I just read this really interesting article over at Yahoo, and I wanted to share it with you. Hope it helps you think about how you are approaching your weight loss like it has me!
Stay Off the Scale
Posted by Debbie Rocker
on Thu, Aug 02, 2007, 5:36 pm PDT
A watched pot…or get off the scale?
Is this you, or do you know someone, who cannot lose weight even though they seem to be doing everything right?
Imagine going from not exercising at all to exercising four or five times a week, and from eating a high calorie junk food diet to eating a really clean and reduced calorie diet, and still not losing any significant weight – bummer - right? And not uncommon, I see this a lot.
In my opinion, it’s just one more obvious incident of mind over body, self-sabotage, and justification for working on mental fitness as well as physical fitness.
A conversation with one of my students/clients highlights my point exactly; she said to me, “ever since we have been working out together my diet is good, I am drinking a lot of water, my clothes fit looser, and I am happier… until I get on the scale - and I see that almost nothing, number-wise, has changed”
She gets on the scale, she gets disappointed, and what happens next is all too predictable: she sabotages her progress, and her happiness.
She dives into work, stops exercising and watching her diet, and watching the scale. After a week or so people started commenting on how good she looks, and they ask her what she’s doing to lose weight.
When she does get on the scale again, now a week off of her ‘fitness program’ (and her obsession with the scale), and four weeks after we started training together, she sees that she has in fact lost a chunk of weight.
Her body has been allowed, without the negative mental interference of obsessing about the numbers on the scale, to function naturally and drop weight, as anyone’s body eventually will when caloric intake is reduced and caloric expenditure is increased.
As soon as she took her mind off of the problem, which she saw as, “the numbers on the scale aren’t moving fast enough,” her body responded to the healthy actions she had been taking.
This is the dieter’s version of: a watched pot never boils. When we watch the pot we are typically focusing on how long it’s taking and its lack of progress. For most of us, the act of ‘watching the pot’ is an indication of impatience, and lack of trust, which quickly turns into, “this isn’t working and, I quit!”
We create (or contribute to) an ongoing cycle of failure.
What we need for success is a positive outlook with optimistic expectation, but it’s hard to do after years of failed diet and fitness attempts.
You can however, undo the negative self-fulfilling prophecy through positive affirmations and greater awareness. Affirmations will recondition your thinking, and a heightened awareness will allow you to not take actions that sabotage your progress.
Stay off the scale; you only have control over the actions that you take, not how quickly the results come. And unless you are from another planet, it’s unlikely that, on a physical level, your body is much different from everyone else’s. It will respond positively to increasing your exercise and reducing your caloric intake if you just trust, give it time, and stop sabotaging yourself.
Peace and Happy Trails to you,