I feel this needs to be said or explained …. because I care, and you’re worth more than you may think. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can better support you to achieve optimal health and well-being.
While this may be controversial to some, I feel it’s likely to resonate with most of you. Attitudes and perceptions around weight need to change and I’m a passionate believer in not using weight as a measure in the clinic, for a number of reasons.
However this extends beyond just your weight. The number on the scales. I’m also talking about the number on your clothing tags, the BMI (body mass index) number your Doctor refers to and I’m taking about the number that you think will make you happy.
Think about that number for a moment….the number that you believe will make you happier. What is it? More importantly WHY do you believe this number will make you feel any differently than you do right now? Or, what about how you feel when you don’t see that number..? What happens then?
That’s the part that actually makes me sick to my stomach. Just writing this is making me both furious and deeply sad…because I know (from personal experience) all the horrible things that go through your mind when you don’t see that number. The guilt you feel, the berating words you use, the nasty passive aggressive statements about how you look, what you eat, how you exercise. About how you’re clearly not good enough. About how no one will ever like/love/employ/marry/choose/whatever….. you if you don’t get serious and BE THAT NUMBER.
I’ll be honest here because its not always just those horrible inner words that get to you….its also the external words coming at you both from others and media/social media. Yep, people can be assholes. Particularly when it comes to weight. It can have a really subtle passive aggressive sting to it leaving you feeling really worthless, depleted and guilty. I should point out these comments (generally) are not in anyway meant to be hurtful or taken in a negative way. However, if we already have even just a tiny hang-up about our weight/body/appearance everything can be taken out of context.
In this day and age of selfies, before and after pics, filters, photo-shop and fake everything its not easy to feel like a divine, radiant healthy Goddess or God. Not to mention it being near impossible to know what’s real and what’s fake or enhanced.
If I could have one wish for you right now, it would be to throw out your scales. The only time scales get a look in is for specific medical calculations and purposes (like…how much medication or anesthetic you need). This would mean a serious re-think of BMI as a standard measure. I really feel that BMI is a very general, poor measure of health. Let’s be real here….you don’t need to calculate someones BMI to know if they are over weight or obese. If you have a pair of eyes you can tell by looking at them. You know what else…they will be aware of the fact they’re not at a healthy weight. They will be aware, but perhaps in complete denial. In that case it’s not the weight that’s the problem…its the emotional stuff going on inside that’s the real issue.
I’d also like to remind you that muscle weighs more than fat, and if we’re retaining fluid (for whatever reason) the scales will be higher. You know what else…? If we’re yet to have a poo for the day the scales will read more (if not you need to eat more fiber). There are so many other things that can impact what the scales say at any given time of the day (week or month)….it is just NOT worth allowing your happiness to be determined by THAT number.
A very simple, more positive way to start to notice changes in our health is to check in with how we are feeling – yep, we have to actually feel the feelings (which can be tricky I know). It can be quite the skill to become aware of shifts in our mental capacity, energy levels, vibrancy of our skin and our emotional state. Perhaps it’s even something as simple as noticing you no longer feel breathless after taking the stairs up to your office, or your pants just fit better.
My advice to you right now…..
Remember you are better than a number. Your intelligence, self-worth, popularity, love-ability and general awesomeness has absolutely nothing to do with it. EVER!
Put all that energy into taking sublime care of yourself – eat nutritious food, move and exercise to boost your mood and liveliness, rest and take time out. Most importantly….work on self-love and self-worth. Because when that is sky high I promise you….the number on the scales or on your clothes become irrelevant.