Should You Weigh Yourself? Or Ditch The Scale For Good?

Should you weigh yourself? Or ditch the scale for good?

Scales are an interesting object.  They have no heart beat but can have a tremendous amount of power over people.  These intimidating devices can cause so much anxiety that Facebook will not even approve ads that include pictures of scales due to “the negative feelings that the image can cause.”  Scales rarely tell the whole story and can send you on an unnecessary roller coaster of emotions.

There was a time when I was obsessed with my weight and weighed myself daily.  I was really thin, however I wasn’t very healthy mentally or physically. My philosophy was the lower the number and the smaller the pants size, the better.  I’ll be the first to admit that my quest had very little to do with my health and a lot more to do with caring about what others thought about my body.

Fast forward to now and I rarely weigh myself these days.  I no longer measure my self worth based on a number on a scale.  I’ve learned to look at a scale as a tool that provides information.  It has lost it’s power over me.

Hopefully, the scale is not something you struggle with. But if you are someone who does and are tired of it, you may be wondering how I have become so comfortable weighing myself. Let me share some secrets with you.

Ditch the daily weigh ins. I have nothing against weighing yourself periodically, but this day and night weighing in can drive you insane.  Weight fluctuates for many reasons. If you are someone who looks at those numbers as simply data and do not get emotional about it, I see no issue with weighing yourself regularly.   Even if the scale has no emotional power over you I still recommend limiting your weigh ins to once per week, or even monthly, and would totally avoid Mondays.

However, if you get all worked up or even depressed, then I suggest you toss your scale into the recycle bin or whatever is the best way to dispose of one these days.  We haven’t owned a scale for years.

Your weight is very personal.   Most people have a natural set point or weight that our body feels comfortable.  Your natural set point is usually a weight that you are able to sustain long-term without feeling deprived or compromising your health.  There are no two bodies that are the same so your set point is going to be very personal.  Avoid focusing on only numbers and pay attention to things like: how your clothes fit, the results of your most recent physical, your energy levels, and your ability to function on a daily basis.

Embrace your body type.   It’s way more peaceful and fun to be satisfied with a weight you can realistically maintain than suffer the emotional roller coaster that is attached to chronic dieting and constantly weighing yourself.  Avoid comparing yourself to others. Some are long and lanky, some are curvy. Some build bulk and some do not. I am not suggesting you accept being unhealthy or uncomfortable. My desire for you is that you achieve your personal best–not what the media tells you is best for you.

My weight would be considered heavy or overweight by many of the decision makers in Hollywood. But walking down the street, I am considered slender. Once I stopped comparing myself to the models in the magazines and focused on self care, I stopped obsessing about my weight.

Remember–there is only one you! You are uniquely designed.  Don’t let anyone set your goals for you—not the media, the medical community, your friends, or your family! When you are living your own life, you can achieve anything!

Blessings to you and yours,


How Lowering Stress Can Positively Affect Your Weight

Lower Stress Positively Affects Weight


For most of us, stress is a part of life that we need to deal with.  Unfortunately, research shows us that too much stress can negatively affect our weight.

I personally believe that the stress component in people’s lives is often overlooked by the health and fitness industry.   A client can be eating well and exercising regularly, however if the client is under continual stress it can prevent them from losing weight and in some cases even cause them to gain weight.  Diet and exercise is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to overall health and wellness.

We recently moved to a slower paced community and have simplified our lifestyle.  One of the first things that changed for me was my sleeping patterns.  I’ll be the first to admit that my sleep was not great before we moved.   I’m happy to report that I am sleeping better and experiencing real rest.  What happened after I began sleeping better was interesting.

Over the past few months I’ve noticed that all of my clothes are fitting a bit looser. I stopped weighing myself regularly years ago due to the emotional stress it can cause so I can’t tell you how much weight I have lost.  However, I know for sure that I have naturally dropped a few pounds.

It’s really important for me to share that I WAS NOT trying to loose weight.  I have not made any changes to my diet and I am exercising at a level that is appropriate for me while I recover from  multiple injuries.  My health and fitness goals are rooted in self care and happiness rather than a number on a scale, which is why I believe my recent weight loss is  a result of stress reduction.  Before we moved,  I was eating well and exercising most days of the week.  I believe that my personal experience helps support the research that if you are under constant stress, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to help you lose and/or maintain your weight.

It’s pretty safe to assume that no matter how good we are at limiting the stress in our lives we will still have to manage a certain amount of it.   Here are five ways to limit stress in your life and protect your body from it:




Ditch diets for good.  Research shows that constant dieting can cause cortisol levels to rise as much as 18%.  When your cortisol levels rise, your blood sugar gets out of whack, first rising, then plummeting. This can make you cranky and super hungry even if you don’t need the extra calories.

Deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium are stressful to your body.  Diets that suggest eliminating certain foods and/or food groups from your diet can contribute to a lack of these important nutrients.  These deficiencies can lead to increased cortisol levels and food cravings.  Start the day off strong with a breakfast that includes stress reducing nutrition.  Foods like oranges, grapefruits, or a large handful of strawberries supply  vitamin C and 6 to 8 ounces of yogurt contains calcium and magnesium.  Make sure to include carbs like a whole grain bagel or toast and healthy fats like peanut butter. Whole grains are loaded with B vitamins, while peanut butter has fatty acids that can lower stress hormones in your body.

