Although non-scale victories along the weight loss journey are valid measures, the number on the scale still holds precedence for the majority. Waiting for the pounds to drop tests our patience, affects our emotional well-being, and antagonizes us with the number’s powerful reign. However, as an inanimate object, the scale knows not the individual who occupies its space nor is it able to give love, encouragement, or subjective feedback. We allow the inhuman object to define our failure or success with its weighty number, affect our food intake, moods, and exercise regime.

Releasing the reins and power given to this metal object is a worthy objective. The scale’s number is a limited, health measurement. While other assessments create significant, useful evaluations, including pant size, muscle mass, and energy level, waiting for the scale to move steadily downward awaits baited breath unnecessarily. Reassessing our priorities and transforming our relationship with the scale is part of a necessary transition for the weight loss journey.

When the scale first was empowered differs per individual. My unsteady, insecure eleven-year-old self stood in a school nurse’s office while a number announced and written upon a brown clipboard, seemingly shouted through a megaphone, and permanently marked in a nurse’s scribble with non-erasable ink transpired. The relationship with this lifeless object had begun, scarring and weighing my self-worth for the years that followed.

Recognizing the relationship began at that moment might have been a foreshadowing, but I was an unsuspecting victim of negative scale influence immediately. Defined by a number, a red flag flew before my eyes, taunting my existence. Diet jargon became a fluent language spoken within my childhood home. I listened, learned, and languished with low-fat, limited calories, and small portions for the remainder of my years there.

Yet even after departure, my diet research, and knowledge changed constantly, recommendations altered, and success rate declined, while the scale like the man behind the curtain reigned supreme. My results consistently met resistance, the pounds increased, and a yo-yo of pounds and feelings illuminated a failure-ridden, diet roller coaster. I gave the scale its power to define my worth, decide my fate, and weigh heavily. The losing weight loss battle plagued a great portion of my life until now.

A scale does not show love, emotion, empathy, compassion, nor does it care whether we lose or gain a pound. Only we know our worth and giving power to an inanimate object is a losing proposition. The pendulum for change swings toward balance and stability, rocking its center at a sane solution. Releasing the scale’s power has proved challenging, yet valuable. Periodically it may still drive a wedge between sanity and delusion, as a steady habit needs time to change.

Yet over time, the body shrinks, energy reboots, and clothing-size reduces. Moreover, if the clothes fit, we must acquit our conscience, guilty of affecting our psyche. Weight fluctuation contains numerous factors the scale cannot measure. Reminded of its limited utility, downgrading its assessment value is necessary. If waiting for the scale to determine success, we allow the scale to weather our journey.

The tumultuous scale-related storms experienced teach that sunny skies are on the horizon with change and reasonable perspective about the scale’s actual utility. Removing its hold upon us is a gradual process. Not a number, we are people empowered to determine our own destiny. The scale carries no weight; the weight is ours to see, feel, and are fit to carry. Limit the scale’s weight along the journey, and the bumpy path readily improves.