• Emily

Gravitophobia: Fear of Stepping on the Scale

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

If you have serious anxiety about weighing yourself, you are not alone! They even named a phobia for it.


But why is it that we fear getting on the scale? And how can we overcome that dread? And is it really that important to weight yourself?


Great questions! And I am here to answer them.


Why are we afraid of the scale?


There are a number of theories, but here are the basics.


  1. Weight is just one of many ways to measure health and wellness. But for many people, it is an easy, tangible way to keep ourselves accountable. And if you notice a trend in weight gain early on you can prevent it from continuing. Ultimately our fear of the scale's power over our emotional well being prevents us from taking it out of the closet.

  2. No one wants bad news. If you were the kid that tried to hide your report card and the adult that avoids opening the jury duty summons, you know what I'm talking about. If we are expecting that something will make us upset, we avoid it. What we don't know can't hurt us, right?

  3. We want to take away the power of the scale. For some of us, the scale has been a source of emotional distress and trauma. So instead of relying on weight we use other forms of measurement to gauge whether we are staying on a healthy track. Ultimately our fear of the scale's power over our emotional well being prevents us from taking it out of the closet.

These are all very real and valid feelings. However, for men and women trying to lose weight the scale is a necessary evil. It can help you track your progress and make adjustments to your diet and exercise routine to stay on course.


Weight is just one of many ways to measure health and wellness. But for many people it is an easy, tangible way to keep ourselves accountable. And if you notice a trend in weight gain early on you can prevent it from continuing.


How can we overcome our fear of scales?


You don't have to live with a crippling fear of weighing yourself. There are a few simple strategies you can use to lessen the anxiety you feel.


  1. The number on the scale does not define you. You are a unique, complex person that deserves to be happy. Your weight does not change who you are. Before you go to weigh yourself, take a deep breath and remind yourself of this fact. You have a lot to be grateful for and none of that changes because of a number on the scale.

  2. Weight can naturally fluctuate. Weight can be influenced by a number of factors including hydration, amount of sleep, and amount of salt in your diet. Your weight can safely fluctuate a few pounds based on these types of factors. So try not to get discouraged by small changes as long as the overall trend is what you are looking for.

  3. Your fear will not instantly disappear. The key to managing your fear is by repeated exposure. This is a long-term change and it won't happen overnight. Maybe you start by weighing yourself twice a month, then once a week. Weighing yourself consistently will give you a better idea of the overall trend in your weight that you may not be able to notice with sporadic weigh-ins.

Experts recommend weighing yourself first thing in the morning before you have eaten breakfast or had any coffee.


Believe in Yourself


If you believe that you can overcome your fear, you have a higher likelihood of success. Transform your thinking around scales and weight to motivate you and encourage you to stick with your positive journey towards a healthier you.

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