I went through a phase of stepping on the scales every Saturday morning. It would make or break my weekend. I had either lost a few pounds (party time – I am a sexy biach), stayed the same or (oooooooops) put on a pound or two. Talk about getting into the groove on one of my favourite days of the week. Nope I have failed this week because the scales say so. I have been indulging too much. I should have gone for that other run. Why did we eat pasta 3 nights this week?! Cancel the weekend – I don’t deserve to be happy.
What a sad way to live. Nevermind the glass ceiling – this was the glass circle. A circle I stood on that dictated my self esteem and my mood. If the number was good I felt proud. If the number was bad I felt like I had failed.
Our weight is capable of fluctuating more than the stock market. I chat to people who step on the scales in the morning and then by the time evening comes they are 8 pounds heavier. I would personally never get on the scales unless it was first thing in the morning in the starkers. Even then – some weeks the scales just didn’t show what I expected and I cared about it. Until my little girl wanted to know what ‘that glass thing’ I was standing on was. I told her ‘nothing important, just something to tell me if I am a healthy weight’. She smiled at me and said ‘Mummy, you look very healthy to me’ and gave me a big hug. In that moment that was all that mattered. I was conscious that I didn’t want my little girl watching me stepping on the scales every week so I put them away out of sight. She can’t help but emulate me which makes me strive to live a healthy and happy life.
I now measure my progress by how I feel each week. Are my clothes tight or comfortable? Do I have energy? Am I improving at rpm and yoga? Am I feeling strong when I run? Am I eating nutritious food that makes me feel good? Am I eating enough or do I feel tired, dizzy or weak? Did I overdo it with the portions last night? Ok well thats because Grandad Dave was cooking – yum. I will hit the soup and salads today. I follow my gut feeling. I know when I am having a good week and I know when I am out of control.
When I am organised I feel better. I go to the shops and think about what I am buying. I get lots of vegetables and do fun things with the kids. I avoid the treat aisle, especially if I am hungry. Granted there are weeks that are better than others.
It is great to have targets but when they start to become obsessive that’s when we need to wake up and smell that bad boy artisan roast. Life is for living and enjoying. Food is to make us feel good not guilty.
We are not defined by a number on a scale. I still weight myself every couple of months but I do it at the gym on a machine that tells me my body fat and muscle percentage. These are the figures that are important for my journey which is very much a marathon and not a sprint. I am not perfect, I slip up. I am a foodie and I love wine which means I will always make time to enjoy myself. The difference is now I am passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle – not a fad. So goodbye to being a scale junkee and hello to listening to my body and loving life.