Instead of dieting, try eating as many whole foods as possible.  Eating whole foods can help contribute to better energy which is part of self care. Do your best to make sure to choose foods you enjoy and avoid being too rigid about everything you eat.

Get enough sleep.  Substantial medical evidence is telling us that a lack of sleep affects hormones which are linked to an increase in appetite. Your body becomes less satisfied and you are tempted to eat more food than you may actually need.

Sleep deprivation can also affect your hormones in such a way that your metabolism will literally slow down.  I believe that is what happened in my case, and why I lost weight when I started to get more sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  A few nights of solid sleep can bring your body back into balance, and getting enough regular sleep helps keep it there.


Do a little strength training.  Moving your muscles is an effective, instant stress reliever. It actually sends a message to your body that you are escaping the source of your stress.  Exercise helps your blood circulate more quickly, transporting the cortisol to your kidneys and flushing it out of your system.  Try doing at least one strength exercise per day like squats, push ups, or ab work.  Even taking a stroll on your lunch break will help. In one study researchers found that 18 minutes of walking 3 times per week can quickly lower stress hormone levels by 15%.
You might want to cut back on caffeine.  Total disclaimer, I am a coffee drinker and have no plans to give it up right now so I’m not asking you to.  A certain amount of coffee is actually good for most people due to the many health benefits it offers.  However, if you find it’s keeping you up at night you may want to cut back.
Create a healthy environment.  It’s important for us to be at peace where we live, work, and play.  Things like nurturing relationships, setting healthy boundaries, removing clutter from your home or life, planning family meals, taking time off to visit places that make you feel happy and restored, or spending time with your pets without your phone in hand are all examples of working  toward creating a healthy environment.

Limiting stress in our lives is extremely personal and looks different for each individual.  We are all on our own personal journey.  What’s important to remember is that health and wellness is about self care and enjoying life.  Not a specific number on a scale.

Have a wonderful week!
Shared with love,

Drinking Water Can Help You Lose Weight


Everyone tells you to drink more water– and it can be life threatening if you don’t get enough.

However, not only is it important to stay hydrated for health reasons, being properly hydrated also helps you lose weight.

Let me explain.

Being properly hydrated helps you stay energized during physical activity and throughout your day.  The more active you are, the more calories you burn.

A hydrated body looks leaner. Why? Because when you’re dehydrated, you retain water.  Yikes!

I bet the magazine rack has at least one headline screaming “Rev up your metabolism with this one trick!” Well, here’s a good one.  If you drink enough water you help your body to metabolize properly. When you’re dehydrated, your metabolism can slow down.  We all know what that means for weight loss.

So how much water should you be drinking?

It depends. The suggested guidelines for water consumption used to be sixty-four ounces per day. While it is still a good amount of water for some, others may need more. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

Drink more fluids when you are in situations where your body loses water:

in warmer climates,
during more intense exercise,
at high altitudes.

Try to be more aware of your water intake:

if you’re the type of person who usually doesn’t notice thirst; or
when you are very busy and likely to forget to drink.
If you talk for a living. Water is lost though saliva.

Here’s five tips to increase your fluid intake:

1) Try naturally flavored waters. Flavored water and various other “hydrating” drinks usually have some type of sugar in them, pay attention to the calories on the label.

An alternative to buying flavored waters would be making your own. The possibilities are endless. Cucumber, mint, ginger, lemon, lime, strawberries, and raspberries are all examples of natural foods and herbs you can flavor your water with.  Allow the fruits, vegetables, or herbs to soak in the water for a few hours for the flavors to release.

2) Eat foods that are mostly water each day.  Include foods high in water like oranges, watermelon, yoghurt, grapefruit, pineapples, and broth-based soups when choosing your meals and snacks.

(3) Replace still water with sparkling water. If you discover sparkling water works for you, consider getting an in home soda machine. They take up very little counter space. You also save money and there are less bottles to recycle. This helped my husband Matthew go from not liking water to drinking plenty of it!

4) Add a glass of coconut water to your day.  Coconut water is a great way to hydrate and get potassium.  It’s used as a natural alternative to sports drinks, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits of this popular beverage.

5) Have a hydrating beverage with every meal. Tacking a new goal on to an established habit is usually less daunting than trying to develop a new habit on it’s own. For example setting a goal of drinking a glass of sparkling water at dinner seems more manageable than a goal to drink 64 oz. of water every day.

How do you know when you’re getting enough water?

The best way to tell if you are hydrated is the color of your urine. Clear to pale yellow is ideal. Yellow to dark yellow means you need water, and if it looks like tea or beer you are dehydrated! Supplements can also cause urine to be dark yellow. So keep that in consideration.

Avoid allowing yourself to get “thirsty”. If you are getting a thirst signal then the body is already too low on water!

At first it may seem like you have to go to the bathroom a lot. This is normal when you up your water consumption. It is not uncommon to have to use the restroom every hour.

If you sit at a desk, this will encourage you to get up and move every hour. It also allows you to monitor your progress!

Have a question or a comment? Leave a note for me below. I love to hear from you!


Jennifer Ledford