Blog Entries
Scale Anxiety
Category: Happy Eating
Tags: scale weight

 

I have become very obsessed with my weight. It's to the point where I avoid some social interactions around food. Vacations make me anxious and nutty.

Two years ago I leaned down to 135lbs at 5'10" and hold myself to that standard daily even though I'm a much healthier weight of 148-150lbs now. It was a weight I probably shouldn't have been. Now It freaks me out that nothing fits. I refuse to buy larger sizes because I'm hoping to get back into the smaller clothes....AHHHHH insanity.

Can you recommend a book that helps address some of these issues? I'm at my wits end and would very much like my life back.

If you find a book that addresses such issues, I could probably use a copy too! :-) Things started getting weird when my weight dropped into the 120s (at 5'8"). Once I saw those low numbers, I didn't want to see them go up again. "I weigh 128," I said. "I weigh 128."

Well, realistically, I weighed 128 for like a week and a half and it wasn't exactly comfortable to keep it that low day in day out. But when I started seeing 131, 132 instead of being all like "Weeee! I'm still tiny and fit!!" I went, MUST. NOT. GAIN. I started doing weird things like not drinking water at night, or running a few miles before I got on the scale. I know! Flashing red lights! Aarr! Aarr! Aarr! Danger! Danger!

The number fixation reminds me of that time I made it to work in seven minutes. Since then I tell myself, "I live seven minutes from work." Never mind that I'm always late when I cut it that close. Once my little brain latches onto a number it's like a parrot, "I live seven minutes from work. I weigh 128. Braaawk!!" Neither is totally true. And trying to live by those numbers will only result in scale anxiety and speeding tickets.

I don't remember who but somebody smart said to focus on behaviors, not outcomes. That way you're dealing with things you can control, not fairies and unicorns and scale numbers.

 

Am I:

Enjoying my workouts?

Getting enough sleep?

Eating mostly healthy whole foods?

Drinking plenty of water?

Watching my portions?

Having fun?

 

If I'm doing those things then that's all I need to do. Put the behaviors first. If you put the numbers first, then your behaviors will suck. They'll be a panicked reaction to the scale instead of a truly healthy lifestyle.

I've learned (and evidently needed a reminder!) that when I'm happy and balanced, my weight takes care of itself effortlessly. When I'm living for the numbers and trying to force a specific outcome, it creates all kinds of anxiety. The bad thing about an anxious food kook is the urge to medicate the feeling with MORE FOOD, creating even more anxiety, guilt and pressure to get it together.

Focus on who you want to be and how you want to feel. Your weight will land in an appropriate happy place.

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