From Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig, who uses her bathroom scale to make sure her luggage is under 50 pounds
You’re just about finished with your Whole30, and already starting to think about the reintroduction period. Are you going to do our Fast Track, or the Slow Roll? (See page 42 in The Whole30 for details.) What foods do you look forward to trying again, and what have you decided you really don’t miss at all? What non-scale victories have you accumulated over the last 30 days, and what new habits are you taking with you into life after your Whole30?
On Day 31, you may also choose to welcome back your best frenemy… the scale. You’ve gone 30 days without the daily ritual of measuring the force exerted by your body due to gravity. You’ve experienced the freedom that comes with no longer allowing a $20 hunk of plastic to dictate your self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence. You’ve found 174,203 ways to measure your health, happiness, and progress without the scale.
But now that you can weigh yourself, you’re darn well gonna, right? First thing (bare naked) on the morning of Day 31, you’re going to jump on that scale just like you used to, back before we made you quit the habit. Because won’t the (smaller) number you’ll see be the oh-so-highly-anticipated icing on the cake-that-you’re-not-eating-yet-because-you’re-committed-to-a-proper-reintroduction?
Stop, arrêtez, alto! Before you get your scale out of the garage, dust it off, and place it reverently on the floor, ask yourself this one question:
Will the results the scale gives me change how I feel about my Whole30 experience, the progress I’ve made, and the improvements I’ve noticed?
Yeah, now stop and really think about the answer. Imagine stepping on the scale and seeing the same number as when you started, or a number that’s way less of a change than you hoped for. Now, imagine how that will make you feel. Be honest with yourself. Brutally honest.
You’ve worked so hard, but I’m inviting you to work just a little harder right now. Consider whether your relationship with the scale is truly healthier for your Whole30 experience, or whether stepping on that square is going to put you right back where you used to be.
If the number that shows up on the scale won’t sway your confidence, diminish your sense of pride in your Whole30 accomplishments, or tarnish your list of non-scale victories in any way, then by all means, weigh away, make note, and check that measurement off your list.
But if a less-than-expected weight loss result is going to have an impact on how you feel about yourself, your efforts, your small (and big) non-scale wins over the last 30 days, and the pride you feel in having successfully completed something as challenging as the Whole30…
DON’T DO IT.
You feel amazing. Your energy is up, you’re sleeping better, you’re happier and more upbeat. Your head is clear, your thinking is sharp, your skin is glowing, and your seasonal allergies, asthma, migraines, joint pain, digestive issues, heartburn, bloating, cravings are gone or much improved. Your pants fit better, you’re standing up straighter, you feel more confident, and people have been asking you, “What are you doing?”
Let. That. Be. Enough.
If stepping on the scale and seeing a weight loss of “only” two or three pounds will erase all the good you’re feeling right now, just don’t do it. Because guess what? The scale doesn’t matter. The scale doesn’t measure sexy, confident, strong, healthy, proud, committed, or happy. And why would you give anyone or anything the power to take all of that away from you?
The scale will always be there. If you ever get to a place where the number actually matters and you’re feeling confident enough in your progress and commitment, then by all means, bust it out. But until then, learn how to reward your progress without less healthy measurements, just like the Whole30 taught you a new way to reward yourself without less healthy food.
Share your laundry list of non-scale victories (#NSV) with our community on Facebook. Show off your glowing skin, better posture, sleeker waistline, or improved self-confidence with a before-and-after photo tagged @whole30 on Twitter. Proudly contribute your unique Whole30 testimonial to our #IAmWhole30 campaign on Instagram. But keep your scale in the garage. I promise, you don’t need that number (or any number, for that matter) to recognize yourself as the Whole30 success story you are.
Melissa Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist, and the author of the New York Times bestselling books It Starts With Food and The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Details, Outside, SELF, and Shape as the co-founder of the Whole30 program. Melissa lives in Salt Lake City, UT.
Photo credit: Taylor Gage, She Thrives Blog