It’s been awhile since my last installment of the intuitive eating series. If you’d like to read more before we begin (or enjoy more on the topic after reading), here is what has been discussed previously:
- Post 1: Brief introduction to intuitive eating and the reaction I received from FitBloggin2011
- Post 2: My personal intuitive eating experience
- Post 3: The role self acceptance plays into my intuitive eating journey
- Post 4: Intuitive eating challenges and does it “work”
- Post 5: Thoughts on why our natural born intuitive eating skills diminish
There are many view points as to whether or not you should weigh yourself. I think using a scale is such a personal decision because it depends on your relationship with the scale. Did you know we all have a relationship with the scale? I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about.
For some, the scale is an instrumental that states a fact: your weight.
For others, the number that appears on the scale stirs up personal emotions that can affect the way you perceive yourself. Let me explain.
I used to have a horrid relationship with the scale. The number I saw on the scale affected my whole mood for the day. It affected how much I would eat after seeing that number. If affected if I would take a laxative pill that night. The number would make me strip off all my clothes and reweigh myself, hoping for a lower number. The number consumed me.
Over the years, as I learned about nutrition properly and learned to love myself better, my relationship with the scale got better too. Sure, there were times when I didn’t (and don’t) weigh myself at all, but I’m at a point in my life right now (and have been for some time) that I see the number on the scale as a fact. The number doesn’t tell me anything about my self worth and the number doesn’t make me any more or less of a person.
There are times in my life that, to me, the scale helped me in a positive way. First, when I train for half marathons I do a pre and post weight on long run days. This helps me ensure that I hydrate properly throughout the rest of the day. Second, when I was pregnant it was neat to follow along with my weight gain. Once again, these are ways that the scale was positive for me, but could be triggering to others. The way I looked at it was this: the number doesn’t matter, but it was a beneficial piece of information in keeping me healthy (hydration purposes while training and proper growth of my baby while pregnant). The number didn’t tell me how awesome I was for training or how amazing it is to carry a human being inside of me — I tell myself those things.
Of course there are other ways to monitor a healthy lifestyle. Non-scale victories are so amazing and can often mean more than just knowing your weight. In terms of going to the doctor, why not look at other numbers? Cholesterol, trigylcerides, blood sugar, etc, are all numbers that can tell you a better story than just simply knowing your weight. How about in terms of fitness? A low weight doesn’t necessarily mean you are fit. Have you accomplished a running milestone or added more weight to your barbell? Those numbers can tell a better story too.
Everyone’s relationship with the scale is a different one. If you think you may have an unhealthy relationship with it, try ditching the scale and see how you feel! If you think you need help working on that relationship I want you to know there are people out there to help you — the combination of seeing a registered dietitian and a psychologist is a very effective option for combatting disordered thoughts that could be on the verge of spiraling out of control. If you don’t know where to look, please feel free to email me and I will point you in the right direction. All information would of course be kept confidential.
If you’d like to share, please write about your relationship with the scale in the comments below.