It may be one of the most destructive devices known to (wo)man… yet everyone owns one. For many of us, it is a part of our daily routine. As a matter of fact, many of us use it the moment we get up in the morning. One little step and this device determines our mood for the rest of the day. One little blink of digital light or slide of a needle and all of a sudden all of our hard work is either worth it… or not enough. That’s right, I’m talking about… Dum Dum Dum… The Scale! That little square box on your bathroom floor carries so much weight (pun intended) in your physical fitness life that it’s scary. I have to be honest and say that I too have become victim to the little blinking box below my feet each morning. In my head, I know this measurement has little to nothing to do with how I look or feel in real life. Yet, I step on that scale every single morning when I wake up just to “see” if the gravity gods have blessed me or cursed me that day. I implore you all to ditch the scale and its mind games! YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE when the scale doesn’t read what you wish it would. So many things can make your weight fluctuate from day to day… simply adding salt to your chicken at dinner could have made you gain a pound overnight. How can you let something so little determine your self-worth? Don’t do it! If you simply MUST use the scale to measure your progress, only jump on it once a week (literally jump… Make it feel some pain for the pain it has inflicted upon you). Make sure you do it the moment you get out of bed and never ever do it later in the day when you have fluids and food inside you. I’m telling you, it will only mess with your head and make you think you’re not making the progress you actually are. Instead of using the scale I suggest…Progress pictures. Progress pictures are a great way to see what your body is doing. Give yourself at least a week, preferably two, three, or even a month in-between sets of photos. Always photograph yourself in the same Bikini, in the same lighting, at the same time of day and the same day each week (Saturdays are always good days for me!) Measurements. You can record you waist measurements, arms, chest, hips, thighs, calves at the same frequency as your photos. This will give you a better idea of which parts are growing and which parts are shrinking and help you determine where to focus on your training. **Forget about Body Fat % measuring… those are even more inaccurate then the scale is. Rid your house of the negative energy… throw that scale away if you need to! We could make this the next bra-burning protest!Don’t let a little piece of plastic with two AA batteries determine your self-worth! Shawn C Hektor is a model, actress and figure competitor with the NPC. She began competing three years ago and with many local and national shows under her belt, she has no plans of stopping. You can find Shawn in several national publications including Planet Muscle, is featured on Bodybuilding.com and she will be at the Beast booth at the Mr. Olympia Competition. She loves living a healthy life and inspiring others to do the same. At home, she is a wife, author and mother to two loving dogs…who also enjoy a clean diet of chicken and rice!