Is Focusing On A Number On The Scale The Solution?

27 January 2017 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Non-Diet Approach

The last 2 weeks have been really busy with introductory sessions and I have met incredibly courageous women wanting to heal their relationship with food and their bodies.

Most of the people I have seen want to learn to stop overeating and to accept their bodies. Many want to lose weight too, so many of us have been conditioned to aspire to a thin ideal.

It’s also that time of year when magazines are selling promises of fast weight loss, gyms are full and personal trainers are booked up. Let me be clear, I am not against gyms, personal trainers or weight loss. I am questioning the mind-set. Why do you want to lose weight? Your weight has nothing to do with your worth. You are worthy of anything you want and your weight has nothing to do with it.

Here’s the problem with focusing on weight loss. When we desperately want to be thinner and the primary goal is to lose weight, it is difficult, if not impossible to make peace with food and eating. Why? Because when the number on the scale is not shifting or your body is not shrinking, you immediately start thinking of making adjustments to your food. Perhaps cut out more carbs, eat paleo or fast for 16 hours, in other words, restriction, elimination and food judgement (read more about why this doesn’t work here). The result is very often a backlash and we end up overeating the foods we restrict.

So what is the alternative? Instead of focusing on weight loss, how about looking at changing your relationship with food? Focus instead on behavioural changes like addressing mindless eating, finding strategies for emotional eating triggers and practicing other ways to soothe ourselves, without using food. This is the real work. This is where you get lasting change.

These are the questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • Why do we eat more than we need?
  • Why do we eat when we are not hungry?
  • How does overeating or food restriction serve us?
  • Why do we choose certain foods over others?
  • How does your body feel when you overeat?
  • How does your body feel when you eat till you are satisfied and not full?
  • Do you like how your body feels when you overeat? If no, why? If yes, why?

And an even bigger question to ask is:

IF YOU WERE NOT CONSTANTLY AT WAR WITH YOUR BODY AND OBSESSING ABOUT WHAT FOOD TO EAT…

  • WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
  • WHAT WOULD YOU BE THINKING?
  • WHAT WOULD YOU BE CREATING?
  • WHERE WOULD YOU INVEST YOUR ENERGY?

When we are focused on losing weight, all we think about is the scale and getting to our goal weight, (which in most cases is unrealistic!), we don’t examine our thoughts, beliefs, patterns and habits around food.

Let me not kid you, changing your relationship with food is not easy work. It is hard, it causes discomfort and vulnerability and requires courage.  But, the benefits are great…

  • Increased awareness
  • Reduced binge eating
  • Freedom from the food struggle
  • Body acceptance
  • Eating and living more consciously
  • Food becomes one of the many sources of joy in our lives not the primary source of pleasure in our lives
  • And more…..

Changing our relationship with food and our bodies is not about restriction, deprivation, control and willpower. It is not about doing things perfectly and linearly, rather it’s more about setting the intention to change and committing to baby steps – not giant leaps – towards that change. Sometimes it’s 3 steps forward and 2 steps back and another 2 steps sideways, like a salsa dance, but as long as you keep moving, over time you will see, that you have undergone a transformation.

May you be well.
May you be free from food suffering.
May you be at peace with your body.

Xen

Tired of overeating and feeling out of control around food? Dieting and restriction hasn’t worked for you? Do you want to find peace and freedom around food? Book a free Online Intro Session with me or join my “Food Freedom” 8 Week Programme (available in Jo’burg & Pretoria).

You can also sign up for my free Mindful Eating “Slightly Different” Advent Calendar to enjoy over the festive season.

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Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro