Last week I shared a brief overview of intuitive eating. [Click here if you missed it.]
When you look over the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, did you catch what was missing?
…..There is no mention of weight loss.
How can that be?!
If this is good for health, shouldn’t it automatically include weight loss?
The concept of intuitive eating is not against weight loss. But it does ask you to put that wish on the back burner.
In fact, it’s recommended that you get rid of your scale.
Part of practicing the principles is learning to allow your body to determine your set point for weight. Some will go down, some will go up, and some will stay roughly the same.
We are less in control of the actual number than we think we are.
Think of how many people you know who are always working towards getting rid of those last 10 pounds.
Or how many times you’ve lost and regained the same 15 pounds.
Or when you get to that goal weight, how hard it is to keep at the same number.
Homeostasis refers to the functions in your body that keep everything in balance like temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, mineral balance… and weight.
Imagine it’s mid-July, the feels-like temperature is 105 degrees, and you’ve been outside working in your yard for an hour. Your body starts sweating to get your temperature back into balance. How likely is it that you can force your body to stop sweating?
That’s homeostasis in action. Your body will do everything it can to cool you off.
It works very similarly for weight.
Restriction creates a sense of famine and deprivation to the body. It will turn on mechanisms to protect itself, whether you want it to or not.
Easier said than done, but if you can start to move your thoughts about your weight to the back of your mind, it will give you a chance to focus on other aspects of your health, start making peace with your body, and let your body figure out where it needs to be weight-wise.
Hiding the scale
I ended up putting my scale in a very inconvenient spot of my storage room. This may sound silly to some, but it was really hard for me at first to hide it, let alone get rid of it completely. It had been part of my routine for decades.
It scared me to let go of weighing. I was afraid it would mean a loss of control.
“What if I gain weight uncontrollably?” “How can I know how I’m doing if I don’t see a number?”
It has now been months since I’ve stepped on a scale. It occasionally crosses my mind and I did weigh once since then – I’ll tell you about that interesting experience sometime in the future.
But really I don’t miss the scale one bit. I love not having my day dictated by a number. And I really can tell how I’m doing, without that number.
I’m curious – what about you?
Do you weigh or not weigh?
If so, how often? How does it make you feel when you do weigh? What would you think about letting your scale go?
If you don’t weigh yourself, how has that been for you? Have you never or did something happen to prompt you to stop? Have you learned other ways to gauge how you feel in your body?
Your ability to hear your body’s messages is much clearer when you stop stepping on the scale.
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