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Why I Don’t Step on Scales
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March 9, 2016

Why I Don’t Step on Scales

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Hey guys!

I’ve told you before that I don’t weigh myself because the number on the scale doesn’t hold that much value to me. Plus, there are other more reliable ways to measure my progress!

For some people, stepping on the scale can be a healthy way to stay motivated and on track in the weight loss journey. But for others it can become a problem.

An obsession. Think about it, are you someone who steps on the scale and the number dictates your mood for the day? (In fact, I admit that I’ve been that person for years.) THAT IS NOT GOOD. Why?

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Well, for one, a number should not determine how you feel about yourself! And secondly, did you know that your weight naturally fluctuates due to many reasons that have NOTHING to do with ACTUALLY gaining unhealthy weight? For example…

  • How long ago you last ate  – Did you finish eating yesterday around 7pm or did you have a late dinner at 10pm? This can cause a change in your weight the next morning, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you GAINED unhealthy weight overall.
  • The time you weigh yourself – most of us are much lighter in the morning versus at night after we’ve eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner! So if you want an accurate reading, weigh yourself at the same time each day. It’s just food weight!
  • Water retention – Maybe you consumed a little more sodium than normal and that’s causing your body to hold water weight (which will go away over time).
  • Dehydration – When you don’t drink water, you are omitting extra potential weight from your body. But purposefully taking out water from your diet just to make the scale move down is a bad idea. You will begin to feel thirsty, weak, and unfocused quickly before it becomes a larger medical problem.
  • Illness – When you’re sick, you tend to eat less because it’s hard to hold down food, therefore making you weigh less.

Is it really necessary to weigh yourself so much? Really what we should be concerned with is the accumulation of body FAT. Not just body weight. ‘Cuz…12669575_1030256540346153_5005273712829568375_nMore realistic ways to measure your progress after starting a workout program: 1. How are your energy levels? Assess yourself. Tune into your body. Do you have more energy? Not only with your workouts, but also in daily life? Do you notice daily chores becoming easier? Walking up those stairs becomes a breeze. Being physically active actually INCREASES your energy levels and leaves you feeling motivated in all aspects of life. There is no way the scale can measure that! 2. How do you feel emotionally? Are you happier? More confident? Higher self-esteem? You’ve been working hard for your goals, and because of that you will notice an increase in happiness and becoming more comfortable in your own skin. There’s no greater satisfaction than FEELING amazing.12328460_446102962260398_589389404_n3. How are your clothes fitting? Are your clothes getting a little bit looser? Or maybe your jeans are fitting a little bit better from those squat gains? Do you feel more confident in your favorite dress? Even if the number on the scale doesn’t change (or even goes up) your body is still changing in a good way! Remember that the scale doesn’t know the difference between fat and muscle. You may be leaning out AND building muscle at the same time, and the scale can’t recognize that. Take a look at the pic below. I’m holding 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. 5 lbs is 5 lbs. Muscle just takes up a lot less space for the same weight!tumblr_nk2vnhc5Ot1qd45ayo1_12804. Progress Pics! Progress pics are one of my favorite ways to assess physical changes. Before you start a new workout routine or change in diet, take a pic of yourself. A full-body picture – you don’t have to show anyone. It may be uncomfortable at that time, but just think about how amazing it will feel to look back at the old picture and compare it to where you’re at today. There’s nothing more motivating than your own before and after picture!Before and after (3)

Read Veen’s Transformation Story

5. Body Fat Percentages! If you’re the type that likes numbers, then paying attention to your body fat percentage is a much more reliable way to measure progress towards a lean body. Here are some accurate ways to measure your body fat:

  • Bod Pod – Uses air displacement to measure your body mass, volume, and density. About $75 a session.
  • DEXA Scan – Takes a full X-ray of your body composition and gives you a bunch of cool numbers. I did this once and my body fat % turned out to be about higher than what I thought it was. About $50-$150 a session.

