Earlier this year, I threw my scale away. If you are someone who struggles with your weight, I cannot recommend this decision highly enough. Here’s my story about why.
As I was writing down my goals for this year, once again, at the top of the list was to weigh 150 pounds. This was the same number I had associated with a “healthy Sophia” since high school, and yet, I only hit the number three times, at 17, 22 and 26, each time using very unsustainable trendy diet plans and therefore not maintaining it for more than a month.
For almost 20 years, each time I stepped on a scale and discovered I was trending away, not toward, that number, feelings of disappointment and shame came over me.
I realized that my mood, my self-confidence, and how I moved about in the world were directly attached to a number on a scale.
Last year, something in my heart broke when I wrote my annual goals down, and at the top of the list was that 150 number…again. I asked myself, “really, your #1 goal in life is connected to a number on a scale?” Something felt unsettling.
I decided to delete the goal and begin a journey of looking for a new way to define whether I was moving closer to health, or away from it.
I decided to double down on learning to love myself. I knew that pursuing health needed to come from a place of love, not shame or guilt. I started following and learning from registered dietitians, and took a course from an amazing life coach that specializes specifically in weight loss (good coaches have a coach themselves 😉
Before I committed to any plan or habit changes, I first committed to loving myself exactly as I was. I needed to first know that I was already worthy and already enough, even if I stayed exactly the same. That step alone took a few months, but it was the most important.
Then, I committed to these habits:
- Drink enough water each day (My goal is 100oz per day)
- Get a full night’s rest every night
- Stop eating as soon as you sense you’re full (Learning how to listen to my stomach, not my brain)
- When you feel the desire to emotionally eat, journal about it instead (I designed this sheet, which you can download here)
- Eat the foods that make you feel good (This applies to joy, energy, brain fog, food sensitivities, etc.)
- Get my heart rate up for 20 minutes a day
I also made a personal commitment that I would meet with my doctor, get labs done, and then work with her to improve whatever my numbers said.
Because I am very goal-oriented, I needed something to pursue and refused to define whether I was succeeding or failing in my health journey based on a number on the scale. After about 4 months of focusing on care and love for my body, I decided these would be my two goal metrics:
- Improving my blood work
- Creating sustainable daily habits that will support me being a yoga teacher in my 80’s
So, how did my health goals go this year? Absolutely wonderful.
First, I learned so much about my body by working with my doctor. My blood work showed a few things were off, and by taking her recommended steps to get them all back to the green, I felt immediate improvements.
Second, I double-downed on learning about my mental health. The more we understand ourselves, our needs, our motivations, our triggers and so many other facets about what’s happening in our brains, the better we can meet our own needs. Also, we become better about communicating our needs and improving how we interact with our friends and loved ones as well.
So, all that to say, why did I throw away the scale? Well, even months into this journey and the decision to not allow it to define me, I found myself continuing to “check in.” And when I did, I would feel emotions based on that number. If it had fallen, I was motivated to keep going, but also felt like I earned “a treat.” And second, if it went up, I felt discouraged and would trigger my emotional eating, but I would eat the food in shame. Therefore, I realized the entire process was stupid and pointless. A number doesn’t define me. It doesn’t define my health. It doesn’t define my worth.
Am I saying everyone should throw theirs away? No. I make an intentional effort to not should on people. If you do not have baggage around your weight and whatever number the scale shows then good for you. But for me, and many others, it’s not serving us.
Sophia Hyde is a certified life coach. Don’t forget to register for the first live event for 2022, the Drive Workshop. It will be a three hour workshop dedicated to starting 2022 off on the right foot. Click here for what to expect and all the details.
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