Ditch Your Stupid Scale


The following is an excerpt from I’ll Start Again Tomorrow: And Other Lies I’ve Told Myself by Sonia Jhas.

I can’t tell you how many people have shared this frustration with me: every day, they start their morning by stepping onto the scale, and every day, their scale says they’re not get- ting any smaller.

I also can’t tell you how frustrated I get hearing shit like this, because I know for a fact that the scale is a stupid, stupid, stupid machine.


The Scale is Stupid: Reason One

How many of you have set a weight goal only to hit that specific number and still not be satisfied with what you look like? I’ve been there. Many times. I naturally have flat glutes and boxy shoulders; that’s just how I’m built. No number on the scale will ever guarantee that those features will change. Here’s the deal: the scale doesn’t account for the unique shape of your body, which is determined by genetics. Just because you weigh a certain amount doesn’t mean your proportions are going to reflect your desired look. You may be top-heavy, you may be bottom-heavy, or you may not lose weight from the areas you are most concerned about. So, the number on the scale is irrelevant, and instead, you need to get clear on your values. Do you actually want to hit a certain weight? Is the number really what’s most important to you?

Or have you, in fact, been chasing something else entirely this whole time?

The Scale is Stupid: Reason Two

Many of my clients fear the number on the scale because it doesn’t align with what the #hashtag world has trained them to believe their magic number should be. They want so badly to be 120 pounds because diet culture has told them that a slim and trim woman must weigh no more than that. However, for their height and body frame, that weight just may not be realistic.

Have you ever found yourself fixating on some “magic number”? And when you see the number on your scale going up, do you panic? Here’s the deal: you think you’re getting fat- ter or bulkier when in reality, the scale is telling you nothing relevant about your body composition. What’s even worse is that as you lean down and pack on muscle, the number on the scale often starts to go up. Why? Because muscle weighs more than fat by volume. Yes, you heard me, the scale can go up even when you’re leaning down. I’m sure you see the problem here.

If you’re still depending on the scale to be your primary measure of progress, then it’s time for a reframe. Dig deep and ask yourself:

How am I deriving my self-worth from the scale?

Why do the numbers mean so much to me?

How can I practice pivoting my perspective?

The Scale is Stupid: Reason Three

I know so many people who weigh themselves a few times a week (most do it daily) and freak out when the scale goes up by a couple of pounds. They become emotional, sad, and dis- heartened. Ultimately, they feel like quitting. But here’s the thing—there are so many reasons for the number on the scale to fluctuate:

  • Higher sodium intake in a snack or meal
  • A “treat” meal
  • Soreness post-workout
  • Bowel movements

All these factors can and do increase water retention, which ultimately makes the scale go up. But have you gained any real weight? Have you gained any fat? Are you any larger? No. No. No.

When you rely on the scale to guide your self-perception, you fuel a cycle of self-sabotage. When you step on the scale and see that the number is higher, you panic and let your limiting beliefs take over. Don’t be a slave to the scale—it’s only one very narrow piece of information, and it’s likely holding you back.

There are so many more accurate ways to gauge your progress than the scale. The question is, what really matters to you?

If you’re tracking size, you might consider taking measurements with a measuring tape for maximum accuracy. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, I get it. I don’t measure myself either, because doing so really amplifies my perfectionist tendencies. We all have that pair of jeans we use as our “anchor” for what we want to look like. My suggestion? Use those jeans as your benchmark so that you don’t have to rely on how you

“think” you’re doing.

If you’re monitoring aesthetics, track your progress with

pictures. I still suffer from body dysmorphia—yes, even to this day—so I always look in the mirror and see someone bigger look- ing back at me. Pictures make reality clearer so that my limiting beliefs and perfectionist tendencies can’t overtake my sanity.

If you’re more interested in performance, set new bench- marks for yourself and challenge yourself at regular intervals. Track your progress and celebrate your wins. This is a great way to shift your focus away from the false “numbers game” the scale makes us play.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you decide to focus on. Everyone is different and so we’ll all set different goals for ourselves. The key is that these are your goals, not the goals that you’ve been influenced into believing are important. So, get rid of the scale. It’s not serving you the way your authentic values and evaluation criteria can (and will!).


Award-winning South Asian mindset and wellness coach, Sonia Jhas gave up her skyrocketing corporate career and began searching for a new path that resonated with her core. Eventually, she transformed her life through deep analysis, education, determination, and willpower. Through her journey, Sonia uncovered a deep passion for wellness, as well as a driving desire to help others. Sonia has made it her mission to help people live their best lives through online talks, speaking engagements, television appearances, and coaching. She has accumulated an impressive 80+ million media impressions and continues to spread inspiration all over the globe including appearances on Good Day Chicago – FOX-TV, WBTS-TV, NBC Boston, KCBS/KCAL, CBS Los Angeles and more. The TEDx speaker and wellness expert’s enthusiasm, sense of humor, and openness about her own journey have earned her a reputation as an unstoppable force in the wellness arena. She is the author of the new book, I’ll Start Again Tomorrow (And Other Lies I’ve Told Myself)