1. It's a trigger.
In eating disorder treatment, patients are typically asked to turn around when they're weighed, so they don't see the number on the scale. There are a few reasons for this, but one is that the number — so inflexible and stark — is an instant emotional trigger. That number has the power to resurrect old habits and obsessive thought, even after months of treatment and progress. It's because weight isn't neutral for that patient. Weight is everything.
2. It's not a doctor.
From a health perspective, the scale is not the best barometer. It gives you one piece of information, rather than a whole picture. If you want a clear understanding of the shape you're in, the simplest way is to get a physical. But, like many women, I spent years avoiding that appointment for fear of stepping on that scale and hearing my doctor say that number out loud. Would I detect a tone in his voice? A tone that said, "You are so disgusting and fat that I'm going to call the police?" Of course I'd detect it, even if it wasn't there.
3. It's just one number.
You know what they say about a little bit of knowledge: It's a dangerous thing. Knowing only your weight without taking any context or variables into account is a recipe for danger. Here are some things the scale can't measure.
4. It's not the boss of me.
This is the crucial shift that happened when I quit the scale. From the start, I held firm to the stance that this was not about losing weight. This was about reclaiming health and sanity around food, fitness, and my body. But, I couldn't keep that promise while still staring at those numbers. That would be cheating on my anti-diet.