Scale obsession: How do I stop being obsessed? Tips for letting go

Heather Campbell
 min read

Scale obsession: How do I stop being obsessed? How can I stop it from taking over my life?

Scale obsession: How do I stop being obsessed? Tips for letting goThe weighing scale can certainly put us through the wringer.

As a whole, the people most obsessed by scales need it least. The secret to ditching your obsession is understanding why you’re addicted to it. Is it a way of keeping control? Or is it perhaps a pretend way of taking action, thinking that once you hit the magic number, everything will be resolved?

Alternately friend or foe, the weighing scale says a lot about our relationship to our weight and ourselves.

What if we finally decided to reconcile? Read to understand how to make it your ally in fair weather and foul.

Scale obsession: How do I stop being obsessed? Introduction

Between it and us, it’s a great story. Some mornings, you feel light and get on it happily. Other days, when you have had a few heavy meals, you put your toe on it with caution.

At the end of the needle, or materialized by numbers and a comma, the verdict falls, and for many of us, it sets the mood for the day.

Downward? We choose a pretty skirt or a top that is a little tight, and we feel radiant.

On the rise? One will instead tend to hide the disappointment in older, more comfortable clothes.

Related post: Why is my weight fluctuating so drastically?

Although these descriptions may seem caricatural, in reality, they are not. Whatever it is, almost all women are dissatisfied with their weight.

More than 75% of women want to lose weight. More revealing than that, over 80% of women associate slimness with well-being in their minds and bodies.

And those who care are often those with no weight to lose!

The problem is when this preoccupation leads to systematic weighing: in the morning when you wake up, at night when you go to bed, before and after a meal, before and after a gym session or a sauna…

And they obsess to the point of becoming a source of malaise; it is indeed an addiction.

Slimming: The quest for less

Do you weigh 140 pounds? You dream of making it to a 130.

Are you at 130? Then, you miss the time when you were at 125 when you were already dreaming of weighing less than that

Nutritionists know that each individual has their own inherent, natural weight.

In the absence of certain factors such as pregnancy, menopause, strong emotional shock, etc, this would be theoretically the cruising weight that each individual has when eating based solely on feeling hungry.

To get below your weight, you would have to eat significantly less than you need.

Manageable one week before a vacation or a wedding, the time to fit into a bathing suit or a dress, but it’s harmful to your health and simply unfeasible in the long run!

To understand this paradox, imagine forcing yourself to sleep two to three hours less each night.

You last one day, fatigue sets in, and after two days, you become irritable and unable to concentrate.

As soon as you stop setting your alarm clock, your body regains the hours it needs.  It’s no different for your weight.

A need for recognition through slimming

Why does this inadequacy make us so anxious and creates an obsessive even? There are several explanations for this.

First of all, a slim figure is perceived in the collective unconscious as proof of willpower, the strength of character, and control. A more rounded figure tends to remind us of less discipline and more neglect.

Then, the notion of self-esteem and value is never far away. For example, in many ancient mythologies, the scale was used to weigh souls after death and determine an individual’s value.

And the scale obsessed all seek self-esteem. The reasoning is very black or white.

If only I could reach such and such weight, I would finally be happy, be able to love myself, able to seduce, be loved, have many friends, get an important job, etc.

The weight is used as a condition sine qua non to more fulfillment, meaning that the ideal weight equals other goals.

Is it really just a matter of shedding a few pounds? Certainly not, and at the same time, the scale junkies are not fooled. The weight issue then serves as a bulwark, a clause that allows postponing the moment when action must be taken.

When dieting becomes the reason for living, it is just an indication that life is not totally satisfactory.

The question then turns into “Why?”

If we have avoided asking ourselves this question and have found refuge in losing weight, it is simply running away from reality and taking an easier path.

By attributing dissatisfaction to a false cause, we avoid taking the real risks while maintaining the illusion that we are doing something about it.

One thing leads to another. We start to hate our bodies, which prevents us from being happy when the problem is actually elsewhere.

Still 5 pounds away from happiness?

Beyond the discomfort, the focus on weight also rubs off on eating behavior.

The obsession with weighing is the same mechanism as the systematic calculation of calories.

The person links their weight to their food intake and begins to intellectualize their diet more and more in terms of quantity, rhythm, calculations, etc.

Related post: What are the pros and cons of counting calories? Analysis + Tips

But the more we lose spontaneity in the way we eat, the more we calculate, and the more we enter into a logic of food restriction. So weighing yourself means entering into this logic.

The psyche takes precedence over the needs of the body. We lose the signals of hunger and satiety.

The person imagines that they must eat when they are not hungry or hold back when the body cries out for energy. That’s how you can lose 8 pounds when you only set out to lose 4 pounds.

