As far back as I can remember I associated weight with health and self-worth; the skinnier the better, the lower the number on scale the healthier and more disciplined I was.
As my body began changing from child to adult, I felt a sense of panic and a loss of control. I began weighing myself, at first out of curiosity, then out of obsession.
It got to a point where I’d challenge myself to eat as little as possible in the day, if I caved and ate something ‘bad’ (which inevitably I did), I’d have to run / do star jacks / crunches until I felt I had burnt it off.
I think we can all agree, that mindset is not healthy. For me, the scales are a trigger that leads me down a path of restriction, control, obsession and over exercising.
I don’t want to view food or health as a number. Besides, the scales tell you very little about your overall wellbeing.
NO, YOU’RE NOT FAT…YOUR SCALES ARE LIARS!
As human beings who eat, drink and have hormones, our weight naturally fluctuates every single day. So, although the scales are telling you you’ve gained 3 lbs, that may well be from drinking more water, or it being ‘that time of the month’.
Seriously, so many factors affect that silly little number on the scales: water retention, salt consumption, periods, stress levels, genetics, metabolism, bowel movements, time of day etc.
Furthermore, THE SCALES DON’T TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR FITNESS. They don’t show you fat to muscle ratio, i.e that despite eating that extra cookie, you’ve gained muscle and lost body fat. They don’t reveal that although you weigh less than a twig, you are in fact ‘skinny fat’ and consequently have poor strength, poor cardiovascular endurance and limited mobility. And they don’t teach you self-love, self-worth, or healthy food relationships.
Don’t get hung up on a number. The thing is, you’ll never be satisfied. When you reach your goal weight, that number will still seem too ‘big’ so you’ll set a new lower goal, and a vicious cycle will begin.
If you really want to document how you’re progressing with your fitness, take weekly pictures of yourself. You may not notice differences day to day in the mirror, but over the weeks to come you’ll see your hard work paying off.
Focus on you as a whole person; your mental, emotional and physical health. Take the time to tune in and listen to your body. Do you feel good? Does your mind and body allow you to function and move in ways that help you achieve your goals?
Repeat after me: D I T C H T H E S C A L E S.
Enjoy the journey, respect your body and for the love of god, please don’t replace nutritious food with low calorie, bland mush; you deserve better!