By Joanne Rosa
It’s 2018, and you promised yourself you were going to change your health for the better this year.
So, what else is there to do but weigh yourself?
As you walk towards the bathroom, there are mixed emotions running through your mind. Your feet hit the cold tile, and it hits you. The amount of food you ate over the holidays; how many times you skipped the gym because it’s just too busy this time of year; plus all of that booze. Anxiety starts to flood your head before your toes touch the scale. You shed your clothes and jewelry, take a deep inhale, a deeper exhale, and step on the scale with your eyes closed. You standup tall and take a peek at the number on the scale.
Let’s stop right there. We’ve been taught that the scale is a measurement of our health, but that’s not necessarily true. Let 2018 be the year that you don’t let a number define you.
With the help of eating issues expert and author, Donna Fish, and Ladimax Lifestyle fitness experts Rene Syler and Nicole Sanders, we tackle the crucial reasons why we need to stop being obsessed with the scale.
It’s awful for our mental health
When we weigh ourselves, “we measure our self worth,” Donna Fish declared. Your mood is always dependent on what the scale reads. “It encourages obsessive thinking to cope with anxiety, as opposed to finding other ways to manage any upset feelings… [it] seduces you into the myth and belief that if you get to the number you have fixed in your mind, that then you will ‘feel great about yourself.’” You end up becoming fixated on that sensation of feeling good about yourself and weighing yourself eventually becomes a habit. “The habit gets established and becomes hard to break, despite the many days that particular number makes you feel like crap.” Find a way to deal with the uncertainty of knowing your weight, and focus it on a positive relationship with eating.
A healthy body doesn’t care about its weight
Weight is not a measure of health. Lifestyle fitness experts Rene Syler and Nicole Sanders explained: “muscle is metabolically active; in other words, it burns fat… to make your body a better fat burning machine, you need muscle.” This is important, because we want as much muscle on our body as possible, right? Here’s the thing: muscle weighs more than fat, because “muscle is more dense than fat… [Therefore,] the same amount of muscle and fat will look different in your jeans.” If you use the scale to see your success, there is no doubt the number will make you think you failed. Instead of a scale, “use a tape measure. The tape measurer is going to be reading smaller as you become more muscular… As you lose body fat, the scale may or may not move but the inches will come down.” Another way to measure your success is by taking pictures. Rene and Nicole recommend taking a picture once a month and wearing the same outfit.
Every body is different
Sometimes, it seems like we can never win. First you weigh too much, and then you don’t weigh enough. Guess what? Every body is different! We aren’t all supposed to look the same. For some reason, the models have become images to look up to for body goals. Whether the models are stick thin, or have the goods in all of the right places, chances are the photos have been altered. Photoshop is very real! There will always be parts of our body that we don’t like, or aren’t proud of. “Accepting the fact that everyone has parts of their body that they like and don’t like, helps take the pressure off of needing to feel “great about your body” all the time.” There is no one mold that we all fit, and that’s a good thing.