You probably know what weight you would love to be. But where did this number come from? Is it a number you think is socially acceptable? Maybe a number a chart or health professional says you ‘should’ be? Or perhaps it’s the number you were at a significant life event, such as on your wedding day. The more important question is whether it is realistic and achievable for you.
Scales – friend or foe?
Scales are a widely used tool to ‘help’ people achieve their goal weight, but do you always find weighing yourself useful, or does weighing yourself often have a negative effect?
If you were told you would never be able to weigh yourself again, what’s the worst that would happen? Would you eat yourself into oblivion because you didn’t have scales to ‘catch you out’?? Probably not.
Yet a lot of people use scales to restrict their eating. Scales become like a restraining order against food. And you probably don’t mind when the number is moving in the ‘right’ direction. But what happens when the number stops moving in the direction you want? At this point, scales can become a punishment, a ‘got what you deserved’ outcome. All while diminishing your confidence in your ability to manage your weight. And possibly pushing you towards the fridge.
Scales should never dictate to you what or how you should eat.
Turning it around
If you struggle with your weight, too much focus on scales and weight will lead to one of two things:
You don’t like the number, so you go on a diet, and avoid dealing with your food problems, or
You don’t like the number, so you avoid the scales, while eating in a way that usually results in weight gain.
Neither of these options is a good place to be. They feed each other in a yo-yo diet cycle, exacerbated by an over-focus on scales.
The challenge becomes focusing less on scales and more on improving your eating. Let eating well regulate your weight, rather then letting your weight police your food intake.
You are unlikely to stop using scales but think about how you use them and try to remove emotion from them.
For those who struggle with food and weight control, thinking that your weight is the problem is looking at the situation back to front. Your weight is not your problem. Your way of eating is. Only by addressing the true problems with food can you stop yo-yo dieting and stand a chance of keeping off weight you have worked hard to lose.
If you wish to further explore the information in the Diet Dilemmas blog, see Diet Dilemmas book.
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