It’s one thing to tell someone to “love themselves,” it’s another to give them tangible ways to work on loving themselves.
Environmental triggers can set our minds spiraling towards negative body talk, a common one being the demonized bathroom scale. A mere $15 at your local Canadian Tire, but for many, can costs them quality of life.
You don’t magically wake up one day feeling great about gaining 10 pounds. Putting on weight helped my strength soar, but seeing the scale number climb on a weekly basis was an entirely new emotional experience.
The scale isn’t the problem. The scale exists to weigh your mass times gravitational acceleration. C’est tout.
The problem is the messages we are fed from the consumer health industry, fragile men, our peers, and most notably: our mothers.
It’s not the scale’s purpose to measure your confidence, beauty and worth, it never asked for that kind of responsibility. I also don’t believe you should avoid it forever. Just because you aren’t obsessively weighing yourself, avoiding the scale out of fear, still gives it power over you. It is time you take that power back.
So I have outlined 3 ritualistic steps I have used to transition from being afraid, attached, upset at the scale to finally simply accepting it.
Approach & Be Prepared.
The first thing you need to do is arrive prepared and reflect on your week. Did I eat out frequently? Did I consume alcohol? Did my workouts change? Do I even know what water tastes like anymore?
I always approach the scale thinking I am probably around xlbs because of “y” rather than, I will be upset with any number above “x.”
Finding out you’re 3 pounds heavier after you predicted a larger jump will help make the experience a generally more positive one.
Prepare a realistic prediction and ALWAYS overestimate the number. Learning how to create a realistic prediction comes with time. I taught myself the skill by ruthlessly weighed myself at all hours of the day, all points in my menstrual cycle, and immediately after large meals. I put myself on a bit of a roller coaster, but I came out of it much more in tune with my body.
Step on & Be Patient.
If the number you see makes you feel unsettled, try to bring yourself to say things like: all in due time or this is a stepping stone to getting stronger or I will be patient and kind with my body as it learns to adapt.
It’s time to change your frame of mind as your brain, look at the bigger picture.
Your weight at any point in time, is exactly that. One point. It’s not a trend line or a health assessment. It does not measure passion, progress or effort. How different is 130 pounds from 135 pounds, if you are eating well and exercising regularly.
If your weight was plotted on a graph where the bottom axis runs from birth to death, your weight at this very moment would barely be visible. Rushing change will get you nowhere, take a deep breath, and say a silent thank you to your body for waking up today.
Having goals is important, but adjusting your path to achieve your goals is sometimes necessary. We don’t live in a perfect world, quit expecting your body to be perfect.
Step off & Stay Positive.
Stay positive from the moment you decide to weigh yourself to the 15 min afterwards. Positive affirmations are everything when it comes to developing a healthy relationship with the scale.
Have a conversational pep talk with yourself once you step off. It will actively work to block out the things your mind is trying to say.
Look in the mirror without prodding, poking, jiggling, sucking in or twisting. Find appreciation for the untouched version of you. Say you are strong, kind, intelligent, loved and happy.
Show your body the respect it deserves for its consistent loyalty and resilience. And I don’t care if you don’t truly believe these “positive” statements, say them anyways.
Take home message
If stepping on the scale leaves you feeling sad, down or anxious, you’re not alone. But changing the reaction starts with changing the conversation from the moment you decide to weigh in, to the 15 minutes upon stepping off the scale.
Show up prepared, understand you must be patient, and continuously circulate positive messages inside your head. If may feel forceful and fake, but that’s okay.
And remember, acceptance comes with time and it starts with the realization that you are your most important hype(wo)man, forever and always.