What does body fat say about you? Well here’s a chart from The American Council of Exercise (ACE) that explains this to us:2013-01-16-Body-Fat-Percentage_largeNot sure what that looks like? This may help:womenbodyfat1womenbodyfat3I consistently stay around the “Fitness” range, but have gotten down to the mid “Athlete” level before. These pictures are fairly accurate in my experience. Do you think you could pick your body fat percentage by looking at these pics? Of course, body fat can look so different on everyone just based on how it is distributed on you! Personally, I don’t really like calipers or those scales with the body fat calculators on them because they really can be so inaccurate. But also keep in mind that the 2 methods I listed above can also fluctuate between one another. So if you’re trying to rely on it, then just use one type of way throughout your progression. Also…be cautious and don’t let body fat percentage rule your life either. Sure, it’s a more reliable number for leanness, but leanness isn’t everything!! A number should never ever control your mood. If you have enough self confidence to understand that, then good, you can handle scales, Bod Pods, and measuring tape. But if you know those things even have a chance at controlling you, don’t let them. Dismiss those tools from your life and focus on what matters…how you FEEL! Keep training hard, eating clean, and being happy! That’s the biggest reward of all.

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70 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Step on Scales”

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  1. Bridget says:

    Thank you for this post. I also find myself wanting to obsess over the weight of the scale. I’m glad that you write in a way that teaches and gives knowledge about the body and fitness. That is more encouraging to me than just talking about losing weight. It seems that EVERYONE talks about losing weight and it’s difficult not to obsess about it because everyone does. It’s like the older we get the more we talk about it. The more important it is to look like the “hot mom” or whoever. I’m not even a mom yet and I feel the pressure. I would love it if I didn’t care about it because I love my body and yet the more I hear about weight loss the more it makes me feel dissatisfied with myself. I’m not sure where to draw the line, it’s somewhere between perfection and apathy 😛 and I don’t want to be either.

  2. Alyssa says:

    I am so happy I read this. I have been working out and eating right for two weeks straight now. I feel confident, my clothes don’t feel as tight on me anymore, and just all around motivated. I’ve avoided the scale this entire time because I’m nervous it will discourage me if my weight isn’t actually as much as I feel like I have lost so far and it will just discourage me from continuing on my journey.

  3. Luzviminda Taguba says:

    Iam glad I found you.I am a beginner, I love your Pilates it’s killing me.

  4. Rhiannon says:

    Love, love, love this! I stopped using a scale after I realized I was obsessing over the number. I’m using those body fat percentage images as a guide of where I should be, but I’m not obsessing about hitting a specific percentage. Now it’s whether I like my reflection and if I feel confident in my own skin. Thank you for posting this!!

  5. donna says:

    This make a lot of sense! I’m throwing my weighing scale away!

  6. angela says:

    This post rocks!!

  7. Bri says:

    Love the workout

  8. Amber says:

    I love this! thank you

  9. Kaitlynn says:

    The number on the scale certainly doesn’t define who you are. But when I saw 400.8 on mine, it kicked my ass in gear. At first I freaked out and started wallowing. Then I started a squat challenge, again. The other times I tried doing squat challenges I stopped within a day or two. This time I’m still going strong 8 days in. I am so proud of myself for this. It’s not a lot, and I’m not perfect, but I’m still doing something. I walk around the stores instead of hopping in a mart-kart. I have one sandwich at lunch, on wheat bread, instead of two on white. So while I agree that the number on the scale doesn’t define you, it can be an awfully good motivator sometimes.

  10. Hey everyone!!

    I used to be that girl. Weighing everyday and if i didn’t see any progress i would feel terrible about myself and would most likely over indulge. But since moving into residence at school and only being home on the weekend it has changed my mindset. Weighing in once a week lets me see real progress without the scale controlling my feelings. I was even surprised this week as i haven’t weighed in for 2 weeks to drop 3 pounds! It has made this journey so much more enjoyable and rewarding!!!

  11. Vicki says:

    Hey there!
    Does any one mind e-mailing me the March madness workout calendar?
    I tried to put the code in but the link isn’t working for me.

    my email is martivi001@gmail.com

    Thank you!

  12. Jessica says:

    Hi Cassey! I haven’t weighed myself in about a year. I used to do it all the time, every day multiple times a day and it totally controlled my life. I realized that the scale isn’t always accurate and shouldn’t determine my mood for the day and days to come. I rely on the fit of my clothes and how I’m feeling physically and emotionally. This article does put everything into perspective and it is so true, so thanks!

  13. Katarina says:

    Hey Cassey! I’ve been watching the show Fit2Fat2Fit. What do you think about this experiment?

  14. Alice says:

    I love this post. I avoid weighing myself at all costs but since getting more into fitness I have found it harder to stay away from the scales in the gym! Thank you for reminding me that I don’t need them 🙂

  15. Ael Lee says:

    I totally agree with this but somehow in korea your weight, height, body fat, and BMI is included in my P.E. grade. I think it’s totally unfair because I think people who are not perfectly fit cand also get perfect P.E. grades.

    1. nae un says:

      really? honestly i think the standards are different in different countries. If im not mistaken, korean celebrities have a huge influence in korea. That may be why your school has these grades in phys ed.

  16. Nurul says:

    Really love this post.

  17. Awesome post. I love your alternative methods to gauging weight, especially the “how do your clothes fit?” tip. That always seemed a much better and more reliable method to figuring out how I’m doing. Loving “The scale doesn’t measure sexy”! That should be posted up on a poster in every gym.

    San Francisco’s Best Spa – Posh Treatments In A Historic Neighborhood

  18. Paulina says:

    Hi, can you make video how to gets legs like victoria’s secrets angels?

    1. Hyeonseo Kim says:

      Hey, actually Cassey already made a video on how to get Victoria’s Secret angel’s legs, if u go to videos then click on series, there will be a series called Victoria’s Secret Angel workout or whatever something like that. You will find a workout video for legs, hope this helps!

  19. sarah says:

    casey you are the best! this post is what I really needed.
    yesterday morning I stepped on the scale and it ruined my whole day because, oh yes, the number was higher than the week before. ok I now the muscles and fat thing but I’ve never realized it this way. I was focussing on less weight. That is wrong, I know, but sometimes you fall back in bad routines.
    I should print this muscle-fat picture and put it on my fridge 😀

  20. Bronwyn says:

    About body fat % if anyone is hoping to have children in the future, keep in mind the ideal body fat percentage to be fertile is between 20%-25%. For women who are much more or much less, it can possibly make it harder to have children.

  21. Giovanna says:

    Lovely post Cassey, thank you for giving tips on new ways to measure fitness progress other than looking at the numbers on the scale. I try not to weigh myself much and don’t even have a scale in my house. Loving the positivity on this post. I also have a blog and would love to get your feedback 🙂 XOXO

  22. Mary Ferroggiaro says:

    Oh my gosh, Cassey!!! THANK YOU!!
    -Mary

  23. Irene says:

    Hi Cassey! Absolutely LOVED this post. I am the kind of person who weighs both my weight and my body fat % first thing every morning. It was an obsession for a while. I started my fitness journey last summer by just running 4-5 miles every day, and I lost weight SO FAST. Getting on that scale was the most exciting thing for me at that time cause I can see progress every single day. Naturally, after a while, the number just stuck and it became discouraging, especially when I have a target weight in mind. I came across your videos in Januray and decided to give it a try–it was so much more time-efficient than running, and I did hope to get stronger. I am doing PIIT28 now, combined with some running and body pump classes, and am eating mindfully and as clean as I possibly can. I absolutely loved my workouts and my lifestyle now. The numbers on the scale, both my weight and my body fat % are kinda stable now, but I can feel myself getting stronger, lighter and more energetic evey day. I am focusing now on how I can do the moves better, how much more weight I can lift, and overall how my body feels during all of the workouts. I am feeling strong, confident, sexy and HAPPY. Thanks so much for the Blogilates family for all the fitness inspirations. I’m gonna keep working with you all!!!

  24. Shvaetha Kumaravel says:

    Hey Cassey,
    Woah, your posts never fail to impress. I’m 15 ( turning 16 this year ) and I’ve been drawn into this atmosphere of being strong, healthy and fit. I just Love the Blogilates community and I love you too! You’re a great inspiration. I’ve been working out according to the calendars and stuff and feel great, but I have this tiny amount of belly fat that I would like to must chop off! Can you make a video on that or a blog post please? Thanks and love you! Keep up the blogilates spirit! <3

  25. Jessica says:

    Im 20 I am around 38 kg , im planning to go for gym and get fit is it ok to go for gym?

  26. Cathy McPherson says:

    I’m much older than most of you (57) but really enjoy your workouts Cassie. I have definately lost inches and gained strength for which I am very happy and grateful. I just want to say as a life long “big girl”, keep working, eat right, be happy and accept who you are. That has been the hardest lesson for me and I still have to repeat it myself. Thanks again!

    1. Mary Ferroggiaro says:

      Thank you, too, Cathy. I’m with you! I could have written your post. 🙂 -Mary

    2. Melody says:

      Ha-ha! Yep – if you’re born with a large bone structure, don’t worry about it. Maximize what’s good about it and be proud of how strong you are! I recently went to an annual doctor visit, and, though I’ve gone down a size and definitely changed he composition of my body for the better in that year, the scale weight was EXACTLY the same. Problem? Nope! It just means I’ve lost fat and gained muscle. Winning!

  27. Isabelle says:

    Cassey, I just recently started doing ur programs. I just did a lot of ab sculpting this morning with ur program. I ? every minute of it. I completely agree with u. A stupid number doesn’t define who u r. Anyone who thinks that needs some self respect and confidence in themselves, not their bodies. It may b nice 2 look down & c that u lost 5lbs recently & I think that that is perfectly reasonable. But don’t let that number rule ur life. If ur just working out because u want 2 look “hot”, ur doing it 4 the wrong reason. And please don’t start working out 4 a guy. If he doesn’t like u 4 who u r then he is not worth it. U should b working out 2 b healthy because being happy with u is all that matters. ?

  28. This is fantastic, Cassey! I was once so obsessed with the number on the scale and weighing in multiple times on weigh-in day! It was such a waste of time to be so fixated on something that really doesn’t matter too much for our well-being. I think that if you’re cutting and measuring your progress, then the scale can help, but it’s up to you as to whether or not you want to dictate your happiness based on that number or remember that other things matter and move on with your life.

  29. Shannon says:

    I agree with this post a lot. I gained a bunch of weight last fall, and because I wasn’t paying attention to how my clothes fit or how much exercise I needed to maintain my weight, it really snuck up on me. Seeing that larger number on the scale when I weighed myself for the first time in months was shocking.

    Now, I still use my scale every day but I pay attention to the body fat % more than my weight. It’s been so gratifying to see that number go down over time and my goal right now is to drop 2% more than where I am currently.

    Thanks Cassey!

  30. Kelly says:

    Ever since I recovered from multiple eating disorders a decade ago, I haven’t liked scales. They are great at showing change over a long period of time, but on a day to day basis they are really just a huge source of stress for most people. My husband and I are both slim, but this year we’ve been focusing on getting truly fit and healthy. He insisted on buying a scale, and no matter how many times I tell him, he shouldn’t, he weighs himself every day. Then he asks me things like, “how could I have gained three pounds since yesterday?!” I need to have him read this post…

    Thanks for everything you do, Cassey!

  31. Samantha says:

    I agree that how you feel is more important, however.. I step on the scale every morning. Without it, I would have never known that I went from 140lbs to 119lbs since starting Blogilates back in September tbh. When you’re losing weight.. you don’t see it. It’s a slow process. It’s nice to have a scale around to remind me that I’m going forward and not backwards. Some mornings I feel like I’ve gained 5lbs, when I actually could be a pound less.

    1. McKenna says:

      I disagree. When I lose weight I see it in the mirror before I see it on the scale. Personally, all the scale does for me is affect my mood. But I think this is what Cassey was saying about weighing ourselves on a scale being different to everyone else! Great post Cassey! (:

  32. Carol says:

    Definitely something I needed to read…in fact, I should read it everyday. Thank you for being so real and inspirational.

  33. MonaLisa says:

    That was well put!!! Thank you!!

