Moving Beyond the Scale

Today’s society places a lot of emphasis on our weight and too little on our lifestyle habits. It seems that when we finally come to terms with where we are in our wellness journey, fad diets, detoxes and even our own friends and family can easily push us to believe we need to be thinner or fitter. When it comes to weight, the number on the scale can honestly be the one thing that is holding you back. We constantly are challenged to do better and achieve more in every facet of our lives and health is no exception. The pressure to have it all can be really discouraging to anyone.

When it comes to finding YOUR healthy, it’s rarely going to look like that of your co-worker, family member, neighbor or friend group. Everyone comes from a different up-bringing, mindset and genetic makeup which makes this idea of wellness a lot more complex than meets the eye. At the end of the day, you may be the same height as one of your friends or family members, but that doesn’t mean your body, lifestyle or diet is supposed to look exactly like theirs. Our tendency to compare ourselves to others is inherent to who we are; it’s also a large part of the problem.

So what can we do about it? Take a step back and give yourself some credit. We all have things going on in our lives that make it impossible to get to the gym 4-5 days a week, cook at home every night, meditate, hang with friends go to church all while finding time for ourselves. And guess what? That’s OK. Just like the weather, our priorities shift during different seasons of our life. Sometimes we need to take a step back and acknowledge what we have going on. Are you working 60 hour weeks because you’re gunning for a promotion next month? Or maybe you’re struggling with an injury from training too hard or too often? There are a million scenarios and they all come down to one important message – it’s time to cut yourself some slack. You are doing the best you can and probably a lot more than you give yourself credit for. If you’re at a stand-still with the scale or your wellness journey, before you go into self sabotage mode and cut yourself down with everything you’re doing wrong, take a moment to think about everything you’re doing RIGHT.

Are you in a regular exercise routine for the first time in your life? Maybe you’re cooking at home most days instead of eating out 3-4 times a week? Taking a step back to think about your lifestyle habits as a whole is a much more productive conversation than ripping yourself to shreds with criticism. It’s these types of conversations that set us up to be 100% honest with ourselves instead of just making us feel like complete failures.

So the scale didn’t move, what are you gonna do about it? Maybe a conversation with yourself helps you realize your restrictive diet during the week, leads to binge eating on the weekends. Or maybe you realize your efforts in the gym aren’t supported by a balanced diet. Maybe you realize the scale isn’t the most important measure of health and your habits day to day matter more. Instead of feeling like a failure or falling off the wagon, take a moment to reflect instead of react; take time to think through what is getting in the way of where YOU want to be. These moments give you the power to do something about it instead of settling into further self sabotage or the opportunity to make excuses for things you want to change.

The best part about being honest with ourselves? We can create some kick ass goals that we actually feel capable of achieving. Great goals set you up for success; they’re realistic, a priority and support your well-being in all aspects of your life. One of the reasons you will never find me preaching about a fad diet is because I don’t believe they set people up for success and research doesn’t either. The reason people can’t adhere to a diet long-term is because they’re not sustainable; they aren’t generally focused on changing your lifestyle. These diets eliminate whole food groups or rely on restriction to achieve weight loss. What ever happened to just eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods? Cooking more at home or moving in ways we enjoy? I don’t know about you, but I love myself some ice cream and Lord help me if I ever have to give it up to lose weight. At the end of the day, healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Even more important, healthy for you is going to look different than for me or for the next person.

Personal Challenge for the Week – Take a step back from the scale and get real with yourself about your wellness journey. You might be surprised by what you find.

Food For Thought –

  • What does healthy mean to you? How do you measure your own health?
  • Where are you now and where do you want to be?
  • What is getting in the way of you finding your healthy and living your best life?