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

✨ Do you want to let go of old patterns with food and find peace? Book a free 30-minute coaching mini-session.

✨ Bookings are open for the next Food Freedom Group programme.

✨ Find out more about what my clients say about our work together.

“From our first meeting - two faces on Zoom across the world from each other, there was a sense of familiarity and comfort that was a healing balm for a lifetime of food struggles and dieting. Without realizing how much damage I had done to myself by adhering, for decades, to restrictive food plans and rigid diet programs, Xen had a way of redirecting the harsh and negative self-talk and sending me forth each week with compassion, mindfulness and a new way of seeing myself in the here and now. Gone are the maybe somedays, and if-only, and when-I’m-smaller thinking. Now I am committed to the imperfect and rocky path to listening to my body, accepting my perfect imperfections, and rejecting diet mentality. Those negative voices will revisit me from time to time, I know, but Xen has offered valuable tools for meeting each day as a fresh start - another choice, another chance. Her devotion to this work and her belief in her clients is a remarkable gift; I am so fortunate to have found her. It is never too late to let go of the drama and embrace joy, ease and self-acceptance.”

Karen, Colorado, USA

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating