5 Life-Changing Things That Happened When I Stopped Weighing Myself

The way I see my body has completely changed.

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I have decided to stop my weighing myself. 

I have been medically obese for most of my adult life (though I prefer the term "fat"). Being a fat woman has meant a never-ending cycle of calorie counting, fad diets, fad exercises, and sometimes daily weigh-ins. 

With the age of 35 a mere two years away, I'm starting to feel like I owe my body and my mind a break. Stepping away from the scale, I hoped would change the way I relate to my body. I hoped it would bolster my self-esteem. I hoped it would give my occasional confidence some staying power. 


I know how to be healthy, but I've never been able to fully achieve it. I don't think that standing on a scale exclusively has sabotaged me or my self-esteem, but I think my obsession with that number has contributed to thwarting my happiness, my confidence, and achieving a healthy relationship with my own body

It's been six months, and I want to share you with what happens when you stop weighing yourself. At least, what happens when you stop weighing yourself and you're me. 

Here are 5 life-changing things that happened when I stopped weighing myself:

1. I felt more in touch with my body

When you stop weighing yourself, you don't have a number on a scale to work from. I mean, obviously.


But when you don't have a number to obsess over, you have to evaluate your body differently. 

When I obsessively look at the scale, that's all I think about. Now that I don't do it, I actually think I have a better sense of my own body. 

I notice things like if I'm sore or sluggish. I stretch my body because I know that stretching it makes it feel better. I don't eat certain things because I now actually notice when they make me feel bad. 

There is so much more to the human being than "thin" or "fat", and when I stopped weighing myself, I got more in touch with my body. 

RELATED: Complaining About How 'Fat' I Am Gives Me An Odd Sense Of Comfort


2. The pressure to look a certain way changed

When I weigh myself, it is often with one goal in mind: to be thin. 

Thin means I look "good" in clothes. Thin means being beautiful. 

When the way I relate to my body isn't about "fat" or "thin" but about feeling good, it isn't just the way I relate to my body that changes. 

Words like "thin" began to go away without a number to obsess over. Instead other words like "strong" "healthy" or "glowing" take their place. 

3. I like my body more

When I stopped my weighing myself, I took away the easiest means of hating my body.

Without a number to act as a standard by which to hold myself, it was harder to hate my body, weirdly.


It's not like I magically started loving myself overnight because people don't work that way. But I did stop actively hating myself.

My body stopped being something to fight and started becoming just the thing I live in every day. 

RELATED: I'm Showing My "Fat" Belly To The World To Make An Important Point

4. The way I ate changed

When you aren't eating to please the scale, you eating to please yourself.

This doesn't mean my diet transformed into some sort of healthy perfection — I am eating an ice cream bun even as I type this. 

Instead of eating low-calorie foods full of chemicals, I started eating foods that made me feel better. 

I also noticed that I stopped binge eating. It used to be I'd step on the scale, freak out, starve myself, and then inevitably binge in a hungry panic. 


Now, I eat the candy bar or the scoop of ice cream and don't feel like I've "messed up" and "have" to eat junk for the rest of the day. 

It's led to a more well-rounded way of relating to food. 

RELATED: How The Idea Of Body Positivity Is Actually Toxic To Women

5. I exercised more

For as long as I can remember, exercise has always been something I do to lose weight.


When I stopped weighing myself, at first, I stopped exercising.

Then, perversely, I realized I missed it.

Now, I work out when I'm stressed or depressed or angry, or just because I know I could benefit from turning my brain off for a little bit.

The end result actually has me working out more than I ever did before

RELATED: My Doctor Said I Was Obese Based Only On My BMI

Rebecca Jane Stokes is an editor, freelance writer, former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango, and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her bylines have appeared in Fatherly, Gizmodo, Yahoo Life, Jezebel, Apartment Therapy, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows, and many others.