As I write this, I am leaving the doctor’s office feeling frustrated about yet another medical experience that involved discussing my weight. The doctor asked me how much I weighed, and I gave her my estimate. She told me I weighed more than that, while making a judgemental face. She proceeded to make more comments about my body, and I started to feel self-conscious. This took me back to a time when I used to obsess about my weight and tie my worthiness to the number on the scale.
This is one of many reasons why I stopped weigh myself.
Fad diets failed me
About two years ago, after yet another fad diet attempt, I decided to stop weighing myself. I realized that my attempts at low-carb and high-protein diets were forms of disordered eating. I couldn’t trust myself to eat a well-balanced diet and lose weight while feeling good because I restricted myself from eating certain foods that brought me joy.
But the problem wasn’t the food itself; it was my relationship with food, and my lack of intuitive eating. Putting additional stress on my body didn’t set me up for success in losing weight; it kept me in a vicious cycle of stress-eating.
When I was at my lowest weight, I looked amazing on the outside, but I was struggling with severe depression, anxiety, and other health issues. On the flip side, when I gained the most weight, I was also unhealthy, unfulfilled in my career, and using food as a coping mechanism. The problem wasn’t my weight; it was my relationship with food and how I was coping with life circumstances.
I don’t want to shame anyone who has done diets, weighed themselves daily, or measured themselves daily, including my younger self. Instead, I want to challenge why our worthiness is attached to a number on the scale and encourage people to accept themselves and be in tune with what their body needs. I reframed my relationship with food and my appearance to find joy regardless of my size because I deserve to live a life full of love and be appreciated for who I am, not just how I look.
No more scales
Muscle mass weighs more than fat, which is why it’s unfair to judge ourselves based on what the scale says. Black women, in particular, face issues with BMI since it’s traditionally skewed for people who don’t have most of their muscle mass in their lower half.
I stopped weighing myself because I was obsessing over dropping pounds and judging myself harshly about what I ate.
This wasn’t living abundantly.
When you come from a place of abundance, you know you have enough food, so you don’t have to stress eat or overindulge. You realize that weight fluctuates, but you’re still worthy, beautiful, and capable of achieving your goals. You can still enjoy ice cream and a morning run without shaming yourself. The conversation should be about health and the tools you need to cope with life’s challenges.
If you find comfort in eating, I find it helpful to identify what you’re missing or needing. It’s understandable to find comfort in food, but there might be something else you can replace it with. And in my opinion it’s okay to find comfort in food at times, there’s no shame in that.
Learning how to intuitively eat in a process of unlearning and relearning. You learn when you’re full, and that it’s okay to stop eating. You can still take good care of your health without obsessing about your weight or body shape.
Reframing the narrative
Digging deeper into our relationship with food is essential. It’s time to challenge our worthiness that it’s not attached to a number on the scale, and instead, focus on accepting ourselves and being in tune with our body’s needs.
We can change our relationship with food and our appearance to find joy, regardless of our size. Our conversation about health should be about the tools we need to cope with life’s challenges, not about our weight or body shape.
I recommend reading “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works” to reframe your relationship with food.
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