We’re More than We Weigh: Escape the Power of the ScalesOct 17, 2018
Neutralising the Scales
Part of moving away from a diet mindset is recognising/learning that we are so much more than what we weigh. The aim is to escape the influence the scales and this number have over your emotions.
The power the scales can have over how you feel about yourself is ludicrous really, but that is the way we have been conditioned over time. If you’ve never been on a diet or tried to lose weight it is probably hard to understand how that can be the case, but believe me it is. Weigh in day was always a tense one. When I went to weight watchers or slimming world, many moons ago now, it would be the day when you ate as little as possible and then usually completely overate on the way home! I’m sure many of us have felt like Charlene in the meme I know I have.
We need to Shift the Emphasis away from the Scale
I read a post just this week by Lisa Beasley who was talking about the recent report by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health who are stating that children should be weighed annually by their GP up to age 18 to help prevent obesity. My heart sank. Placing such emphasis on a number is so pointless and such a negative action. We should be talking about holistic health – physical, mental, emotional. There should be more education on learning how to nourish yourself in all aspects. Weighing will just serve to enforce feelings of worth, whether good or bad, based on what we look like etc. It will carry on devaluing other facets of individuals. This action will perpetuate the feelings of failure carried by those who do not fit the desired norm portrayed everywhere you look.
Changing Your Mindset around the Scales
Changing your mindset around the scales is complicated, especially when you have been using them for as long as I had.
Some people just advocate to just stop weighing yourself, throw away the scales or put them out of sight (but you always know where they are). For me, at a time when I was working on changing my relationship with food and introducing more positive habits this felt like a step too far.
A trainer I was working with at the time actually suggested weighing myself every day instead.
My first thought was that’s just stupid! – I’m trying to break free from the power of the scale and you want me to use it more.
But he was right, for me.
I would not advocate trying this method if you are prone to obsessive behaviour or if you are in anyway recovering from an eating disorder.
How I Neutralised the Scales Impact
Over time, weighing every day reduced the impact of that number. I didn’t go into a panic or stress if the number went up. Starting to recognise the fluctuations that occur on a daily/weekly basis and that these were perfectly normal was a major step in developing an ambivalent relationship with the scales.
My scales are still here – for one thing they’re very useful to weigh suitcases before we go on holiday! Interestingly what has changed here, is that in the past I would not let anyone see what the number was, now it doesn’t worry me at all.
Occasionally I still weigh, but it is more out of mild curiosity than anything else, and there is no set day when I do it. It is no longer a ritual. The number has no direct impact on my mood, one way or the other.
I’ve learnt that being consistent in my nutrition, sleep and movement is what makes me feel good and have positive energy levels. When any of these are out of sync, I notice.
I know my weight does not, in any way, affect my value or worth as an individual. On reaching my 40’s I was also sick of chasing the elusive target weight – a target I don’t really know the origin of.
For some people ditching the scales is the way to go. I have found a way to neutralize their impact and that works for me. This method enabled me to stop fixating on the numbers and more on how I was feeling.
This was an alternative strategy suggested to me that I had not heard before – it was manageable and successful. However, as we often say, it is a matter of finding what works for you.
You are more than a number on the scale.
Remember, you are much more than what you weigh. Visit the i_weigh Instagram page for inspiration.
Focussing on positive habits is far better for you than worrying about a number.
If you don’t feel OK to totally ditch the scales find another approach that neutralizes their impact.
It takes practice to let go of the scales and your reaction to them.
Stop fixating on the numbers and focus on how you feel.
At the end of the day “you do you!”