Weight loss journey update – I am struggling with the scale and self-sabotage.
I think weighing myself is not a good concrete way to track weight loss progress (and thinking about it now, I’m not looking to lose a lot of weight – just feel healthy and have my thighs rub together a little less than they do now). BUT, when I start to lose some pounds I internally freak out and self-sabotage. I’ll lose one week, then gain the next for no other reason than thinking I cannot keep the pounds off (and obviously overindulging in food at the same time). What the heck?!
My internal struggle doesn’t make sense to me, but here I am and I am super frustrated. Why do I panic when I lose weight, like I cannot possibly keep the weight off? I obviously lost the pounds on my own the week before, what has changed? I honestly do not look at food as good or bad, it’s just food. It’s there to nourish my body and I love making a meal a celebration. Still, I do not like the self-judgement and loathing following a gain when I step on the scale. Is the solution just NOT getting on the scale? If I didn’t weigh myself, I would be totally fine because when I look in the mirror I really love what I see!
This is crazy making!
I am actually quite happy with my body and size. When I stand in front of the mirror in my birthday suit I feel a great sense of gratitude for all my body has done for me, especially in the past 4 years… creating and nurturing three babies to full term. I look at my nude form and think, “You got it girl, and you’re still hot.” Proof of this is when I get cat called walking down the street (weirdly flattering). And yet, I get really hung up on the number on the scale. Shouldn’t I just focus on being happy and not think about the scale?
A few pounds is not going to make or break my life happiness, but this is something I struggle with and weight has been a theme my entire life. I would like to move past it. I feel very healthy and good in my body, but I cannot get over the fact I self-sabotage any time I lose some pounds. I want to be able to keep the pounds I lost off without thinking, “Oh my gosh, I did it! Now there’s no possible way I can keep doing it or keep it off.”
What I want to figure out is how to change the conversation in my head.
So, when at a loss of figuring something out on my own – I go to the experts which includes people in my life who know me really well and regularly counsel me. For this, I reached out to three friends who know about healthy living, both mentally and physically.
One friend sent me a work sheet on automatic thoughts, which I found to be incredibly helpful because ultimately, I would like to change the conversation in my head. I want to be able to live my life without thinking about the number on the scale, and instead focus on doing things to feel good and healthy. I love physically moving my body and it’s such a fantastic stress reliever for me. This is challenging with three little kids at home, but I can carve out time to get some activity in, like after they are in bed, or waking up early to get some movement in before they wake up (my kids are really good sleepers). I feel so much better after working through my mental road block and relieving myself of the weekly weigh-in anguish.
Questions to challenge my negative thoughts:
What is the negative thought?
I cannot sustain weight loss on my own. I am sabotaging myself.
What is the evidence this thought is TRUE?
I fluctuate up and down weekly, if I lose one week, I gain the next. Two weeks in a row of losing does not happen.
What is the evidence this thought is NOT TRUE?
Have I confused a thought with a fact?
Am I 100% sure _[gaining weight]_will happen?
How many times has _[gaining weight]_ happened before?
What would I tell a friend if she or he had the same thought? What is the worst that could happen? If it did happen, what could I do to cope with or handle it?
If a friend came to me, I would say don’t focus on the scale. It is always going to fluctuate. Focus on how you feel in your clothes and take action to do what you love and have more control over, like counting steps with a pedometer and taking walks/bike rides. The number on the scale does not define your success. Worst that could happen is I gain a little and I just focus on feeling good, being healthy and eating when I’m actually hungry. To cope, I would pay attention to what’s really important in my life, my family.
Now create a different thought. This thought should be more balanced and should take into account some of the information from the questions above.
I may gain a little weight and go up and down a few pounds on the scale, but my overall goal of being healthy is not impacted by a few pounds.