Note: If cursing offends you, I'm sorry in advance of you reading this blog.
This topic particularly pertains to women, thought I know that is a generalization. A good portion of my nutrition clients are women who want to lose weight. I love working with these women and helping them achieve those goals, as well as find new ones they might have not yet considered.
For instance, I want you to have to buy a smaller pants size before I want you to lose 10 pounds. I also want you to feel amazing and beautiful before we reach your ideal goal weight.
We live in a society where our weight has become an iconic measurement of our self-worth. When we don't feel good about our body and our health, we look at our weight as affirmation that something has gone wrong. This is where I hear, "I've gained 5 pounds since XYZ happened."
The real root of those concerns is this:
- I don't feel sexy
- I don't feel good in my body and don't like the way it looks
- I don't have any energy
- I don't feel confident with my body
- I'm bloated, constipated, and feel sick
- I'm uncomfortable in my clothes
- I don't feel good about myself
When did our weight become way to measure our self-worth? Is a number on a scale what's going to make you feel better? And what happens if you never reach that number? What happens if you feel better in your body, feels sexy, lose inches, but you GAIN weight? *Gasp - I know.
I want to share a little story about myself as we get into this. When I went to college and the notorious freshman 15 lbs. snuck up on me. It stuck around for most of college and when I graduated, I started working out. I had gone from around 130 lbs. pre-college to 140 lbs. during college, and I hated it. I remember wanting to be 115-120 lbs. and it seriously pained me that it seemed like I would never get back down to that weight. I started getting fit and healthy, working out regularly and you know what happened? I gained MORE weight. But this time, it was muscle.
Over the past few years, I have fluctuated between 140 lbs and 155 lbs, depending on my training regimen and my nutrition. The difference however, is I have never been leaner in my life. That damn scale was lying to me the whole time. And it's been lying to you too.
The same weight held by different bodies looks differently. The number is just a number and tells you nothing about the health and happiness of each of the beautiful women shown below, who all weight 154 lbs.
For a long time, the scale has served as our own worst enemy that we keep in plain sight in our own bathroom. We see it and it beckons us to measure ourselves and feel bad about whatever number is on the scale. As we grow from adolescence to adulthood, the number grows with our bodies and we feel badly about it. Let me repeat that - we feel ashamed of our growing and maturing bodies.
This leads to body image issues and oftentimes eating disorders to try to reach a weight that is no longer obtainable in our bodies. Fuck the scale. Nobody needs it. Many women have said "fuck the scale!" and decided to smash them in a therapeutic ritual to no longer be defined by a number - you can be inspired here, here and here.
The advice I give to my clients is based on a few questions:
- How do you feel when you weigh yourself on the scale?
- Is it serving you in a positive way or causing you anxiety?
Rather than worry about the gravitational pull of the Earth on your body (aka your weight), let's focus on feeding a healthy body whole foods that nourish it and allow it to grow. Let's focus on exercising our body because we love it and want to it be fit and healthy, rather than to lose weight. My work through fitness and nutrition is not derived out of hatred for the body, but through love for it and nourishing it. This is the simple wisdom I hope to impart on every client I come in contact with.
Happiness and health are the true measures of beauty, and no object is capable of measuring that, so fuck the scale. You don't need it where you're going.