  34. Megan says:

    I love this. When I started my fitness journey, I did weigh myself to see where I started. This was 4 weeks ago. I would occasionally weigh myself but the number didn’t change, and I was ok with that. Because A) I previously had next to no muscle mass on my body, and B) I went down a pant size! I think it’s fun just to check from time to time, but I definitely have no weight number goals. I have pant size goals. I was once a size 5. I never anticipate that again since it was before I had my 2 boys. Also, I’ve got wide hips. So 5s just don’t suit my body frame. I’m actually going for a 9-10. If I go any lower, cool! If not, no biggie! I started at a 14. I’m now a 12 (After just a month!!) so I’m almost here. And I’m doing PIIT28 and the Reset, so. yay! Though I did step on the scale yesterday and saw a decrease of 7 lbs. That was pretty exciting. Hahaha

  35. Linden says:

    My favourite way to measure progress is measurements. I find it’s the best way to see if I’ve made progress. I understand that I might not always be on the exact same spot, so my measurements might fluctuate a wee bit. It’s also handy for online shopping 😉

  36. Jade says:

    Yes, NSV’s are so important and a much better way to track health.

  37. Amy Hoang says:

    I dislike the scale. I usually go by my clothes to see if my weight had gone up or down. I haven’t lost much weight BUT I’ve noticed that I’m leaner and my flabby tummy has shrunk because I’ve toned up. I’m not looking to be skinny but more fit instead. As always I love this community.

  38. Laura says:

    Sometimes I step on the scale to see if there is any abnormalities that I wouldn’t have noticed, but usually I don’t. If you like how you feel and you are confident in how you look, don’t mind the weight! 😉

    Laura
    http://furiouslychic.blogspot.ch/

  39. Apatalva says:

    How can I measure my body fat???

    1. Ashley Dunne says:

      It is not a measurement that can be done at home unfortunately. Cassey mentions in the article about callipers which is usually how a personal trainer or gym would assess you. You can buy a scales with a body fat calculator but these tend not to be very accurate either (as Casey mentions) the most reliable way to test it is how Cassey mentions – Bod Pod or DEXA Scan. Not sure if this helps but it is definitely not as readily available as a weighing scales for most people.

  40. Sarah says:

    Stepping on the scale is and was fine for me. It was an easy way to measure my progress and also to make sure I was tracking my calories correctly. Now that I’m at my goal weight (I went from 180 lbs to 114 lbs) it is a way for me to make sure I’m eating enough, so I can increase my calories if I notice that I’m losing weight. At my weight, even 1 lb shift downward would bring me significantly closer to being underweight (at 108 lbs) which I absolutely do not want, so I need that extra information from the scale to make sure I don’t go that way. I also tracked my weight often enough that I know if weight gain is from water retention, my cycle, or recent food choices.

    Some people become obsessed with the scale and it is unhealthy for them. But other people don’t have that problem, so the scale shouldn’t be demonized just for stating a fact. It can be an insanely helpful tool for some people!

    1. Liz S. says:

      Agree! I’ve lost about 10 pounds since November (not on purpose since I wasn’t overweight, but just because of the crazy calorie burn that Pop Pilates gives you) and I weight myself every morning just to make sure I’m eating enough food to stay at a health BMI. It’s helpful and I don’t mind seeing small fluctuations up or down since that’s normal.

  41. Jessi says:

    Thank you Cassey!!! I really needed that… I’ve been doing Pilates plus a cardio routine nearly every day, and working on my eating habits (sugar is almost all out, less carbs, and less in general) but have hardly seen ANY change on that damned scale. It has been so disheartening some days, and has sometimes been hard to continue, thinking it will never change. BUT I feel so much happier, healthier, stronger, and that has motivated me to keep going. Thanks for being there for those of us who really want to make a positive change in their lives!

  42. Assia says:

    you said it and you said it well i do look at the scale but only like every 2 months not all the time i went through a stage where i was upsest and weighed myself every morning

  43. Yeeeees!!! I couldn’t agree more!! I tell my clients this all the time, but I think we’re just so used to basing our progress (and sometimes our self-worth) off that stupid number!

