On any given day, people’s weight can fluctuate up or down a few pounds due to fluid shifts, activity levels, sleep efficiency, stress, and hormonal variations. But our bodies are designed to maintain a fairly dynamic homeostatic equilibrium and they’ll even out around a set point. Yet if we weigh ourselves fairly regularly, we may use the number on the scale to dictate how we treat ourselves and how much worth we feel we have. Does the scale really have that much weight? Do we really need to weigh ourselves to feel okay about who we are? Here are 4 great tips to help you say “good-bye” to the scale:
1. Go on a “Scale Free Diet” for 3 Months
A scale measures the Earth’s gravitational pull on our bodies. That’s it. Nothing more. Yet for many, the scale can dictate one’s sense of self-worth and worthiness of love. It’s time to break that cycle. Nothing about someone’s worth changes from day to day or hour to hour.
Sometimes we cannot even see the emotional impact regular weighing can have on our psyches. Try going on a “scale free diet” for three months, and track what opens up in life. Putting a time frame on it can help you to feel like it’s doable. Translate that diet mentality you’ve been using toward taking a diet from the pressure to be different.
It may feel like a security blanket is gone, but after a bit what starts to happen is that people realize that their worth isn’t dictated by the number on the scale. In fact, as we know from the Dynamic Eating Psychology approach, worrying about the number on the scale just keeps people in stress, and that’s not good for anyone’s metabolism. There may not be much to miss in saying good-bye to the scale. So what can you do instead?
2. Feel what it’s like to be in your body instead of weighing it
We are each blessed with a body that feels joy and sadness, pleasure and pain. Rather than spending our time punishing our bodies, we can take advantage of the precious little time we have and enjoy the body we have, just as it is. As we engage with life, our mood and worth go up. Our bodies adapt to the activities we engage in and we start orienting to our bodies as the source of our joy, rather than our stress.
The more attention is paid on the signals our bodies give us for when we’re hungry, tired, angry and lonely, the more directly we can get those needs met. We start to appreciate our bodies, rather than punish them. And following our pleasure is a great stress relief.
3. Look at yourself in the mirror and say something kind
We here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating suggest that instead of looking in the mirror and picking out all the disapproved parts, look in the mirror with judgment aside. Find your eyes and say something kind. Let yourself know you don’t have to be perfect to be loved, that you’re perfect just the way you are, or that love is unconditional and you’re as worthy of it as the next person.
Look beyond the need for approval. See your soul. See the gifts, the fears, the heartaches, the desires, the dreams, and the pains. See it all and know that it’s all part of this human experience. Imagine yourself as your five-year-old self. Speak to yourself as if you were that age. What would you tell your five-year-old self, based on what you know now? How can you nurture self-esteem and confidence? Can you look at yourself with that innocence and know that you are good at your core?
4. Do one small thing every day that makes you feel at home in your body
If you like to dance even though you think you’re not good at it, dance! Take a walk in nature. Drink some tea. Take a bath. Pet a pet. Hug a friend. Read to your child. Dress the way that expresses your personality, even if you think others will disapprove. Start with an accessory if the whole outfit is too much. Wear clothes that allow you to breathe.
Eat foods that serve your body. Take bathroom breaks. Stretch after a work session. Dye your hair, or don’t. Get a massage. Move in a way that feels satisfying, even if not graceful. Scratch an itch. Have dinner with a close friend. Speak from your soul. Tell someone “no” when they cross a boundary. Tell someone “yes” when the invitation feels right.
The best way to break an old habit is to develop a new one. I hope you find these tips useful in helping you develop some new, healthy habits that support you feeling like more than just a number on a scale!
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