Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
What is it about the scale? I know people who weigh themselves every day, even sometimes more. I do not understand why we put so much of our self-worth on that tiny machine.
Ever since I can remember, I have had some sort of investment in my size. As a middle schooler, I recall counting points on Weight Watchers. I could tell you the points of a food without even using the calculator. Throughout high school, I thought about my weight, and I worried about sweets and exercise, to excess.
Now, I look objectively at this attachment to food and physical appearance. As I sit here, I still think about my body in a critical way–even though I am in the best shape of my life. I eat an incredibly clean diet, and I exercise six days a week.
This saddens me. I never give myself a break. Why can I not love myself as I am, no matter the size, but especially now that I have achieved the goal? Somehow, I always want more.
Right now, I am taking steps towards mastery of this attachment:
1. I'm never weighing myself again.
When I go to the doctor from here on, I will stand with my back to the scale. This summer while I was losing weight, I weighed myself often. Even though I'd prepare myself for it and tell myself that I was doing everything right, I'd still let the number and its direction of movement affect me all day.
Months ago, I stepped on the scale at a friend’s house, curious. I had gained some weight (a healthy couple of pounds), but I immediately felt discouraged. Less than myself. Worthless. This was the last time I ever weighed myself. The scale in the bathroom does tempt me, but every day I consider it a victory that I ignore it.
2. I'm decreasing the volume of food.
For the last year or so, I have eaten pretty much the same way every day. Three large meals a day with at least one snack. By "large," I mean mounds and mound of vegetables. I ate so much beta-carotene that I was a consistent orange (which some mistook as tan). I figured that since I should not eat many “calories,” I'd fill up on vegetables.
Unfortunately, the volume I was consuming was unhealthy. I'd feel bloated and uncomfortable after meals. Now, I limit myself to a smaller bowl, and after meals, I feel content. Satiated. Instead of scoffing down a big meal that may take 45 minutes to eat, I relish every delicious bite.
3. I'm listening to my body.
Within us, we have all the tools. We can heal ourselves. The body has the innate wisdom to heal us if we let it, but our minds and egos get in the way. Same goes for just about everything. The body is always trying to tell us what it wants to eat, how it wants to move, and what it wants to be fueled with.
Why do we let the teachings of the collective decide for us how best to serve our needs?
Now, if I am deciding between options, I sit with each one. I go with the one that makes me feel the most alive. I rest for a moment when I feel myself getting full. I ask my body if it needs more.
And I fail.
Over and over. But I am getting better, each day, and moving towards that self-mastery.
4. I'm learn to give myself a break.
I had a small success with this one over Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted some apple bake. We make it with apples, raw honey, oats, and vanilla. It is healthy, delicious, and I was craving it. Since my diet it so clean—free of chemicals, sugar, caffeine, etc.–I trust that when my body offers me a craving, it really does need something sweet. So, I had a small helping, and I ate just enough to satisfy the craving.
I looked at the bowl, and I could have easily finished it off…there was a time I would have done that. But once I knew I had enough, I put the cover back on the remains. A small, yet remarkable victory.
After I ate that, I did have to remind myself that it was what my body needed at the time and that I wasn’t going to gain weight from it.
These are little reminders I am going to have to keep repeating. However, with each victory, I am starting to believe.