Yesterday I talked about the number on the scale… the magical goal weight that some of us envision as our happy place. The number that has been a focus of my diet journey. Today I want to consider the notion that maybe that number matters less than I had always thought.
I have historically given too much power to my scale. If I stepped on and didn’t like what I saw, chances are I would then also not like myself very much that day. Number high = mood low. If I saw a low number, I might feel happy for no other reason. Happy just because the scale made me that way. I have always felt that it is wrong to let my feelings and mood get caught up by what I weigh each day. But my mind and emotions do not always follow rational, logical thinking.
The other day I got on the scale and the number was nice. I liked it. But I didn’t like me. I didn’t like that I had gone off track with my eating for a few days. There were negative emotions from the cheating that had nothing to do with the number on the scale. I was disappointed in myself. I was disappointed in choices I had made. All while I was not disappointed in the number on the scale. Huh?
And then I realized that the opposite is also true: when I am eating the way I should be eating, I am in a better emotional place. I feel stronger and happier and I like myself more. It isn’t just about how much I weigh (even though there is clearly a cause and effect most of the time). It has become about a lifestyle and how living that lifestyle makes me feel. And it makes me feel good:) And I am not talking about the actually physical “feel”: the less-tired-more-energetic feel. I’m talking about the indefinable peace of mind that comes with knowing I am eating well, the sense of satisfaction that I am in control. And when I fall of the wagon, or the horse, or whatever we call cheating, I don’t like how I feel. In the moment. Later. At the end of the day. Or the next morning when I wake with regret. And just to be clear, I am talking about those out-of-control-why-am-I-doing-this-again cheats… not the planned or special occasion cheats treats.
So I am going to call this a lifestyle-not-a-diet-that-ends epiphany! I can make my life better and myself happier by what I eat and it has little nothing to do with what I weigh. I like the Karen who eats healthy and stays on plan:) I like her mood. I like her strength. I like that she goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning with no regret about food and eating. Now I just need to remember this in the moment when the food is calling to me, tempting me. And I need to remember this when I look at the scale and don’t like the number reflected back.
Progress. One mouthful at a time.