I didn’t have a suitable photo for this post so here’s a photo of me eating peanut butter and lifting weights, whilst laying on a kitchen bench – because why not? It’s totally realistic! (Please note: I am most definitely being sarcastic about that)
About three years ago I had an unhealthy relationship with my weight, training and of course, food. I was under 14% body fat, I stopped getting my periods, my hormones were thrown completely out of whack and my fatigue was absolutely insane. As was my severe anxiety. I lived a life of comparison. I compared myself to models on social media, to the other girls at my gym, to the girls my boyfriend at the time followed on Instagram. It was a toxic time for both my body and my mind. No matter how “fit” people thought I looked – I wasn’t healthy!
Then one day, I woke up, packed up my life in Sydney CBD and moved back to my parents acreage to get my head straight. It was at this time that I completely broke up with my scales. It wasn’t the kind of break up where you go back once more and try again. It was DONE. Completely over.
I didn’t “weigh in” every few days at the gym, nor was I aiming for a certain number on the scales by a certain date. I started enjoying my training, trying different things and training for me rather than for other people. The pressure I put on myself to be a certain weight in the hopes I would look a certain way was no longer there, nor was the strict calorie counting. I finally felt healthy again, both physically and mentally. My hormones balanced back out, my anxiety decreased and my family and friends started commenting that the “old me” was back again.
Watching my weight became addictive. I was no longer addicted and this in turn changed many other aspects of my life. It all came back to me once pregnant as it meant that I had to have regular “weigh ins” with my OB and after every appointment I would analyse how much weight I had put on and how much weight I was allowed to put on each week before I would reach my “ideal” pregnancy weight. This confirmed to me that I had made the right decision years ago.
Many people think that by not weighing yourself or keeping an eye on your weight, you will become unhealthy or stop focusing on your training/diet goals. This is not true. You can still be healthy and focused without knowing what number is on the scales. There are ways to measure your body composition (the amount of muscle you have and your body fat percentage) that are a lot more beneficial to your overall health and mental wellbeing.
Try it! You will notice that you start focusing on the bigger picture rather than the number that is your weight. It is very normal to plateau on the scales but have your strength and muscle mass improve, plus have your body fat percentage decrease. I would much rather be looking at this option than staring at a scale wondering why it’s just not moving.