Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

The radio announcers asked the trivia question: What does 1 in 4 women do every day? The call-in responses ranged from ridiculous (i.e. “shaves” – please.) to boring – the actual answer turned out to be “washes her hair”.


I bring up this otherwise forgettable question because one caller guessed “weighs herself”. A female caller, no less, believed that one in four women weighs herself daily.


Fortunately, the guess was wrong – but the idea wasn’t completely out of left field, which was upsetting. Weighing oneself is more unhealthy than a provider of useful information – weight is not a good predictor of health and fluctuations of up to four pounds from day to day are completely normal.


Even someone trying to gain or lose weight won’t be able to track significant change on a daily basis. Our bodies just don’t work like that. I was sad to hear that anyone would guess that 25% of women weigh themselves every day. No one is defined by a number on a scale. We are too often taught to be self-regulating of our bodies – what we eat and how much and how often, what kind of exercise we do and how hard and how often, and of course – our weight. Weight tells us so little about an individual’s physical health, and absolutely nothing about the person inside. Of all the things to do daily, I hope stepping on the scale is not something we take time out of our busy, full lives to focus on, not when we can fill our daily lives with so many positive things instead.


And don’t just take it from me; even Jillian Michaels says weighing yourself daily is more damaging than anything else.


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