This was a serious question I was scolding myself over as I stood in front of the mirror fresh from the shower. In this moment, I was once again beating myself up for not losing any weight that week as I mentally went through what I had eaten. Seriously, did I need seconds the other night at dinner? It didn’t matter now because the scale was not working in my favor. How about water, did I drink enough?
Maybe that was it.
Sometimes there isn’t a thing to point to, it’s just the numbers not in your favor, again.
Stepping on that scale whether in my bathroom or in the doctor’s office is one of the most humiliating things I can think of doing in my day. We have one of those digital scales that I always stand in front of well after I step off it to be sure the number doesn’t keep blinking for someone to see. At the doctor’s office I make some corny joke to the nurse and look away in horror as she writes down the number. The scale is one of the worst inventions ever on those days.
There is a number in my head of what I think I should weigh. There are charts and infographs that tell me another number I should weigh. It all comes down to a number that I personally hold against myself as a bargaining chip dangling like a gold carrot, beating tool when it isn’t even close and ultimate goal of one day. Some days it feels like spinning a roulette wheel in a casino and just like Las Vegas, the house always wins in the end. I walk away from the scale broke, defeated and wondering where the waitress with the free drinks went.
The scale number is a big deal. There is enough known about weight that we understand it can have ramifications on our health long term. The irony of it all is we know that number by the way our clothes fit without even stepping on it. No matter if we weigh ourselves or not there are subtle ways that number haunts us with the pinch of the waistband that is snug or the gap in the blouse between the buttons. It’s always there.
While this number is important, it is of course not all there is to our health or weight.
Sometimes it feels like we are told there is so much more to weight only in those times the scale is not cooperating. Like, this all time favorite of being told to consider that muscle weighs more than fat. Of course that’s true but at what point do we just say we didn’t make any progress? Honestly, sometimes that is case as much as we don’t want to admit it. I’m all for positive thinking but a healthy dose of honesty is also important especially when talking about if real progress was achieved or not. The truth is the diet industry has lied to us for so long that we are used to candy coating truths to make ourselves feel better because the hard facts are depressing.
The other side of the situation is that you may have done EVERYTHING right and just didn’t lose any weight that week. It does happen and while it is the most frustrating thing about weight loss, it too can weigh heavily (pun intended) on your mind about being what you are doing. There have been many times, like today when I stood glaring at the scale, that I did do it all right and still nothing budged. Literally.
Is our worth based on weight?
From a young age we are engrained with this idea that our weight defines our worth. As a result of this diet mentality every single woman and girl on this planet is at risk and likely has developed a disconnected relationship with her body because of the number it shows on a scale. This influences our entire life until we choose to break free from it. We will always have to fight this demon however because it never fully goes away.
Here too, we are often told things like beauty is on the inside and it doesn’t matter what size we are. These are wonderfully true statements but it doesn’t negate the impact of seeing some numbers on a scale or how you are treated publicly, by clothes manufacturers, friends and even family.
How many loves are lost because weight is an issue for one of the partners? Yes it is shallow and cold but it happens more than we would like to admit. If you’re not the perfect weight and able to maintain that then it is possible your entire life can be turned upside down as a result. Am I being dramatic? True love surely is not based on a number such as weight and yet…
I do believe we can work to overcome these limited views about weight that comes from the diet and beauty industries. Real people do love you regardless of size too. It does not however change the fact this this sort of thing happens and we are made to feel less than our worth as a result.
Anyone who has gone shopping in the plus section of a department store or lost a boyfriend due to a muffin top can attest it is a real pain that happens.
How then do we overcome the weight limitations?
If you align in the society way of thinking about weight, you are either obese and disgusting or rail thin and beautiful. It is an unfortunate aspect that I don’t think will ever change. It is necessary we teach our daughters to not fall for this as much as possible but understand the exposure to it will exist.
The best way to deal with any of this garbage that defines us by weight is by loving who we are so strongly that negativity cannot penetrate. – Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary
Learning to love yourself in this way does not mean you stop trying to improve yourself. In fact it is the opposite. Through the process of learning to love who you are, there is an acceptance that we can love where we are now and where we are going. We see ourselves as part of an evolving journey where we learn who we are and who we want to become and we never stop learning, growing, evolving and emerging. We are so focused on this work that any outside noise from the beauty, diet or society about weight falls on our deafened ears. All that matters is the work we are personally doing.
The work is not always easy.
It is messy business learning to love yourself and not become wound up about weight thinking again.
There is no diet out there that I have found that addresses the mental aspects of losing weight. The burden of feeling it is all about the number on the scale and we must sacrifice, restrict, limit and beat ourselves into submitting to a specific way of eating for the sake of losing weight. The negative self-talk that happens when you “cheat” from your meal plan or don’t make it to the gym.
The personal angst that comes from trying on an outfit and having it not fit then having to go to the plus department to find something in black.
This is at the core of where all these other negative and brutal weight related things come from. If we didn’t eat so much we wouldn’t be fat right? When in reality, most obesity is a form of starvation because we are lacking the nutrients from food as well as love.
Our food system is so insanely stripped of valuable nutrients that anyone struggling to lose weight should stop questioning themselves and start demanding better of food manufacturing. Then if we pile on diet foods this only further disconnects from real nutrients needed to fuel the body and support a healthy metabolism that leads to a weight management.
So to truly lose weight it takes more than just determination and willpower. It takes a different approach than just another diet or stringent workout plan. It requires us to change the entire environment in which we are trying to lose weight within. Internally and externally so many things need to be shifted and eliminated to provide the conditions where we can be vulnerable and open about what weight makes us feel like physically and emotionally.
Where weight loss should begin is not in the pantry or fridge
Instead of diets immediately tackling our pantry and fridge, what if we approached it differently? What if instead of starting out with some number on a scale we looked at a different start gate?
The work of losing weight is most possible when we are in alignment in mind-body-spirit. This involves us getting past the looking good in a smaller size rationale for wanting to lose weight. It is the work of getting real for why weight loss is the answer. Of course we want to look good. Yes, we want to be healthier but defining what that means for each of us is where we get the real answer behind the motivation to address our weight.
Once we have that really deep reason that maybe we don’t even share with anyone, we can assess what we need to have in place, do and create to support that vision. It is here we find what truly we need, not some pre-canned diet prescribing to us how to conform. We get to listen to our own body for those answers and design the process that forms our own path. This is where working with a natural health professional is a blessing because they help you define this based on you individually and personally.
From this point, you see the journey of losing weight as a healing process. Weight dropped is a blooming experience where you step into your real self that was always there but just covered in mental outlooks of how you physically looked compared to what you should look like. We get to be our real self throughout and that is the real beauty of the journey. Our confidence rebuilds and we learn to trust ourselves. Again, no diet I’ve ever found does that for us.
To work with me, schedule your consultation at dragonspitapothecary.com