
  • Yoga. Reverse Warrior, specifically.
  • The clay bowl purchased on a whim at a craft market that I now love so much I use it as a fruit bowl on my dining room table and now am constantly eating fruit because it's right there.
  • Rosebud salve.
  • Slouchy sweatshirts.
  • The girl powerlifting emoji.
  • Bonfires.
  • Orangetheory Fitness.
  • Stuffing tuna in avocados, baking eggs in avocados, slicing avocado over my arugula salad, white bean salad in avocados, guacamole, buying all the avocados in the store and getting the side-eye from that guy stocking oranges.
  • Discovering that Lululemon does free hemming for my tiny troll legs.
  • The two-year-old kid I saw trick-or-treating who was dressed as Batman and the Batmobile at the same time whose parents were playing the Batman theme song as he ran from house to house. You, sir, are a hero.
  • SparkPeople successes whose determination and fight have inspired me to get my butt out the door to my own workouts on more than one occasion.

Spark: Scale, Schmale


Listen to only positivity today! #mondaymotivation #monday

A photo posted by SparkPeople (@sparkpeople) on

You've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: The scale is just a number. It's not indicative of who you are as a person. It shouldn't dictate your mood. It is not the final word on your self-esteem. True, true, fact, preach.  
Despite saying or hearing as much for years, it's a truth that bears repeating often and passionately. So much of the weight-loss journey relies on numbers—how many calories you're putting into your body, how many days you make it to the gym, how many biceps curls you can do, body fat percentages, how many meals and snacks you're squeezing in to your day—but the number on the scale is one that should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Not only is the journey a long, winding one, but it's also an inconsistent one, thanks to a little thing called life. We're not all Blake Lively training for eight solid weeks to be in a swimsuit on a movie-theater-sized screen. There's going to be that Tuesday when you have a bad meeting with your boss that almost leaves you in tears and you go home to watch "Pitch Perfect" for the 20th time instead of hitting the gym. Your best friend is going to insist that you come share her birthday cupcakes with her on the week you swear off sugar. You're going to start lifting weights and you'll fall totally in love with it and your muscles are going to grow and add weight to your frame.
It's also important to note that our weight varies, like, a lot. A lot, a lot. Things like having just eaten a meal, the time of day, drinking a bunch of water and natural body functions can all affect the number you see reflected back at you. The more power you give those few lights projecting up from your bathroom floor, the more likely you are to suffer from a lack of motivation and drive on the one evening when the number is higher than you'd like.
To further solidify this all-too important point, I present visual proof:


A photo posted by Kelsey Wells (@mysweatlife) on

Over the summer, Kelsey Wells of My Sweat Life shared what would become a viral photo on her Instagram of her weight-loss progress. The girl in the photos is thin, yes, but it's those numbers that really had people talking. Despite being at her lightest weight of 122 pounds in the middle shot, it's her final photo at 140—just five pounds lighter than her starting weight—that shows a strong, healthy, glowing success. In her post, she talks about how her original goal weight was 122, but it was actually after gaining 18 pounds in her pursuit of fitness that she finally found real comfort in her own skin. "According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably [at 140]," she writes. "THANK GOODNESS I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that matter—strength, ability, endurance, health, and HAPPINESS." Take Kelsey's advice and focus on finding the strength inside, a drive that's going to push you to feel like your best self, no matter if that's at 130 pounds or 150 pounds. Once you find that person, the number on the scale or on your jeans will pale by comparison.
TL;DR: Scales can be dream crushers and we often give them too much power. Take your scale and metaphorically smash it "Office Space" style.


Smile: Crying Happy Tears to "Let It Go"

On the theme of being thankful, can we all just take a second to give thanks that people like Kylee McGrane and Margaret McAndrew exist? The co-founders of A Moment of Magic Foundation have one mission: To bring smiles and inspire dreams for children fighting a tougher battle than most of us will ever encounter. The two college students and their army of volunteers travel to hospitals and schools dressed as beloved Disney princesses, encountering squeals of joy and lots of toothy grins everywhere they go. The world could use more of this kind of magic.

What are you most thankful for this year? Share it in the comments!

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

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thank you...I really needed to hear that (again) this morning Report
You do have to weigh in regularly to keep track, not daily but weekly or biweekly that way you can keep it contained. Report
This is easily one of the best darn articles I have read in my years on SP! Thank you! Report
I am so grateful for my family and the addition of a little boy named TJ, my neice adopted him and he is such a Blessing in our life. Report
that was a STUPID movie. Report
The number on the scale seems mysteriously related to the amount of fat on my body. Maybe it's just a meaningless coincidence! Report
I so agree with BROOKLYN_BORN as I have read blog after blog after blog from Spark members saying "Oh, I was shocked when I had to go to the doctor and I was weighed and found I was up 80# since I last got on a scale, etc. etc." Here they are back after an absence at Sparks.
I also agree with TERI-RIFIC that those who are in the National Weight Registry program weigh on a regular basis as only 5% of people keep weight off long-term.
Right. That is why I will continue to weigh myself daily.
I can see this girl in the picture has been doing a lot of weight training to have packed on 18# of muscle. And as the joke about the Chinese Mother goes "Well, now the question is 'can you keep it up?'"
I love the scale and feel it is instrumental in my weight maintenance, coming up to the 4 year mark now. If I start to gain, I cut back on my food portions until that number on the scale drops back down. It's a tool for me and without it, I know those 2 pounds gained would easily turn into 5 or more making it much harder to take off. Report
I agree with the previous hilarious comment. I would like to add that the National Weight Control Registry finds that those successful at weight loss and at keeping it off get weighed regularly. Report
122 - 145 pounds? Oh yeah, if that's the comparison don't worry about the scale. However, if you are continuing to gain and gain and gain, tossing away the scale will only ignore the problem. The danger is that instead of 10, 20 or 30 pounds to lose, it may be over 100 or more.

Of course, your weight is only a number! So is your blood pressure, your cholesterol and sugar levels and the balance in your checkbook. None of these define who you are as a person, but If any are proceeding in the wrong direction, ignoring them is a prescription for disaster. The longer they are ignored, the harder it will be to correct the problem. Report
Thank you. I'm thankful that at 62 years old, I'm still pretty healthy and able to still keep up with the grandkids (for the most part). I attribute that to going to Jazzercise 3 to 6 days a week. Now, if I could just break my addiction to the scale. Report
Thank you. I'm thankful for the nearly 20 years of additional life I was granted so far because modern medicine was able to save me when pneumonia wanted to take me. I was 24 at the time, with a 1 year old and 3 year old. I look back and think of all those moments I've had with them since that I would have missed. Report