Turning Away from Diet Mentality

I wanted to introduce you to a hot, button pushing topic of mine, “Turning Away From Diet Mentality”. I promise I’m not going to jump on a big soapbox, but I would love to walk you through life experiences and constant conversations I have had and I am still having with clients surrounding the scale.

I need you to know that you are not alone in your feelings, not alone in your journey of health and not alone in your successes and barriers in life. I have a few questions for you that will sync us onto the same page (and to have better understanding why I have actually picked up a sledge hammer and smashed scales, ha).

  1. Has the scale ever truly been your friend?

  2. Does it give you a nice comforting hug if it doesn’t give you the number you were hoping for?

  3. Does it check in on you throughout the day to make sure that it hasn’t upset you too much?

  4. Do you ever feel like a good number on the scale can give you permission to eat outside of your healthy choices and an upsetting number send you in a down hill spiral of not caring what you are grabbing because does it really matter anyway?!!!

I’m giggling as I’m starting this topic of “Turning Away from Diet Mentality” and smashing scales because I already can picture one of my clients saying “back to smashing scales! What is up with you?

I happen to like the scale as an important tool in my journey”… so I’ll use this example to always come back to the point that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to our goals. This client happens to find the scale incredibly motivating and a check-in with the scale once a week, keeps her dedicated and on track with little to zero emotional damage.

I 100% understand that this side of the coin exists, but I come to talk to you about the flip side… the side of the coin that sends us away defeated and kicks us into all or nothing mentality. The side of the coin that messes with our emotions and can even diminish our self-worth!

I have a vivid memory of asking a client about her week and watching her grin from ear to ear with how many positive habit changes she had implemented over the past week. This client had walked more than she had in years, packed her lunches and although her dinners were not perfect, they were better than usual.

This is as far as we got in the conversation before she stepped on the scale and her smile disappeared. I was scrambling through her chart trying to see a previous weight to see how much she had gained… but there was no weight gain, only maintenance.

This client had worked so hard and put in so many efforts that when she only saw maintenance, it absolutely crushed her! We spent the whole session discussing how this can happen and how her efforts still paid off, just not on the scale.

We really dove into questions like did you have more energy? “Yes”.

Could you tell a difference in your mood? “Yes, huge difference”.

It took the whole session to regain motivation and be ready to fight through another week! Like I said, this is one example, but this happened often. I saw people making huge efforts with zero scale reward. Motivation would start to dwindle and sometimes, this mind game and negative naysayer of a measurement, would be the final fall off of habit change (back to old ways, because does it really matter anyways?).

Has anyone ever felt like the scale is controlling your happiness in the day?

Good number – happy.

Bad number – doubt and annoyance (and this can linger throughout the day… it can sneak into our mood with our coworkers, kids, spouse).

So why are we talking so much about this little piece of metal? I need you to buy into the idea that there are other ways to measure our success and it all comes back to our bigger “why”.  Why we care about our journey? Are we fighting to have more energy, sleep better, play on the floor with kids, better mood and so on and so forth? If we would celebrate our wins, are we succeeding more than the credit we provide ourselves?

You get the point! You HAVE to dig deep for your intrinsic “why”. It’s your secret ingredient to staying motivated. As for the scale, you will have to assess for yourself where it fits in your journey. I’m giving you permission to pitch it, smash it, or hide it if you need a clean break from its power. You might be able to find a place for your scale as a once a week weigh-in. I would encourage you to balance out weigh-ins by tracking all of your other wins that are disconnected from the scale, BMI, and circumference measurements. An example list of “wins” could look like:

Wins:

  1. Went to bed at 10:00 every night and succeeding in getting 8 hours of sleep

  2. Packed lunch daily

  3. Made a new dinner that the whole family enjoyed

  4. Packed my gym clothes and made it 3 times after work this week

  5. Wore my pedometer and hit an average of 70,000 steps this week

Now it’s time to go celebrate your wins and believe in the journey! I am cheering you on and wishing  you enormous health and happiness in 2019! For continued motivation and inspiration please follow me at:

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Website: www.healthaccountabilitycoach.com