Weightless: What I lost by ditching the scale

For years, I had a daily ritual. After waking up, I would stumble to the bathroom and scroll through my phone while on the toilet. I would then strip completely naked. I wanted nothing, not even a hair tie or my Fitbit, to count against me while the scale calculated my “progress.” I would then suck in my stomach, hold my breath, and step on. The screen by my toes would flash three times while I nervously waited before my weight, my score, was calculated for the day.

If that number happened to be lower than the day before? I could exhale. I am a badass goddess! I deserve confidence and love! I can’t wait to text my accountability partners! I am strong and unstoppable!

If it were higher? My stomach would sink and that prickly hot shame feeling would wash over me. I’m a failure. I shouldn’t have eaten that tortilla with my taco last night. I haven’t pooped yet, that must be why the number is higher. I’ll have to eat less today if I want to love myself tomorrow.

The scale became my Magic 8 Ball and set the tone for the day. Would I spend my shower singing or beating myself up with complicated calculations of macros and calories? Logically, I knew my weight could fluctuate daily for many reasons, including water retention, hormones, menstrual cycles, and food sensitivities. Illogically, that didn’t matter.

For years, I gave all of my power to that scale, to that number. Looking back, I can see the havoc this destructive, ineffective ritual unleashed on my self worth. 

I’ve been on a two year long journey to befriend my body again, and step one was abandoning the scale. For too long, I deluded myself that the information it gave was critical. How am I supposed to know if I’m healthy without a scale? I want to be healthy – healthy means thin, right? (wrong)

I’ve spent years letting external indicators – the scale, BMI, societal standards, the opinion of others – be the gauge of how “good” I am. By unfriending the scale, there was one less juror in the trial determining whether or not I deserved to be comfortable in my skin on any given day.  

I knew I made the right decision when several months scale-less, I had a moment of weakness “just to check in.” I stepped on, looked at the number, and it triggered that familiar sinking, prickling, spiral.

Until then, I KNEW I’d been gaining weight and was strangely okay with it for the first time ever. I was buying new clothes a size bigger. I own mirrors. I figured I was healed enough that the number wouldn’t shake me, but it did. 

I backslid a bit in my self love journey. I re-downloaded a calorie tracker on my phone. I googled intense training schedules to punish my body for growing. I avoided the mirror that my fat body was finally beginning to befriend.

Thankfully, this was a short detour. I self medicated with quotes from Sonya Renee Taylor’s book on radical self love titled The Body Is Not an Apology. I shaved my legs, exfoliated, took a bath, and painted my toes. The next day, I carefully did my makeup, donned a fierce outfit, and forgave myself for slipping up and forgetting that my worth is not so variable. 

It’s been two years since I’ve stepped on a scale and looked down at the number. I have absolutely no idea what I weigh, and that is okay. 

Did you know that you’re allowed to ask not to be weighed at doctor’s visits? You have a right to refuse any medical procedure. 

Before I declined getting weighed the first time, I obsessed over what to say and how to defend myself. I rehearsed the following phrase over and over in my head in the waiting room:

“I prefer not to step on the scale. Knowing that number triggers unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns for me.”

There ended up being no need to defend myself further, and my request was immediately granted. My prepared monologue about health at every size went wasted.

 And when I said the same thing at my employer’s yearly biometric health screening, I was treated with respect and understanding. Increasingly, medical professionals are shifting the focus from weight to health instead, and they understand that health is complicated and nuanced and can’t be defined by a single metric or a person’s appearance.

By banishing the scale, I started to take my power back and began advocating for my strong, fat, beautiful body. And now after years of shame and mistreatment, the fractured relationship with my body is healing. She is no longer my enemy. She’s my ally.


  1. Laura says:

    Love reading your blog, Bobbi. Your posts are so relatable.


    1. Tamie says:

      Beautifully said


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