I started dancing when I was eight years old. By the time I was thirteen, we had to weigh-in on the scale every Saturday. Many of us would starve ourselves for two days before Saturday. All the girls would line up, sweating bullets about the humiliating weigh-in. If your weight had gone up, you were not allowed to attend class, our mothers were called, and we were sent home in shame. This stress set me up for a lifetime of an anxious relationship with food.
By the time I was nineteen, I had been on and off every diet and my weight was rising. You can imagine, I tried everything from the cabbage soup diet, hi-protein drinks, the chocolate protein powder diet -- with its chalky tasting shakes, Weight Watchers, low-fat, high protein, starvation diets, lettuce diets, you name it.
I even had a chart that had the hours of the day and I obsessively checked off each hour that I didn’t eat. It was a constant battle. I would get excited as I started a new fad diet because I initially would lose the weight. Then I got tired and frustrated when I gained my weight back -- and even more.
Feeling ashamed of my lack of willpower, I would desperately try another unmaintainable fashionable diet. I continued to weigh myself every day, and my whole life revolved around the scale. This went on for decades.
Today I tell my clients that the scale is not your boss. It is not a true indicator of your health, your self-worth, or your efforts. Tell your scale “You are not my boss!”
Instead of obsessing about a number on the scale, begin to think about behavior -- and making good choices. We all want to feel healthy and energized and the best way is to start with a small change you will actually do. Then you build on this change because you start to feel better and this motivates you to make the next small step. This is about getting healthy over the long haul, not about quick fixes that don’t last.
So let’s start with moving your body a little bit every day, eating food that actually nourishes you, just for the pure joy of feeling better. So find some physical activity that you actually like, and healthy foods that you enjoy. Because if it feels good, you’ll continue to do it.
Imagine if you ate one extra piece of fruit a day. That would be seven extra servings a week. If you started walking ten minutes a day, that would make a big difference.
I heard a quote I really loved on NPR’s Life Kit Podcast, “Your best weight is the one you reach when you live the healthiest life you can actually enjoy.”
I agree. This is how you get to the BEST YOU!