It’s Just a Number:
We’ve all been there. Stepping on the scale and holding our breath. Closing our eyes to delay, just for a moment, the number that awaits us. If you’re like me, you’ve tried every trick to make that dastardly old scale behave a little more nicely. You’ve shed shoes, pants, earrings, headbands-you’d take out your fillings if you could!
And that does not even include all of the hard work that preceded this moment: the endless hours of exercise. The gallons upon gallons of water. The near starvation and the gagging down of all these pills, potions, and magic elixirs that promise instant and enduring results. By the time we reach the scale, we’re more likely to feel like crawling than walking-such is what we put ourselves through in the pursuit of the thin and perfect’ body.
But why are we so obsessed with a few measly numbers on a bathroom scale? Why does this one little household item have so much power over us, and how we feel about ourselves? The simple fact is that the number on the bathroom scale reflects very little on our overall physical health. And it says far less about our beauty. Our uniqueness. Our worth as human beings.
So instead of being taunted by the tyranny of the scale, let’s focus on the things that really mean something, the things that really matter. Let’s learn to treat our bodies right and recognize their beauty-at any weight.
Stopping the Scale Obsession:
Anyone who has ever dieted-and that means pretty much anyone who has ever lived in the US in the last 100 years-knows how quickly an obsession with the scale can develop. Those first few lost pounds are like a drug. They intoxicate. They infuse you with a sense of accomplishment. Of triumph.
But that victory is all too often short-lived. Soon the numbers start dropping gradually. Than they stop dropping at all and as the weight loss slows, the obsession with the scale grows. You may find yourself checking multiple times a day-maybe even multiple times an hour.
You will find that your mood and your self-image are increasingly tied to the numbers that greet you on the scale. If the drop has been sufficient, your day is made and your self-esteem grows. If the drop is not what you expected, than you are a failure. You have not worked hard enough. You did not want it enough. You are not good enough.
This is a vicious and tremendously unhealthy cycle, one that often leads not only to emotional overeating in the desperate attempt to gain some kind of solace, but one which also produces stress-and stress, as we know, causes chemicals such as cortisol to be released into the body. These stress chemicals also promote the development-and the retention-of fat, especially fat around the dreaded midsection.
When you become scale-obsessed, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure, for a self-destructive cycle of emotional highs and lows that will almost … Read More