The New Way to Weigh Yourselfby Elise Museles
It was a perfect day. The clear blue sky, low humidity and cool breeze were so inviting as I set out to take a well-deserved break and enjoy an 8-mile run. I was running downhill pumping my legs and glanced at my trusty GPS. What? 7:21 (minute miles). Feeling inspired by my almost record breaking pace, I picked it up and looked down and saw 9:44. Huh? How could that be? Damn GPS.
Disappointment set in, and my self-esteem plummeted. In spite of the crisp fresh air, laser sharp focus and light bounce in my step, I told myself a different story: I was a slow poke, someone not at the top of her game who was unfit and lazy. While it turns out that there was some interference with my electronic device and my pace that day most likely hovered somewhere in the middle of those two numbers, I marveled at the fact that I let a faulty GPS dictate my mood and affect my run.
It was ridiculous. Irrational. And totally self-sabotaging.
I nearly stopped in my tracks when I made the connection between my silly experience and what many people feel when they hop on the scale first thing in the morning. Good mood or bad mood? Skinny or fat? Success or failure? All in the name of a number. One number. That sacred number.
Have you ever stepped on a scale, disliked what you saw, and then got off and back on to be sure that number was correct? What? How could that be? Frustration. Guilt. Judgment. And then the bad mood F-O-R T-H-E R-E-S-T
O-F T-H-E D-A-Y.
Let’s be honest here: anything can throw off that number…stress, hormones, humidity, dinner the night before, too much salt, too little water, medication, constipation…and the list goes on…
I bet you already forgot (and never cared) about my running pace. No offense, but that’s what I think of your weight. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you tap into your own body wisdom and learn to trust it…if you listen, your body has a lot to say. Chances are, you already know how you feel before your toe hits the edge of the scale. You understand what it means to come alive when you are moving your body, eating whole real foods, planning in advance, enjoying your rituals and reducing stress in your life.
And conversely, you don’t need a number to tell you that you’re not your most vibrant self when you have been off track eating salty restaurant meals accompanied by dessert every night without time to exercise, let alone have time to plan out healthy home cooked options or even come up for air. You just know.
When you simply look for external clues, like the “perfect number”, to tell you how you should feel, you lose sight of how you really do feel.
So be brave, take the first step! Get rid of the magic number and toss the scale..or at least bury it for now. What could be more powerful than deciding that you’re the one to choose your mood (or self-worth) and not leaving it up to a hunk of metal to decide for you?! And, in my experience, I have never heard of anyone (including me) who has thrown out the scale and regretted it. Most likely, you will be doing yourself a favor by giving your body what it needs as you learn to understand the messages it sends you.
Shhhh…your body is talking. What is she saying? Keep listening, and I bet she won’t be shouting at you in numbers.
Question of the day: Have you ever broken up with your scale? Share your experiences with us.