Throw away your scale.

Stop weighing yourself.

The scale (aka the crying machine) is the ultimate mood and behavior disruptor. Think about the last time you weighed yourself.  How did you feel before you step on the scale? Then how did you feel after you step on the scale? If you felt worse after, what happened? What did it lead you to do?

In my experience, when the number is up or down, it can lead us to disconnected eating. We might celebrate with food if the number is down. Or, if the number is up, maybe we cope with this discomfort and frustration by eating more. Maybe we think, “What the F, why bother with this keto diet? I just want to eat pizza tonight and not have to track the points/calories/macros.”

I have come to learn that when it comes to the scale and weight loss for most dieters, “What you appreciate, appreciates.” Another way of looking at this is; the more you weigh, the more you’ll weigh. And, for the record, nothing is inherently bad about gaining weight or weighing more or being in a larger body. Society tells us so, but the reality is that bodies come in all shapes and sizes are some are just born to be larger than others.

Trying to control our genetic set weight is futile and backfires for most of us.

The scientific evidence strongly shows that the vast majority of people who go on diets will regain some, all, or more weight than they lost in the first place within two to five years of starting the diet. There are a very small handful of people who can manage to sustain weight loss after five years, however,  the remaining 80 to 95% will regain the weight they lost. Dieters are also at a higher risk of developing disordered eating compared to people who have never dieted.

Scales represent external control of your body which sends a powerful message that your body is not good enough as it is. Weighing yourself reinforces to your subconscious that you are a problem that needs fixing, that your weight/size is unacceptable.

Stop trying to change your weight.

Our bodies want to be trusted and listened to. The body wants to feel good, not stuffed, nor starved.

Once you let go of the need to control your weight, this is when the magic happens. We will talk about that magic soon. But first, let me just say that this shift in mindset, that is, letting go of the need to control your weight, is THE HARDEST thing to do. And, yet, in my 17 years of helping folks free themselves from diet trauma, this shift must happen if you want to improve our relationship to food and heal body image.

Giving up this need to control our body size and weight is incredibly difficult. We live in a world that believes it’s possible and that we are morally obligated to do so. These belief systems run deep. As a society we congratulate weight loss and reject fatness. And, sadly, weight stigma is a real consequence of a society that has not done their work on dismantling its own internalized weight bias. And, most of us before we heard of intuitive eating, have also been victim to this conditioning. This is why we diet in the first place. The belief that our bodies are flawed and cannot be trusted. The belief that our worth is determined by the size of our bodies. At some level, we are trying to conform to avoid this stigmatization. It makes so much sense, but it does not make it right or in your best interest to continue to uphold these oppressive beliefs.

Even the threat of wanting to avoid weight stigma, doesn’t make dieting effective or create permanent weight loss. We know that multiple weight loss attempts are associated with poor health outcomes, and higher weights (weight cycling) in the long run. If weight loss is your goal, continuing to diet is not likely going to make and keep you smaller in the long term. Instead, shift the focus on health behaviors that do not require weight loss. Shift away from the external to the internal. This is where the magic happens. If trying to control your body size really doesn’t work anyway (for 80-95% of us!), then why give away so much of your personal power to the scale?

When you stop measuring your external self (your body), you can work towards validating yourself internally. When we do the work inside, this is where we can deeply heal from old beliefs and traumas and stories about our worth and goodness as humans. And once you begin to do this work, you gain access to the ability to transcend the physicality the body. The wisdom that comes from this is a deep knowing that your Self-worth and lovability are beyond the number on the scale. As cliche as it sounds, who you are on the inside and how you feel about yourself have nothing to do with the size/shape of your body. And, that my fiend is where true freedom (THE MAGIC)  is found.

 

Love, light and chocolate for all.

Karen Louise

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Karen Louise Scheuner, MA, RDN

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