Don’t Fear the Scale

Sunday, 08 May 2011 10:18 Written by  Priya A. Shah

Long before I began working out on a regular basis, I decided not to be defined by a number. For many years, I refused to step on a scale, mainly because I didn’t want to allow that number that would appear to control my emotions.




When the time comes to step up on a scale, women will either be joyful to discover that they’ve lost weight or disappointed to see that they didn’t. The worst case scenario is to see that you’ve gained weight. In some cases, that haunting number suddenly becomes who they are.

It’s no secret that women have to meet certain standards when it comes to physical appearance. If we don’t meet these standards, it’ll most likely result in diets, excessive exercise, deprivation and misery. Then, we make the mistake of eating our feelings, which result in having a feeling of failure. The key is not to let the number on the scale control you. Your weight is just a number.

I don’t obsessively step on a scale every day to see if I lost a pound. I rarely take that trip to the scale, but when I do, I make a promise to myself that no matter what the number may be, it will not ruin my day. Let’s be honest, at the end of the day, it doesn’t define who we are as women. The last time I was on a scale was in January, and I probably won’t step on another scale until the end of summer. I have a philosophy that I like to follow, which is to go by how I feel and how my clothes fit.

If you listen to your body, it’ll let you know if you’re losing or gaining weight in a number of ways:

  1. The first way I tell is by the clothing I wear. For a while now, I’ve been trying to shrink a pair of jeans because they are loose on me. The only way I feel comfortable wearing them is if I wear a pair of leggings underneath with a belt. If you’re clothing fits differently, than you’ve probably lost some weight.
  2. The second way is compliments. A few months ago, I was on a roll where I was working out more than usual; I was obsessed with a particular kickboxing cardio class, which resulted in weight loss. However, I didn’t really notice because I wasn’t paying that much attention to my body. I started getting compliments from people I knew and from strangers. A scale may be able to tell you how much you weigh, but can it compliment you?
  3. The last and most important factor is the level of energy you have. It’s all about how you feel. The more you get in the habit of living a healthier lifestyle, the less sluggish you’ll feel. You’ll have more energy and people will start to notice.
Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah lives in Chicago. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010, where she studied magazine journalism and fiction writing. She has been a staff writer for GMO since 2007. She’s written and interned for various media outlets such as India Tribune, Today's Chicago Woman, Tribune Media Services, GlossMagazineOnline and Echo (the student produced magazine for Columbia College Chicago). She’s contributed to A Fresh Squeeze (, an online publication for green living in Chicago, and her school newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle.

Priya can be reached at or