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A Healthy Way To Weigh Yourself Guide

Prefer to listen? Check out the audio recording of this lesson.

If you’ve ever stepped on the scale and felt like you were weighing not pounds but your worth as a person, we see you. Diet culture has turned weighing into a soul-crushing process.

One of the most frustrating parts of this is that the messaging we’ve been getting about pounds is actually way off the mark. Science clearly shows that just knowing somebody’s weight is just one data point in their health story. That’s because scale numbers mean different things for different bodies depending on factors like your height and frame, how much muscle you have, and even your genetics. 

You may have noticed, however, that we still ask you to weigh yourself. In fact, we also send you a scale and ask you to use it daily. This is not us trying to confuse you or being hypocritical with our science. It’s because we understand that we can only change what we know, and we can only know what we can measure. 

By this we mean that while your weight alone is just one piece of data (it’s never the whole you), in context with other data it can tell you things about your health that are important to know. Within the context of Calibrate, your % weight change over time (and by “time” we mean weeks, not days) can provide a powerful signal for what’s working and what isn’t as you move toward better metabolic health. Having your % change helps your coach and your medical team to make tweaks that steer you to the very best results for you. That’s why in the Calibrate program we measure your % weight loss, not your overall weight—and it’s why while we don’t look for you to hit certain numbers, we do ask you to track your weight.

Recognizing this context doesn’t make the process any more fun, though. All of those cultural messages are still right there, staring at you. We built this guide to offer up strategies for reframing how the scale can fit into your life in a different way. We’re not going to pretend that these will take away a lifetime of external messaging, but we hope they’ll provide some tools and context.

Tips and tactics

Now, let’s get a bit more granular. Not all of these tips will resonate for everyone, but scan them and see if you can find something that works for you. 

  • We’ll say it again: change only matters over time and numbers on the scale mean different things to different people. So as much as you can, focus on the % weight loss you’ve achieved since starting the program. You’ll be able to see your % weight loss on the app—make the app your anchor.
  • If you don’t like to see numbers, feel free to use a post-it note to cover the numbers on the scale and ignore the weight section in the app. Because your scale logs your weight without you having to manually track it anywhere, you’re welcome to keep yourself in the dark from day to day and use your 1:1 time with your coach to talk in a way that feels comfortable to you about how that part of your progress is going.
  • If you’d like the day-to-day feedback of knowing how your weight is trending but have a hard time letting go of negative feelings around certain numbers, consider changing the unit of measure on your scale from pounds to kilograms (or vice versa, depending on what’s standard to you). Not having a clear picture of what a number means for you can help make it less triggering.
  • We talk a lot in the program about thinking of yourself as a scientist, doing research on your own body, and approaching tracking with neutral curiosity. Putting that researcher hat on before you step on the scale is a great way to keep the experience value-neutral.
  • Create a positive behavioral association with your weigh-in by pairing a small pleasurable experience with it. Love a hot shower? Make scale + shower part of your morning routine. Have a favorite get-hyped song that brings you joy? Put it on the playlist as you do your weigh-in.
  • Use a mantra to access your inspiration and motivation. If mantras are new for you, reciting out loud a simple phrase like “I am strong” or “I am doing great” can have a powerful mood-lifting effect (and don’t worry if it feels goofy!).