I've struggled all my life with my weight. I was always the heavy one in my family. So much so that my mom put me on a diet when I was 9 years old. Being put on a diet so young started my distorted relationship with food.
I learned that if I wasn't on a diet, I would not be able to look skinny and acceptable to my peers. I learned the awful habit of labeling food good or bad. I learned what to avoid eating when people were looking for fear they would think "why is that fat girl eating that?"
The whole situation made me feel awful and I have body image issues even now! When I felt like I couldn't stay on a diet, I simply overate. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, eating healthy and exercising was not a focus. The only exercise I got was in gym class at school.
The dieting cycle would continue for most of my adult life. However, about 13 years ago, I decided to make a change. I joined a gym! I had no idea what I should be doing at the gym, but I did it. I use the elliptical machine, StairMaster, started taking spin classes and yoga classes. It definitely helped me get healthier physically but the weight didn't come off really fast.
I had to start looking at my diet. I used to eat meat, chicken, pork, fish and eggs all the time. I did not plan meals, such as lunch, to take to the office. Instead I ate cafeteria food or went out for lunch. Definitely not healthy choices.
I started reading about how eating meat, chicken, pork, fish and eggs all the time isn't good for our bodies. I knew at the time I could not follow a vegan lifestyle (I like seafood too much) but I learned about eating more vegetables and whole grains.
Little did I know, I was starting a journey that would help me significantly reduce how much meat I ate and would allow me to never step on a scale again. What eating style did I start following? Plant based.
WHAT IS PLANT BASED?
Eating plant based is the perfect balance for me. Four days a week, I don't eat any meat, chicken, pork, eggs or seafood. The remaining three days, I'll eat chicken or fish or whatever. What a difference eating plant based made for me!
Eating plant based is a very flexible way to eat. You can decide how many days you want to reduce how much meat, chicken, pork, seafood and eggs you eat. It can be one day or seven days! It can be just lunch or it can be just dinner. The lifestyle is totally up to you to define how you want to eat. If you would like to learn how simple it is to go plant based, read this blog post I wrote: Plant Based For Beginners Made Simple And Easy.
As I reduce how much meat I was eating, I started noticing I had more energy. Plus, the weight I was trying to lose was definitely coming off faster. I also learned during a routine doctor's visit that my cholesterol had dropped by 10 points, even though it wasn't high. I was so happy with the results, I've continued the lifestyle and now can't even remember when I wasn't plant based.
DITCH THE SCALE
One of the biggest benefits of eating plant based for me is the ability to maintain my weight without stepping onto a scale.
Before I ate plant based, I would weigh myself constantly. I would feel bad when the scale jumped up a couple of pounds and then really happy when it went back down. What I didn't realize is that our body's weight fluctuates. If I was bloated or gassy or hadn't had a bowel movement in a couple of days, the scale would go up!
It was very frustrating! But now, I only get on a scale when I am at a doctor's office and they ask me too. It feels like I cut loose a ball and chain that has been dragging me down my whole life.
But how do you make sure you weight is maintaining without stepping on a scale? The key is to listen to your body. Our bodies are very smart. If we listen to them, they will tell us exactly what we need to know. This is true when it comes to managing our health and managing our weight.
When I tell people I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, they first thing they want to do is ask me to help them lose weight. I often tell people, losing weight should not be their health goal. You may be shocked to here that! Especially when the amount of adults in America who are obese is 42%. (Source: CDC)
Obesity is a major health concern but it is often the symptom that something else is wrong. Sure, eating the standard American diet of processed and fast food doesn't help. However, when we listen to our bodies, they will tell us what is wrong. Losing weight without getting to the root cause of why we gained weight will result in gaining the weight back if we are successful in losing it.
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering so you can get back to living.
I offer a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Spend quality time with your children
✅Stop being bloated and gassy
✅Full of energy
✅Sleep throughout the night
✅Move your body
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
THREE TIPS TO DITCH THE SCALE
Learning how to ditch the scale can be hard. Especially in the beginning. Let's face it, we are creatures of habit and routine. We learned how to use the scale and now we have to unlearn it. Here are 3 tips that helped me ditch the scale and never look back.
TIP #1: IDENTIFY WHEN YOU ARE TRULY HUNGRY
This is a big one! When you eat something, you may not be hungry. For example, I've never been a person who could wake up in the morning and eat breakfast right away. Yet, that was my lifestyle! I had been raised that as soon as you wake up, you must eat something. So breakfast would be eaten regardless if I was hungry or not!
As I've started listening to my body, I've realized I do not have to eat when I wake up just because I've been told I have to. Instead, it takes my body a couple of hours to be hungry. If I know I am going to be somewhere that won't allow me to eat breakfast, I make sure to carry protein bars or fruit and nuts so I have something to eat when I am ready.
Having trouble figuring out when you are hungry? Try this when you are are about to eat something. Stop and ask yourself "am I hungry?" If you aren't sure, drink a glass of water. If you feel like you can't eat something after drinking the water, you are not hungry. Nine times out of ten, we are really thirsty not hungry when we turn to food.
TIP #2: NOTICE HOW YOUR CLOTHES FEEL
If you are trying to lose weight, you will know you are achieving your goal if your clothes become looser or fit better. The reason this is important is because if you are weighing yourself often, but not seeing results on the scale, it creates negative thoughts. But if you stay away from the scale, exercise and eat healthy, your clothes will start to feel different.
This will also help you identify patterns of when you are naturally bloated. Bloating happens, we can't avoid it. Whether it is driven by foods you've eaten or hormone changes, you will have days when your clothes do not feel like they normally feel. By staying off the scale, you will notice this as a natural part of life and it will be easier to figure out why it is happening.
TIP#3: ACCEPT YOUR BODY
Unfortunately, we are bombarded with images of how our bodies are "supposed" to look versus seeing real-life images of real bodies. I think we are slowly seeing changes in the media where a variety of body shapes and sizes are becoming more acceptable. Unfortunately, the thin body as being ideal is still out there. Just like my childhood taught me that my body was not acceptable, I had to learn how to change those negative thoughts. I bet there are a lot of you reading this right now that can relate.
Don't get me wrong, accepting your body is not easy to do. There are still times I look in the mirror and think negative thoughts about my body. There are other times I can look in the mirror and compliment myself. Learning to accept your body doesn't mean you can stop exercising or eating healthy. It simply means that striving to be something you cannot be has to be stopped.
Yoga has really helped me accept my body. During yoga practice, there will be people in class who can move from pose to pose effortlessly or get into really difficult poses. I may never be able to do the difficult poses but it doesn't stop me from trying. The yoga teachers discuss during class that not every body is made to get into all the poses. That is why modifications are important. When we modify a pose to fit our body, everyone can participate in class to the best of their ability.
I hope this post encourages you to stop stepping on the scale and to start listening to your body. It isn't easy but I promise you, it will be worth it. It takes 21 days to make a new habit regardless if it is a good habit or bad habit. Taking small actionable steps to help you ditch the scale will help you be successful.
Do you think you will stop stepping on the scale? Let me know by leaving a comment below.