I have suffered with self esteem issues pretty much my whole life, and it has mainly been down to my weight and my poor body image.
I clearly remember around the age of 6 or 7 having to get weighed at school, and the teacher being horrified by how much I weighed, and she certainly didn’t keep it to herself! That’s when I first realised I was FAT.
Just to clarify here, looking back I know that I was a little chubby as a child, but I was by no means fat or obese. Unfortunately at the tender age that I was, the story was formed in my mind that I was prone to being overweight, and it’s been with me ever since.
Even now at a healthy weight, as a fit ultramarathon runner, I still have “issues”. I still have times when I feel emotional and comfort eat. The difference is now I have things under control and know how to get back on track quickly because I no longer diet, healthy nutrition is part of my lifestyle.
My mum was a yoyo dieter – back in the seventies this pretty much consisted of counting calories. She weighed everything she ate and wrote it down in a book so that she could calculate the calorie value to ensure that she didn’t go over her 1000 calorie limit. Of course she would get so far then she would go off track because it was just too strict.
Something else that she did daily was weigh herself. And she weighed me at the same time. So for the last forty years my morning ritual was pretty much get up, go to the bathroom and weigh.
Some of you may remember before Christmas I did a blog post about not putting on weight over Christmas (you can find it here if you missed it) and I made the commitment that I would not repeat the mistakes of every year previously and overeat and put on weight over the period.
So I weighed on Christmas Day and weighed on New Years Eve and had easily managed to maintain my weight (in fact I went down 100g, go me!).
BUT then we went out on New Years Eve, ate a lot and drank a lot. I woke up on New Years Day feeling hung over and bloated.
My initial instinct was to go weigh myself to see how much damage I had done. That was my mindset. See how much weight I have put on, literally overnight, so that then I can beat myself up about it all day and make myself feel guilty for enjoying myself.
And of course then I could be safe in the knowledge that I had FAILED at my attempt not to put on weight, thus further reinforcing the story that I always regain the weight that I lose.
I am not sure what happened that morning, but suddenly something just clicked in my brain. What was I doing?
I was literally allowing the numbers on the scale to dictate to me how I felt about myself that day (and every day). I was allowing this object to define what kind of mood I started my day in, and generally if the numbers had gone up my mood was gonna go downwards pretty quickly.
So I made the decision there and then that I wasn’t going to weigh myself and I haven’t since. I know it’s only been 10 days but believe me that is a really big deal for me! I have had to put the scales out of sight so that I don’t weaken, but I am still really proud of my achievement.
You may be reading this and totally not relating at all, that’s fine. Not everyone is a slave to the scales. But if you can relate then I urge you to give it a try, put the scales away and don’t step on them every morning. Just that little mindset shift can really make a huge difference.
I can honestly say that I now start my mornings in a much better mood and feel so much better about myself. And when I do have something indulgent, I no longer get that guilty feeling afterwards wondering if the scales are going to go up, or will I get away with it.
Life is so much better now I am no longer a slave to the scales!!
If you are a serial weigher, give it a try and let me know how you go. Or please share this with someone who you know would benefit.