Why I Decided to Weigh Again

So a few months ago, I decided to do something I haven’t done in years.

I got on a scale.

Now in the intuitive eating community, weighing is generally a no-no because it’s reinforces the dieting mindset. It encourages us focus on numbers instead of health and generally just causes us to take a very impersonal approach to our bodies with isn’t helpful to physical or emotional well-being.

I knew I’d gained some weight because some of my pants didn’t fit and well, I felt completely awful and uncomfortable, and I could see it too. My face had filled out, my hips were getting wider and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a belly, which makes me think that stress was a huge factor because I’m usually pretty pear-shaped and my stomach is the last place to carry extra weight.

I hadn’t weighed in awhile, but I found that I was avoiding the scale out of fear of that number rather than indifference, so I decided that I’d face it and love myself anyway.

I got on the scale at the doctor’s office. I saw the number. I didn’t panic at all. It was definitely higher than it was the last time I weighed; in fact, I’d gained thirty pounds since I got married three years ago, but I’m wasn’t upset at all. I was sad, not because I’d disappointed myself by having no willpower or for being weak. I knew I was in a rough place emotionally and that my body was suffering. The extra weight confirmed that I’d been using food to get through a hard time.

It’s incredible; a few years ago, gaining that much weight was one of the worst things that could have happened to me, but it was no big deal. I know that the state of my body is a result of the state of my emotions, so if my body isn’t happy, my emotions need work. Once I’m emotionally well, my body will follow.

After that doctor visit, I didn’t start a diet. I didn’t go to my stash of workouts I’d been tearing out of Fitness magazine (which I finally threw away the other day after ten years of collecting them), and I didn’t set down any rules for myself in hopes of losing the weight. Instead, I decided to take care of myself emotionally and trust my body to adjust itself.

So that’s what I’ve been doing, just working on my emotions because I know that’s what works for me. In my life, happy=healthy. I once lost 55 pounds over a couple years before I’d even heard of intuitive eating because I was just happy, so food didn’t seem that important. For the first time in years, I’ve felt that happy again. Just for a few months so far, but I haven’t lost that feeling of peace and love that I did on that dumb little scale at the doctor’s office.

I eat junk food sometimes. I still overeat sometimes, but I don’t beat myself up. Actually, I barely think about it at all and I’ve finally gotten to the point where one episode of overeating, one big dinner doesn’t throw me off listening to my hunger cues. I can actually let myself get hungry now. I feel hungry at least once a day and usually two or three times, which is a miracle because before I might have felt hungry once every couple of weeks. I go for at least one walk every day because I love it.

Though I’m sure to get some comments about how I’m still stuck in the dieting mindset, I weighed again yesterday, once again to acknowledge my unconditional love for myself. That number happened to be17 pounds less that the number I saw at the doctor’s office in March, that didn’t surprise me.  My body may choose to release more weight, but I finally feel that I’m at a place that I could call my “happy weight”, because I feel completely comfortable and free in my body. The other day, I went to a water park in my brand new turquoise tankini and coral toenail polish, and I didn’t feel one bit self-conscious. I even felt beautiful and carefree, which is the feeling I always wanted in my dieting days, and I had no idea what I weighed. For the first time in my life, the scale isn’t my enemy, or even my friend. It’s just gives me a trivial number.

Freedom feels amazing.

Note: I’m really sorry if this post is triggering to anyone; I am just being honest about my own experience. Weighing is not the best thing for everyone, and happy weights are completely unique to each individual.

Lots of love!

McKella

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Posted on June 20, 2011, in Body image, Intuitive Eating and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Love this post!

    I think a lot of people dont realize that your body releases weight when your mind and soul is in balance too.

    You could be doing all the right things physically but you need to be nourished at the core in order to release all that holds you back, including weight!

    Im finding that the more I work on things I am passionate about, the more I find I am taking care of myself without much effort and I just feel lighter and brighter.

    xoxo

  2. What would have been your reaction if you had gained weight the last time you weighed? I am just curious.

    • Great question! I honestly don’t know exactly what my reaction would have been, but the goal with facing the trivial number was to love myself no matter what it said. However, I do have a long history of disordered eating and body image and it might have triggered me, in which case I’d probably sit down with my journal and my body and do some serious emotional work. I’d like to think I’m now healthy enough to handle it.
      My triumph with the situation as it happened is that seeing the first, high weight did not trigger unhealthy behavior like dieting or distorted body image, but instead body love and a push into intuitive eating, which in turn made my body more comfortable for me to live in. That happened to include losing weight, but it could have meant weight gain.
      Also, I would have been really surprised, because I have been eating and moving intuitively and I feel really good. Gaining more weight on top of a weight that was already too much for me wouldn’t have made much sense. As long as I feel good, whatever the scale says doesn’t matter.

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