  44. I don’t step on the scale, and I don’t really care much for one. You’re right–the scale DOESN’T measure sexy. It only gives you a number–it doesn’t tell how beautiful of a person you are on the inside, and sometimes on the outside too because you might be holding on a lot of fat and yet be light.

  45. Brina (@fighterpopster) says:

    I feel so much more smart, aware and confident after reading this. I only weigh myself once a year and that’s because I have to – it’s for school. Last year in April I had 60 kg with 162 cm of height. I thought to myself, is this too much? How can a guy that’s almost a year olde than me weigh less? But now I understand there’s so many things the scale doesn’t tell you. My weigh is just a number!

  46. Evelyn says:

    Me too! I dont like sales because maybe last month I was 70, but now I’m 90. I would fell really depressed.
    Btw I made I post about u Cassey on my web. Pas check it out!!!

  47. Patty says:

    Hey Cassey! I followed your Blogilates video to get in shape for my wedding. I ended up losing 14 lbs (from 112 lbs to 96 lbs) & lost over 5 inches of stomach fat. I never cared about the weight, it was my stomach area that I desperately wanted to flatten and tone and was able to do it through your videos. I feel that measuring tape is a very accurate (& cheap and easy!) way to measure your progress. As you get leaner and build more muscle, you will shed stomach fat and your abs will start to develop. I ended up with sick looking abs! I have a before/after pic on Instagram if anyone wants to see (@vivacious_dan). The image speaks for itself. So I did weigh myself once a week too but the inches is what I paid the most attention to.

  48. Anne says:

    Well, this is all easy to say. All my doctors are telling me I have to lose weight if they see my number. They are all telling me that I have to be on a certain number or I will get ill or worse. I have high blood pressure (which is common in my family and I had it for years!) but now that they didn’t find anything in my body (i got checked through) they all pinning it on my weight (not my family history, they ignore it). I spend 5 weeks seeing a woman who checked my meals and measured me and my body fat. After five weeks (she told me, my eating habits were alright, as they were before I went there) nothing had changed (even though I went to the gym that time, three times a week) and she was speechless.
    Now, I am doing PIIT28 and nothing changes. I gain weight, when I climb the stairs I get out of breath, yesterday I had to run to catch a train and was almost dying. Even though I train everyday. And I don’t eat junk food. I love salads and clean eating.
    It’s frustrating me, because I am scared that nothing will have changed after PIIT28 and that I will still look the same. I just want to lose belly fat (it’s my biggest problem) the rest of my body is alright, I love the rest. Just the belly is really bad. I wouldn’t mind the weight if my belly fat would be gone – I would feel better than. I don’t know what to do. 🙁

    (I love the workouts though! I’m excited every time!)

    1. Jessyca says:

      Have you been checked for any type of hormone issues that would cause you to gain weight? I think thyroid problems are the most common culprits. Either way, I hope you’re able to figure something out, and great job sticking to your workouts!

  49. Nevena says:

    In my house we don’t have a scale. My mom always thought it was unnecessary to have it, so the only time I measured my weight was once a year when me have a medical exam at school. And I always was under 49kg, and I am 162cm high, so I was skinny(and I wasn’t on a diet or anythig, that was just the way I was). In that time I really didn’t care on how much I weighted because I didn’t think much of it. And then one day I was running to catch a bus, and I was so out of breath that I thought I was gonna suffocate. I told my aunt this, and she recommended me to start doing pilates(because she was doing it).
    So I started doing poppilates 🙂 to gain some muscle weight because I realized I wasn’t strong enough. In time I got a lot stronger, and I started to look more in shape. One day someone started to body shame me that I was to skinny, but when they heard how much I wight they were shocked( I weigt over 50kg now). So right then I realized, people will always gonna tell you how you look. fat or skinny, so it really depends on how you fell inside and do you love yourself the way you look. 🙂

    1. Jazz says:

      Exactly! When people judge me the way I look and tell me that I must be around 53-55 kg when I tell them I’m over 60 kg they get shocked. Its not how it looks always but how it feels. 🙂

  50. Ade says:

    Love this post Cassey ❤️ The facts, the positive spirit and your beautiful words! Thank you, you’ve helped me a lot! I’ll never let the numbers determine my worth again!!!

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