If weight is “just a number,” then why is that number so hard to accept sometimes? Ever have those days where you are feeling really great until you step on the scale? I’m sure you can all relate.
I will be completely honest and say that I’ve never been “good” with the scale. We have always had a love/hate relationship and even when I was at my lowest weight, I STILL wanted to see the scale go down. I have an unhealthy obsession. I am like an addict and I need to get my daily number “fix.”
Last year, I got really obsessive with the scale. I had a back injury from working out and this lasted almost 9 months (and it still flairs up occasionally). In the beginning, I weighed myself daily, having emotional breakdowns whenever the number went up. I was frustrated and feeling out of shape. I tried to put on a front, like I didn’t care, but I could only hide those feelings for so long. Pretty soon, I had a meltdown. Although no one but Brandon was the wiser, I just felt bad about myself again. I was spiraling back in to my old disordered eating pattern. This is when Brandon decided it was time to hide the scale. He knew I did not need this kind of emotional upset.
After not weighing myself for several months, I was really happy. I was happy because I didn’t know what the number said. I felt great! I loved my body. I truly did.
Before leaving for Hawaii, Brandon agreed to let me start weighing myself again. My jeans were fitting differently and I just wanted a starting point. To my despair, I had gained 5 pounds! I was devastated. How could this have happened? I was feeling great about myself, I was working out and eating healthy (but not to the extreme), and yet I still gained 5 pounds!?
I know some of you out there are thinking, “Who cares, it’s just 5 pounds.” I know it seems superficial, but I kept thinking, “If I don’t get this under control now, then 5 pounds could turn in to 10 pounds.” So this is where I ask again, is weight really “just a number?” At what point should we be taking an increase in weight seriously?
In my professional opinion, I believe that even a thin person should have an idea of what they weigh or at least their measurements. If they see a TRUE 5 pound weight increase (as in my case) OR feel their clothes fitting differently, trying to lose a few pounds is still healthy and should not be scoffed at.
So how am I handling this weight increase?
Surprisingly, once I came to my senses and talked with Brandon, I felt a lot better about the increase in weight. I started to look at the weight gain from a sensible perspective, acknowledging that I had cut back on the intensity of my work outs this past year and while I might not have been eating more in QUANTITY, I was eating more CALORIES. I was no longer eating “low-calorie” processed foods and so my meals and snacks had more caloric value. Coming to this realization made me feel better; my eating has gotten even healthier this past year and if I need to go up 5 pounds in order to continue to eat LESS processed foods, then I am A-OK with that!! (Not that I won’t still try to get the weight off…just being honest).
So my new goals are this.
- Don’t get obsessive with the scale. Now that I know what I weigh, I will cut back slightly and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then I am okay weighing 5 pounds more, it’s not the end of the world.
- Keep positive. I need to keep feeding myself with kind messages of self-love to prevent old eating disorder habits from creeping up. I don’t ever want to be in that mental place again!
- AVOID over-exercising!! I’ve been there, done that, and gotten hurt! I need to be smart and consistent, but not over do it!
- Focus on what makes me happy.
We all need to love who we are, no matter what the scale says. I want everyone to remember that it is extremely important NOT to get obsessive with the number. If you FEEL good at a certain weight, then you should stay there!
I’m not asking for you to compare yourself to ME either, I’m just trying to be honest about how I have been feeling about myself. I want you to understand that even as a dietitian, I struggle with all the same issues of food, weight, etc. I am sharing these personal feelings because I want everyone to understand that eating disorders don’t just go away. If you are currently battling an eating disorder or are on your way to recovery, know that you CAN get better about the way you handle your negative feelings! Five years ago I would have beat myself up with self-hate, killed myself at the gym, and avoided eating. Today, I’m at a place where I might feel upset, but I don’t act on those feelings, and I talk them through with the one person I can trust most. I am SO proud of myself for NOT listening to my inner voice of hate, for praying to God for strength to get through this, and for trying to be my BEST self. It’s all anyone can do.Print