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You Are So Much More than Your Weight: It's time to ditch the scale!

How many times have you heard someone else or yourself say, “If I could just lose 10/20/30 lbs", or “My goal weight is 150lbs”? I know with my job, I hear it almost every day. Whenever I do hear it, I try to explain how the number on the scale is only one component of health and it should not be the sole focus. Why do we have such an obsession with weight when it alone rarely is an indicator of how healthy or fit we are? Weight honestly doesn't even tell us much about how our body looks. You could weigh 180lbs and be muscular and fit or you can be 180 lbs and be mostly composed of fat. Each of those will have dramatically different appearances.

Below I describe two different scenarios, do either of them resonate with you?

1) There is a month to go before your high school reunion/wedding/swimsuit season and all the weeks of celery and early morning workouts flash before your eyes as you promptly remove every possible article of clothing, jewelry, contact lenses that could result in a higher number on the scale. You are so excited because you have been busting your butt to wow everyone, including yourself. You smile with confidence as you gingerly place one foot on the scale, then the next. Your eyes are closed because you want to savor this anticipation just a little longer before all your hard work is validated. You open your eyes and blink with disbelief hoping that the next time you open them, you see different numbers. The scale laughs at all your effort and tells you it was all a waste of time because you have only lost 3 lbs out of the 20 you were working towards.

Rarely is that a motivating scenario. If you have already been working hard and don't see the results you want on the scale then really what is the point? All of a sudden you ditch the early morning workouts and whip out the cookie dough that you hid in the back of the fridge 2 months ago, because clearly eating it or not eating it gets you to the same result, overweight.

2) Let's look at a different scenario: same 20lb weight loss goal, same workout/food regimen, but no major event you are working towards. This time instead of seeing only a 3 lb weight loss you actually see a 25 lbs weight loss. You are ecstatic. You've hit your goal, your weight loss challenge is over. You decide to ease up a little off of those really hard workouts. Maybe you also decide you don't have to be as stringent with your food because clearly you are a weight loss champ. You weigh yourself again in a week and surprisingly you have actually put on 5 lbs. 5LBS!! How is that even possible, it's only been a week?

You think forget it! I can't keep up the demanding workout and food restriction I did to get me to my goal weight for my entire life so I give up. That is until the next time you want to lose weight, where you will go through this entire process all over again.

So, we know what a scale can tell us, weight. That's it.

What can't a scale tell us?

● How you are feeling physically and emotionally

● How your clothes are fitting

● All the shifts in your internal landscape (cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, gut health, inflammation)

● How much energy you have

● How well you are sleeping

● How much muscle you are building

● How much fat you are losing

● How much stronger you are

● How much your self-esteem has increased

● How hydrated you are

and so on...

I understand the need to track your progress as you work towards your goal of weight loss. We all need defined goals to focus our efforts, but when weight loss is your only goal, we end up in a yo-yo dieting and weight gain/loss cycle. You work hard, lose the weight, then slowly put it back on over time, leading you to diet and exercise again, losing the weight etc. and this cycle goes on and on. Break the cycle. I challenge you to change your mind set. Instead of weight loss being your goal, open your mind to a goal of living a healthy lifestyle. I know "living a healthy lifestyle" seems vague and lacks clear definition, but that is where you come in. Figure out where in your life you could be healthier and then set very definable, very measurable goals to achieve health in that arena. It could be as simple as making sure you drink more water; you only eat out once a week; you try to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, etc. Inevitably, setting your sights on the more encompassing goal that is health will result in more profound life lasting changes than just losing 20lbs ever could. Find some healthy habits that you are comfortable with and make those your goals, your body WILL change for the better. You will have more confidence and your self-worth will no longer be tied to some arbitrary number on a scale that fluctuates from one hour to the next depending on how much water you are retaining.

Let me know if you have any difficulty creating goals for yourself, I can help you with that. Also, keep an eye out because in the next couple months I will be introducing an exciting opportunity for those of you who want to challenge yourself to be healthier.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Center for Chiropractic & Wellness   |   8300 Health Park, Suite 133 Raleigh, NC 27615    |    Phone: (919)845-3280    |   Fax: (919)845-3276