It is obviously necessary to accept that the natural weight is not necessarily the one you want to stop the spiral.

You also need to understand the domination of the scale to detach yourself from it.

Forget the numbers to find your balance

Do you really need to lose weight?

Yes, if you are clearly overweight due to a lack of exercise. It will eventually lead to more or less severe pathologies, from joint pain to cardiovascular accidents and diabetes.

Any pound gained through alcohol, soda, or sweets is not allowed and deserves a weight loss program. The only case where a scale is really legitimate.

If you are in a weight range that corresponds to your age and stature, the answer is no. Therefore, it is necessary to find one’s weight well-being.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 130 pounds, 140 pounds, or 150 pounds, as long as you feel good.

Easier said than done? Certainly. In each era, society has determined the criteria of beauty, and they are so universal that it is difficult to ignore.

However, it is only in this way that it is possible to flourish. Do you dream of having a model-like figure? So start by looking for techniques to lose weight with Photoshop software to convince yourself that anyone can become beautiful on glossy paper.

Remember that these models do not owe their featherweight to the only magic of their metabolism. They may eat only one meal a day, not eat anything after 5:30 p.m., or follow a rigorous diet.

What do you prefer then? Being skinny and alone, eating a meal replacement? Or being of a normal weight and enjoying meals with friends?

Solutions for reconciling with oneself

Your weight is normal, and you still can’t accept it? There are some techniques can help you.

Some victims of their appearance find a way in theater or dance to put themselves out there and show themselves to others.

Others find their body through massages and less well-known is psychomotor therapy.

This paramedical approach aims to restore the link between the psyche and the body through work on sensations and put the person back in phase with their food perceptions.

Often, the obsession with weighing comes from overthinking, imagining food, and reasoning in terms of calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates more than in terms of feeling.

Their goal is to restore the body to its role as a weight management tool, instead of the brain.

Various techniques (relaxation, body awareness through movement, Feldenkrais method, holistic gymnastics, yoga, etc.) help the person rediscover a positive relationship with their body and reconsider their attitude towards weight.

Does she really need to lose any? Can his happiness be quantified by a number?

One thing is certain, looking for an ideal weight at all costs can largely contribute to the malaise.

To get out of addiction, should you throw away your scale? Think about doing it.

2 testimonies of women who are addicted to weighing themselves

Christina, 32 years old, nurse

There is a weighing scale in the hospital where I work, and I could easily weigh myself 16 times a day. And if I find one at a friend’s house, I weigh myself too.

Noticing that I have put on weight undermines my morale, I start to do sports to excess and deprive myself.

I don’t understand where this obsession comes from because everything in my life is fine. I have a husband and a job that I love. I also have a very objective view of weight thanks to my job.

I consulted a nutritionist 3 months ago. According to her, wanting to control my weight is a way of controlling everything in my life.

Since my personal life and my job are going well, this is the only factor that can escape me.

She explained that if I dieted to lose 8 pounds, I would most likely gain back 12 or 14 pounds eventually.

Emily, 44 years old, social worker

I can’t help it. It’s an obsession.

I weigh myself every day. If I forget, I think about it all morning. Over the years, my relationship with the scale has become obsessive.

The morning result really affects my outfit. There are a few ounces too many, and I exchange dresses and tight T-shirts for a slimming skirt.

4 tips for weighing intelligently

  • Take a garment as a reference. Are you still wearing your jeans from 4 years ago? Then forget your scale!
  • Use an impedance scale to determine the proportion of body fat rather than the total weight. Its principle: the electrodes on which the feet are placed send a low-intensity electric current through the body. Muscle and water drive it easily. Fat mass slows it down. The scale determines the body composition, and you can follow the evolution of the fat mass. Let’s say you start working out and gain weight! With this type of scale, you will see that it is muscle!
  • Always weigh yourself on the same scale which you should carefully and thoughtfully select, and at the same time, avoid Sunday night or Monday morning weigh-ins, especially if you tend to worry. We often eat more or just differently on the weekends and weigh a little more on one or two days until the digestion is finished. The right way: In the morning on an empty stomach, in the middle of the week, and after a trip to the bathroom.
  • Weighing yourself every day if of no help. Once a week is more than enough, or even once a month, or even just when you think of it.

Scale obsession: How do I stop being obsessed? Conclusion

You have to understand why you’re so obsessed with it, and is it really your weight that you’re monitoring? Or is there something else?

Direct your energies elsewhere, and start to enjoy life rather than allowing a scale to dictate your feelings and moods.

Understand your scale obsession and then you will stop being obsessed.

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More