What's the weigh?

I like writing about what arises organically throughout the week with training clients. I've been asked (with an increased frequency lately) about how often I recommend stepping on the scale. What's the right way to weigh?

If you know me or have trained with me before you might already know my answer....it depends. There's no hard rule in my book on how often everyone should weigh. There's a lot of baggage the scale carries for some while for others it's just a unit of measurement. I've always been sensitive to this and only take measurements if that's something the client wants.

However, lately I've been thinking more about weight and why someone should or should not weigh yourself.

3 Reasons Not to Weigh Yourself

1. The number on the scale brings up unresolved trauma.

This is 100% outside my scope of practice. I am not a psychotherapist but if stepping on the scale increases anxiety, there might be room to uncover the reasons behind this with a professional.

2. Not interested.

While I realize all our brains work differently, there's some who just plain don't care and it's just not on their radar.

3. Prefer a different method.

Some people prefer to focus on how they feel and don't want to bog their mind down with numbers. Maybe they just focus on how much energy they have, how they feel in their clothes or are mindful about overall lifestyle instead of data points.

2 Reasons to Weigh Yourself

1. Data.

Again, this touches on the different types of brains. Some people enjoy data points. They like numbers and they like analyzing those numbers. The numbers don't evoke emotion, they are just simply numbers.

Here's a quick example in case this makes more sense.

Take for instance if you were going to pay off debt. Each month you would monitor your spending and you would look at the balance in the account. It's really hard to pay off debt if you don't know the numbers. That would require a lot of guessing. Watching the number shows what's working. So if the debt doesn't go down then there's a spending shift that needs to take place. The same is true for the scale.

Granted, there are more factors to think about such as body composition changes and the way your clothes fit. If you are getting stronger and feel great but the scale isn't changing, the likelihood is high there's something called body recomposition happening. This just means you're growing your lean mass and decreasing your fat mass even though there's no scale change.

*Side Note: If you are in a strength training program, your body is getting stronger which means you are increasing the amount of muscle that lives on your body. The scale might not change but that doesn't mean your body isn't! Strength training reduces sarcopenia (which is why I believe it's the very best thing for basically everyone-ahh, another post for another day!)

2. Maintenance.

Many people practice weighing each week in order to simply decrease the likelihood of weight gain. It's sort of like spending money again. In order to avoid going into debt, many opt for following a budget or spending plan. It just means to monitor spending. If they get to a point of heading too far towards a direction they don't want to go, they reign in spending. The same can be done with the scale. After all, they say ignorance is only blissful until the issue that you've ignored jumps up from the sidewalk and it bites you squarely in the derriere.

So in a nutshell, I realize there are more reasons to not weigh yourself than to weigh yourself. At the end of the day we are all different and what works for one person definitely does not have to work for another.