There was a period of many, many years where I would wake up in the morning, get on the scale, and the number reflected back at me would either make my day or ruin it.
Each morning, I would hold my breath and feel the fear in my body as I stepped on and whispered “pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease”.
The times when the number was what I wanted or expected, I was elated. I would take pictures and send it to my friends. I would pat myself on the back for a job well done. I would float through my day feeling confident and maybe a little superior (ugh, so embarrassing).
And then there were the times when the number was not at all what I wanted or expected. Some days it was just a shot in the gut, but most of the time it was absolutely devastating. The number would send me spiraling: it wasn’t just a number, it was a representation that I was not in control of my body. And if I wasn’t in control of my body, I felt afraid.
I wasn’t always sure exactly what I was so afraid of, but looking back, I think I was afraid of being rejected. Being laughed at or not taken seriously. Not being good enough. Not being loved.
This fear was REAL and it was all-encompassing. The number and what I was going to do about it was the only thing on my mind for the rest of the entire day and many times, week/month.
The problem with this attachment to the scale, other than the incredible emotional energy drain it brought me, was that it wasn’t actually helping me make any changes. I would get stuck in this cycle of:
- “oh no, the scale!” —>
- “must control body” —->
- miserable dieting or exercise —>
- step back on scale —>
- “YAY I CAN STOP! IT WORKED!” or “THIS ISN’T EVEN WORKING, I GIVE UP” —>
- return to regular habits which did not include self-care —>
- “oh no the scale!” repeat repeat repeat —>
This is no way to exist, especially when your emotional energy is in such high demand as a new mom.
I had to break up with the scale in order to break this habit, because my attachment to it was so unhealthy and keeping me stuck. I made a shift in thinking and got re-focused on my daily habits rather than the results of those habits, and this changed everything.
So now, anytime I am tempted to hop on the scale and see what my number is, I ask myself these self-care questions instead:
Am I getting enough nutrition?
Are my nutrition bases covered? Am I getting plenty of vegetables and protein? Am I eating at regular intervals throughout the day so my blood sugar is stable?
Am I getting enough sleep?
Am I going to bed early enough, or am I staying up way later than I should? Am I taking opportunities to nap if needed, or am I prioritizing less important things?
Am I balanced or am I leaning to an extreme?
Am I feeling restricted, staying on the “perfect food” end of the spectrum too much, leading to compulsive eating later? Or am I over-indulging in fun foods, not giving myself enough nutritious foods? Am I enjoying all of my food?
Am I pursuing a purpose and feeling fulfilled?
Am I looking for pleasure in my food because my life is currently lacking purpose and meaning? Am I pursuing my interests and dreams? Do I feel like a whole, complete human being right now or am I just surviving my life?
Am I dealing with my feelings and emotions?
Am I using food to numb out my feelings rather than dealing with them or feeling them?
These 5 questions are going to give you the answers you need to course-correct WAY more accurately than the scale will. They keep you in a self-care state of mind, which is forgiving and self-compassionate and therefore much more sustainable long-term without keeping you stuck the way self-control does.
THIS is how I got the results I wanted while also feeling happy and at peace.
Self-care gets you to the root of the problem. Self-control sticks a band-aid on it.
What do you think? Are you an emotional slave to the scale? Are you ready to ask yourself better questions?
PS-I’ve never done a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale before, but this year I’m going to be offering a BRAND NEW program at an amazing discount. This is going to be exactly what you need to feel balanced and committed to your self-care through the holidays, so keep an eye out for that on Friday, November 23rd!