Being on a constant pursuit of weight loss is holding you back from connecting to yourself, letting go of food drama and feeling better in your body. Here’s how to stop focusing on your weight and start focusing on your well-being.
I used to have a goal weight of 150 pounds. I weighed myself weekly (first thing in the morning and in my underwear, of course). My entire life revolved around getting to that weight. I restricted what I ate and I worked out hard every day. I berated myself if I ate too much or ate off plan or skipped a workout. I kept a meticulous journal where I logged the date and my weight, and beat myself up if I wasn’t losing fast enough or gained a pound.
My weight cycled for years. Then I finally reached my goal weight.
The number on the scale also didn’t bring me the instant happiness and love for my body that I thought it would. I still hated the way that I looked.
I decided to lower my goal weight. My body was already struggling to maintain such a low body weight, and I continued to experience weight cycling as I tried dieting my way to my new lower goal weight.
Where did my goal weight come from? Honestly, I have no idea. I pulled those numbers out of thin air. But I really thought that if I reached my weight goal, I would like my body and myself more. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
We’ve been taught that we must be pursuing thinness at all times. That being thin will lead to more happiness, better health and living our best life.
When I reached my goal weight, I realized that my issues were so much deeper, and changing the aesthetics of my body was never going to change the way I felt about myself and it was never going to make my life better. And, to be totally honest, I was still healthy at a higher weight.
I talk to women all the time who have a specific weight they’re trying to force their body into. When I ask them how they came up with that number, they’re either trying to get back down to a previous weight, they just made up a weight they think their body should be or they got it from the BMI chart.
Repeat after me: Our bodies change. You shouldn’t weigh the same you weighed in high school or college or in your 20’s, 30’s, etc. As women we go through hormonal changes at different times in our lives that change our bodies. Our bodies change based on what’s going on at different times in our lives.
When we start to have compassion for our bodies as they go through changes, we can take care of ourselves rather than beating ourselves up and forcing our bodies into a size and shape they’re not meant to be.
Let’s discuss the BMI chart for a moment. The BMI chart is supposed to measure body fat based on your height and weight, and categorize people based on that equation. So, according to the chart, you’re either underweight, normal, overweight or ob***.
The BMI chart has been used by doctors and in schools for years. However, in more recent years scientists have said that the BMI chart can’t distinguish between muscle and fat nor can it determine how healthy someone really is. BMI was also created using data from white men, making it racist and sexist.
Maybe you’ve already detached yourself from your weight, so you’re using the way your clothes fit as a measurement of your bodies changes.
Unfortunately, this is just another form of monitoring your weight and puts you right back in the dieting cycle. When your clothes are too small, buy new clothes.
Once we give up the pursuit of weight loss and start doing the actual healing that we need, our bodies will find a natural weight. Keep in mind that our natural weight may shift over time.
Letting go of weight loss allows us to tune in to what our body needs, respect and honor our body at its current stage, and find more contentment in our bodies. Letting go of a goal weight also allows us to live more and to stop being ruled by food rules and workout regimens.
Your first step: throw out your scale.
You may want to check out the resources in my Virtual Yoga Studio such as my mini workshops – How to Shift Your Focus Away From Weight and Toward Well-Being and Intro to Intuitive Eating or my yoga class Body Positive Yoga Flow, Yoga for Body Acceptance and Yin Yoga for Self-Love or my 7 Ways to Honor Your Body Guide.
Ready to stop dieting and start making peace with food and your body? Download my free Anti-Diet Starter Guide.
To find out more about my health coaching programs, click here. I’m a holistic health coach and an advocate of intuitive eating. My one-on-one coaching programs help you to make peace with food and your body, trust your body more, stop restricting, experience pleasure from food, move your body in ways that feel good, and learn how to nourish your body without focusing on weight loss.