Are You Obsessed with Your Weight?

Before your first cup of coffee. Before even wiping the sleep form your eyes. The first thing many people do is step onto the scale to assess the damage from yesterday's overindulgence, or to see if the extra 20 minutes of cardio paid off.

Does this mean you are overly obsessed with the scale? Possibly.

Perhaps the obsession comes from the fact that our society puts so much emphasis on body image, and fitting the "ideal" weight, instead of being healthy. And, partly because we are conditioned to believe that the scale is the ultimate indicator of one's outer beauty and overall health.

You could possibly be one of those people obsessed with reaching or maintaining a number on the scale if you:

1. Check the scale more than once per day.

2. Allow the numbers on the scale to dictate your entire mood for the day. A low number (or one you expected) generates a good or happy mood, while a higher number or weight gain puts you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. 3. Allow the numbers to control your meal and dieting habits. Posting a higher number than you hoped for causes you to start eliminating meals and snacks from your day.

4. Check the scale before and after meals, or before and after using the bathroom.

5. Cannot go a day without checking your weight on the scale.

6. Allow your scale readings to ruin special days such as holidays, vacations or getaways.

7. You own more than one scale, and weigh yourself on both (or all) of your scales to assess your weight using different measuring tools.

8. You schedule meetings or plan your day around when you will take your next scale reading. For example, you must always be home for your 8 a.m. reading.

9. Constantly ask others if you look fat.

10. Have to pick out different attire if you feel as though you are having what you call a "fat day," or have trouble finding things to wear if the scale posts a high number.

So how do you conquer this obsession? By understanding the basics of health and fitness, and by learning to accept that fit and healthy are better ideals to strive for than "thin." And, by forgetting the old adage that the "scale doesn't lie."

The truth is, the scale DOES lie. Numbers on the scale are just the representation of your mass, and do not determine your overall fitness level or health. Measurements such as BMI (Body Mass Index), waist-to-hip-ratios and body fat percentages are much better indicators of health and fitness than one's weight.

In fact, using what most fitness professionals would consider antiquated weight charts, many professional and elite level athletes would be considered "overweight" or even "obese," when they are actually high-performance, highly-fit and muscular individuals.

So the next time you are faced with an "unpleasant" number on the scale, re-assess yourself using BMI, or take measurements for a body fat percentage calculation. Stay active and exercise, as well as watch what you eat and learn to leave the numbers behind!