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I Took A Sledgehammer To The Scale In My Fitness Studio

01/22/2016 12:06 EST | Updated 01/22/2017 05:12 EST
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
End of diet in bin

The scale is a long-time fixture in bathrooms, doctor's offices and gyms around the world.

Last week I took a sledgehammer to our scale at my fitness studio and smashed into tiny little pieces.

Why?

Because I hate it. I really, passionately hate it and I don't believe it is best practice for health and fitness professionals to use the scale with clients and patients. I just don't.

Here is the truth. The scale isn't an accurate measurement and assessment of your health. It doesn't measure your fitness level. It doesn't measure your cardiovascular health. It can't inform you of your psychological health. It doesn't accurately analyze your body composition.

But why do so many continue to use it?

The scale can tell you how hard gravity is pulling on you at that particular moment. Eat a meal, drink water, don't drink water, go to the bathroom and your WEIGHT will change. Think about it this way. If you weigh five pounds less in two weeks from now, have you drastically changed your health or it is JUST the number on the scale that has changed?

Many (including most fellow fitness professionals) still use the scale thinking it is a good way to measure progress, or a good way to keep clients motivated.

"Any mechanical device that measures the pull of gravity and has power over your life, emotional state and how you feel about yourself is something that needs to go."

I don't know what esoteric fantasyland they live in, but after training thousands of people for more than 13 years, I can tell you that consistently using a scale can only be correlated with one emotion: unhappiness.

Sure, when that number goes down in the short term, people feel happy. But if it creeps up, even by a pound, those same people feel like their entire life is suddenly devoid of any meaning. No, seriously. The percentage of people who base their entire self worth on that number is so sad and unnecessary.

Here is my point -- any mechanical device that measures the pull of gravity and has power over your life, emotional state and how you feel about yourself is something that needs to go. Tracking our weight has NOT improved the overall health of our population. I think with the current state of health, we can all agree.

So, what should you start tracking instead? Start tracking how often are you physically active (the "sweating and out of breath" kind of physically active). I encourage you to shift your mindset to focus on adding in physical activity and finding a community and a place to train that is welcoming, encouraging and supportive (all the things that metal device is not).

Taking that sledgehammer to our scale at my fitness studio has resulted in more than 10,000 views on our video and hundreds of messages and emails saying thank you. I know getting rid of the scale is going to be a welcome change for many.

I will leave you with this. Don't focus on that scale number. Don't let your fitness, health and confidence be determined by a number that TRULY isn't giving you an accurate measurement of your health. Join the scale revolution and get rid of your scale today!

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