It’s the weekend, you’ve just woken up and you feel good about staying in bed a little longer. You pick up the book you’ve been reading and finish another chapter. You make plans to go to the local pool with your child, meet a friend for coffee, get a take away meal in the evening and watch good film.
You feel at ease, relaxed and you look forward to the day. You give your body a good stretch, and then get out of bed to go take a shower. When you’re in the bathroom, you step on the scale. You look at the number. Suddenly, all those good vibes you were feeling – gone.
The number isn’t what you expected. It’s several pounds higher. You don’t understand. You’ve been eating as usual.
You start to feel anxiety. Even panic. Where will this lead? Your jeans are tight already. It’s summer soon, beach and pool time. Those extra pounds are going to be noticed by everyone you know.
Next up, you feel shame. Maybe you shouldn’t have eaten dessert yesterday. After all, you didn’t need it. What about the chocolate squares you allow yourself every night after dinner. Gotta stop that. You vow to skip dessert for a month half your portion sizes and no longer keep any chocolate in the house.
This time, you say to yourself, you really will keep that promise. You won’t fall off the wagon, you will stick to it. But both you and I know, this new plan isn’t going to last.
Eventually, you’ll feel deprived and find yourself in a pile of chocolate and sweet wrappers or finishing the frozen dessert you kept in the freezer for a special occasion.
Stop weighing yourself. Below are three reasons why.
1. By weighing yourself, you are essentially saying that you don’t trust your body or your appetite.
You need an external ‘checking system’ to make sure you ‘stay in line’ with your eating.
Next time you’re hungry, with the number on the scale in mind, you might not eat at all, you might eat something different from what would truly satisfy you, (e.g. swapping out a sandwich for a salad), you won’t trust your body to know what it needs.
Instead, you’ll be giving that power to the scale. As if the scale knew what nourishment you need. Forget that. The scale has absolutely no idea. Restricting what you need to eat to feel truly nourished always leads to overeating or binge eating in the long run.
2. If you let the number on the scale determine how you feel about yourself, you’re basing your self-worth (or parts of it) on your weight and appearance.
It’s a slippery slope. You know as well as I do that as we get older, we will meet the unrealistic beauty ideals of our society of ‘thin’, ‘lean’ and ‘youthful’ less and less.
Chasing after these ideals will become more effortful, more expensive, and less fruitful as the years go by.
How much more money and mental energy do you want to spend on chasing these ideals so you can feel good about yourself?
3. Recall the above scenario. You were feeling relaxed and happy both in your body and mind to start with. Enter the scale, and now you’re beating yourself up. You no longer want to take your child to the pool, the take-away meal is no longer on the cards, and your mood is a mix of anxiety and self-loathing. All because of the number on the scale.
How much longer do you want to give the scale that power over how you feel? To cheat you out of joy, fun and sharing good times with friends and family?
You’re more than a body. You’re more than a number on the scale. You’re already good, worthy and whole.
Now go throw out that scale (or hide it in the basement).