Women tend to keep track of whether they are “succeeding” or “failing” at meeting cultural standards regarding size by weighing themselves. There is a feeling of control women get from knowing that number, and many believe that if they don’t know their weight, their weight will go totally out of control. However, this is not really logical. Measuring is not the same as controlling. That’s like trying to control the temperature with a thermometer. In fact, what usually happens is that, as a result of weighing themselves, women actually eat more than if they weren’t weighing themselves. If the scale shows that you’ve “passed” by losing some weight, the tendency is to let up a little on your diet, which usually leads to letting up a whole lot! If the scale shows you that you’ve “failed” by gaining or staying the same, the tendency is to console yourself with food or to go ahead and blow it big time since you’ve already failed for that day.
Weighing yourself is a trap. It is evidence that you are still entrenched in having to measure yourself against cultural standards. It is another form of legalism, another way you’re trying (in your flesh) to motivate yourself to lose weight. And it doesn’t work. What works is giving God the chance to show you that the true you, the new creation in Christ who has a spirit of self-control, does not go hog wild if you don’t measure yourself every day or every week.
Since 1984, the only times I have been weighed have been when I’ve gone to the doctor’s office. Even then, for several years after I decided to stop weighing myself, when the nurse had me step on a scale, I got on the scale backwards so I couldn’t see my weight. The habit to judge myself as a failure or success based on that number was so ingrained that it took years to reach the point where knowing that number didn’t throw me emotionally.
Part of giving up the fleshly legalism of dieting is giving up the yardstick by which dieting is measured, weighing yourself.
Thank you so much for this post because that is actually what I have been doing. Weighing myself to see how well I’ve done, then feeling terrible when it shows I didn’t lose or that I have gained. AWAY WITH THE SCALES!!
Mary Kay, congrats on tossing the scales. One more thing you’re redeemed from! pnc