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Friday, May 7, 2010

Scale obsessed? Read this!

I have followed this blog, Skwigg for several years now and have always really enjoyed her humor and knowledge. Yesterday she wrote a blog from a question that she was asked about the scale and being too concerned with the number. I love her answer and her approach to the behaviors and the questions that she says to ask yourself. I am going to copy and paste it here but please know that this is not mine and I do not take credit for it. Give credit where credit is due to Skwigg. Go check out her site. She has tons of healthy eating and exercise information and links to lots of other blogs that offer the same info.


Scale Anxiety
Question she was asked:

I have become very obsessed with my weight. It's to the point where I avoid some social interactions around food. Vacations make me anxious and nutty.
Two years ago I leaned down to 135lbs at 5'10" and hold myself to that standard daily even though I'm a much healthier weight of 148-150lbs now. It was a weight I probably shouldn't have been. Now It freaks me out that nothing fits. I refuse to buy larger sizes because I'm hoping to get back into the smaller clothes....AHHHHH insanity.
Can you recommend a book that helps address some of these issues? I'm at my wits end and would very much like my life back.

Answer from Skwigg:

If you find a book that addresses such issues, I could probably use a copy too! :-)

Things started getting weird when my weight dropped into the 120s (at 5'8"). Once I saw those low numbers, I didn't want to see them go up again. "I weigh 128," I said. "I weigh 128."

Well, realistically, I weighed 128 for like a week and a half and it wasn't exactly comfortable to keep it that low day in day out. But when I started seeing 131, 132 instead of being all like "Weeee! I'm still tiny and fit!!" I went, MUST. NOT. GAIN. I started doing weird things like not drinking water at night, or running a few miles before I got on the scale. I know! Flashing red lights! Aarr! Aarr! Aarr! Danger! Danger!

The number fixation reminds me of that time I made it to work in seven minutes. Since then I tell myself, "I live seven minutes from work." Never mind that I'm always late when I cut it that close. Once my little brain latches onto a number it's like a parrot, "I live seven minutes from work. I weigh 128. Braaawk!!" Neither is totally true. And trying to live by those numbers will only result in scale anxiety and speeding tickets.

I don't remember who but somebody smart said to focus on behaviors, not outcomes. That way you're dealing with things you can control, not fairies and unicorns and scale numbers.

Am I:
Enjoying my workouts?
Getting enough sleep?
Eating mostly healthy whole foods?
Drinking plenty of water?
Watching my portions?
Having fun?

If I'm doing those things then that's all I need to do. Put the behaviors first. If you put the numbers first, then your behaviors will suck. They'll be a panicked reaction to the scale instead of a truly healthy lifestyle.

I've learned (and evidently needed a reminder!) that when I'm happy and balanced, my weight takes care of itself effortlessly. When I'm living for the numbers and trying to force a specific outcome, it creates all kinds of anxiety. The bad thing about an anxious food kook is the urge to medicate the feeling with MORE FOOD, creating even more anxiety, guilt and pressure to get it together.

Focus on who you want to be and how you want to feel. Your weight will land in an appropriate happy place.

6 comments:

imanokie.com said...

this is PERFECT! I might have to steal this and put it on my blog sometime.

Shannon said...

Thanks for posting! We all need to read this and acknowledge it from time to time - myself included!

Kari Keenan said...

Great post! I think it's really common for people to get fixated on an arbitrary number, and then hold themselves to an unrealistic standard. I know I'm totally guilty of doing so! Thanks for the reality check!

Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said...

What a FABULOUS post! I think every woman NEEDS to read this!!!

Becca said...

LOVE THIS BLOG POST and totally nodding my head....

Anonymous said...

You look great and as a new lurker I wanted to say I found your blog recently and have enjoyed watching you move closer to your goal. You will rock that stage for sure! The thing I don't agree with is your luv for Squigg's blog. Most if not all of her health and fitness posts are written with the intention to sell products that she will make money from. Some of her "questions" are phoney and she uses them to bring up another book or e-program or fitness product etc that she'll dupe the readers into clicking on and hopefully purchasing. Her blog used to be great but then she went mainstream with sales pitches and now she's known to some as "Sell-Me-Something Squigg" Oh well. We miss the wildly fabulous blogger she used to be. Love your blog though and wish you absolute success and a wonderful experience on the stage!!