Do you dread stepping on the scale? Does your head pound, heart sink, and whole body prepare for the disappointment you feel when you see that number, knowing it will never be the “right one”?
I purposely don’t keep a scale in my house, but every time I go to the doctor, I panic. What if I gained 20 pounds? What if I lost 10? What value will that scale give me today?
The answer: none.
All a scale does is tell us how much we push against gravity. Yet still, we are taught to give it weight, to allow it to judge us.
Let’s stop that today.
Here are 5 things to do the next time you step on a scale (here’s a hint: none of them are panic or lose weight):
Panicking never does a body good. Stress can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety, all the things you start to worry you’ll get if you’re overweight.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to simply breathe. Take a deep breath in for six seconds, then let it out for six seconds. Do that at least three times, right now, right where you are. For more ways to manage stress, check out this article by The Mayo Clinic.
2. Remember that this number does not represent your worth.
It doesn’t even represent your health. (For more on health – and why we should stop judging people based on it, check out my Bawdy Love podcast interview with Dr. Martina Shabram). Numbers are arbitrary symbols on a screen, telling us nothing about the human being they purport to represent.
Repeat to yourself five times, out loud: my worth cannot be measured by a number on a scale. (Click to tweet this.)
Again: my worth is not measured by a number on a scale.
Post this on your mirror if you need to. Repeat it often.
3. Focus on actions, not numbers.
If that number scares you because you feel it may be an indication of your health, that’s a valid concern that many people have. Weight gain or loss is often an indication of stress, illness, an unbalance in your endocrine system, etc. But simply reducing or adding to the number on the scale is not going to help your body’s vitality. Furthermore, focusing on health can be problematic, triggering, and harmful to those of us that aren’t “healthy.”
Instead of striving for someone else’s ideal of health (even your doctor’s), think about actions you can do to make you feel more vital, mentally and physically. Are you eating in a way that makes your body feel good? Are you meditating to clear your mind of stress? Are you moving your body to release tension? Are you laughing, crying, orgasming as much as your body needs?
There are so many more positive ways you can improve your life than simply changing a number on a scale. Focus on those things instead. (Click to tweet this.)
4. Eat more, not less.
Not only have we been taught to fear the number on the scale – whatever it may be – we’ve also been taught to fear food – whatever form it comes in. We crash diet, hoping to lose 5, 10, 20 pounds quickly, starving our bodies of the fuel it needs to function.
It’s been proven time and time again that scarcity leads to stress, which leads to all the issues we talked about above, including weight gain. Diets function on scarcity, depriving your body and mind what it wants and needs.
Instead of saying “I’m going to stop eating so much _____” try “I’m going to eat more kale, blueberries, ginger cranberries, chocolate, avocados, cinnamon, salmon, almonds, turmeric, sweet potatoes, mulberries, lemons, oysters, spinach, lobster, and mushrooms!” – all of which provide essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Give yourself permission to eat. Your body will thank you. (Click to tweet this.)
5. Phone a friend.
Sometimes we just can’t do it alone.
Whenever I need a reminder that I am worthy of love, that I am more than a number on a scale, that my body deserves the food that it needs to function, I call a friend. Specifically, I chose someone I know who gets both my struggle with body-image issues and my fight to overcome them.
Who is your phone a friend? Make a list right now of five people you can call the next time you start to panic about the number on your scale.
Need more people for that list? You can always find support, motivation, inspiration, and radical self-love using the #BawdyLove hashtag or in the Bawdy Love Facebook group.
And keep reminding yourself:
My worth cannot be measured by a number on a scale.
With love and light,