This woman’s before-and-after photo proves that scales are meaningless

When we’re trying to stay healthy, it can be SO easy to get caught up in that number on the scale. But Instagrammer Claire Maxwell is proving that scales can be meaningless — and totally mess with our heads and self-perceptions when it comes to fitness.

Maxwell — an ICU nurse and fitness blogger— unintentionally lost 13 pounds after breaking her jaw and being forced to go on an all-liquid diet. And even though she had been a perfectly healthy weight at 130 before her accident, she admitted that she became overly-interested in the new number on the scale.

"Now, I have never been someone to fixate on my actual weight, I didn't even own a scale until last year," Maxwell wrote in an Insta post. "But, for whatever reason, seeing that lower number on the scale messed with my head a little bit. I knew I needed to gain back the weight, but I think there is this automatic association that weighing less is somehow better. Obviously this is not true but I think that has been engrained in us by society."

She accompanied the message with a side-by-side photo of her lower weight (on the left), and a photo of herself after she had returned to her pre-accident weight.

She continued her post, writing, “I didn’t think I looked unhealthy. I thought I looked fine…lean even. It wasn’t until I saw this photo on the left that I remember thinking, “oh, shit…definitely do not have a butt anymore” ? Which yes, is funny to an extent…but ☝? it’s also a little scary how something can be so engrained in us (a lower number on the scale) and [we] embody that without even knowing it.”.

via giphy 

"So I just really encourage you guys to adjust your goals based on what you see in the mirror and how you are feeling about your body (if that makes sense). Yes, the number on the scale CAN be an indicator of progress, but it is NOT the only indicator."

This is SO important to not only hear, but to internalize. Health and fitness are not determined by how much we weigh, but it can be so easy to forget. Thanks so much for this important reminder, Claire!