There is a distinct obsession with the number on these cunning metal devices… and why? The whole concept of healthy eating, living a balanced lifestyle should be as stress less as possible, not another avenue where you put even more pressure on yourself. So often I see people put so much ownership on these bad boys that within 5 minutes every range of emotion has been ticked off, and for what? If it goes down then euphoria, excitement, pride and a giggling smugness that it was worth sacrificing that dessert for, to get these results. However, if it goes up… Batten down the hatches the storm rolls in as you see a series of emotions ranging from a plummeting morale, replaced by anger, self hatred, self flagellation, humiliation, embarrassment, guilt, bargaining, and must do betters and starvation hitting the top spot and for what? An electronic machine giving out a number...
We know this is not healthy and that logically there is so much more to us as human beings than being ruled by this number... So why do you give it so much credit? Not only does the machine not take into consideration your body type, muscle mass, bone structure, metabolism, stress levels, amount of water consumed and not consumed, sleep intake or the time of the day etc but most importantly the number DOESN'T MATTER... No one person is the same shape, weight, height, size etc, so to measure off against someone else when you think they look like you, is silly. Just as having an expectation of what you should weigh, is just as silly. There is no competition to be more or less than someone else or the so called "expected norm” shown to us by society. The only competition you need to focus on is giving yourself the happiest, healthiest, loved life you can.
Saying that, I am aware this is quite a controversial topic for some people and the more I have spoken to people about this, there does appear to be various camps to scale watching. First is the one I have discussed and this will be the basis of this article; however I do want to acknowledge another camp. Which are people that embrace the scales as a part to play in their training regime and enable them to stay in a designated *zone* to aid their sporting need: Jockeys, athletes, runners, boxers etc. More often than not, when they are performing at a high level within any activity, the sole purpose is to ensure that all parameters of their life are sensibly managed to not sway or alter their athletic/sporting performance and not as a crucifix to mental uncertainty. Saying that, I do want to focus on the other camp, the one where not only are you controlled by this number, it’s almost become a religion, something to be done everyday above all else and that 1 act that can determine the rest of the day
There is a miss guided perception that the higher the number the unhealthier you are... Incorrect! Muscle weighs more than fat, so the leaner, and more toned, you become, may mean your number goes up. However, I want to go right back to basics and focus on what is important: Your health, your wellbeing, your sanity! Being able to run to the bus without being out of breathe. If you fall into the camp where your emotions are linked to the number on that scales then this next section is for you.
Here are 4 top tips to help you alter the focus so that you see the bigger picture and find alternative ways to find that peace.
The Clue is in the Clothing
How you feel in your clothes is a great indicator and can highlight to you how your body is doing. If the clothes become a little snug (and we have all been there) then let them be the gentle guide encouraging you to focus on exercise, portion control and stress-relief. Equally, buying clothes you can’t squeeze into with the aim of fitting into them with an attitude that says “When I’ve lost X weight, I’ll fit these” is just setting yourself up to fail. Be real with yourself; find clothes that fit your body shape and make you feel fabulous.
At the end of the day, how you feel in your own skin and body is the utmost important factor to your wellbeing and nothing should sway you from tapping into positive self-perception on a daily basis. Love yourself first and foremost and love everything about you, all the lumps, bumps and embrace everything that makes you unique, because you are. Learning to love yourself is the most important project we as humans will undertake and when we start to achieve this (it takes time!) you’ll find that things you held so highly such as the number on the scales, simply fade away and your true beautiful soul will shine through.
Similar to the above but geared more towards your general wellbeing, rather than your body image. The power of positivity is such a valuable and underestimated act that in this day and age can get lost between deadlines, expectations from ourselves and others and agendas. Being positive and thinking the best in all outcomes of life (even when part of you doesn’t want to) really does propel you into a better frame of mind, and will allow you the freedom to see more out of life than any number on a scale can.
Health & Fitness
Last but not least, your health and fitness are paramount. Having a strong body and mind is what matters most, we need to nurture and keep them both strong to deal with life’s ups and downs and make the most out of life. With a strong body we can overcome obstacles and when our mind is strong then, we can accomplish more than we ever dreamed. So rather than taking ourselves for granted and pushing ourselves to extremes (which we can all do), let’s be kind to ourselves. Build ourselves back to being strong and healthy so that we can embrace the best out of our lives and not be slaves to a machine.
Your happiness should not be tied to the number on a set of scales, so as hard as it may be… Throw them out and focus on what’s important: How you feel in your clothes, how you feel in general. Don't give the scales anymore credit, which it doesn’t deserve. YOU DO, for all the hard work you have put into your body. So start giving yourself back the credit, you've earnt it!
Remember this, you are perfect as you are, and most importantly you are unique, embrace this with everything you have and show it off.