The Scale and Body Image
I had a free mini-coaching call with someone yesterday who is looking for a coach to help her transition from divorced, single mom life, to commit to another marriage. She is having some trust issues with her boyfriend, for no other reason than because of her bad first marriage experience. She wants to know how to deal with her ex-husband moving forward and, among other goals, she also wants to lose weight. That weight loss desire prompted me to write this post today.
As I have been focusing on body image over here at Heather Rackham Coaching this month, I figured this was a great time to address weight as it pertains to body image.
Body image. What is it?
We often think it is the way we see and react to our bodies when we look in a mirror.
Body image almost seems to be the experience of looking at our bodies from an outsider’s perspective (thinking about what everyone else is thinking about you).
We think that having a positive body image means loving ourselves, regardless of what we see when we look in the mirror.
But I want you to know that just deciding that you love yourself, no matter how you look, is still thinking about your body as an object that is made to be looked at.
“Loving your body isn’t thinking that your body looks good. It is knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.” [Lindsey Kite at beautyredefined.org]
I want everyone to look in the mirror and love what they see because of what they know their body has done and what it will do. It is amazing just because you exist…not because of how it looks.
In my blog post last week, I talked about a client who wanted to reach a certain goal weight. I know that seems counter-intuitive to what I am saying here, but I promise it isn’t.
Some might say, trying to weigh a certain number is just buying into the cultural beliefs that we should look a certain way. I say it isn’t. I say that the scale is one of the best indicators of your body image.
If you step on a scale and you are upset by what you see, then you are the one buying into the thin culture beliefs.
I want my clients to be able to step on a scale and not have any reaction. I want them to see the number on the scale and just think, “I have an amazing, capable body.
Many people say:
“Just get rid of the scale.”
“Don’t even weigh yourself because what you weigh doesn’t matter.”
“There are better health indicators then weight.”
I agree there are way better indicators of health than weight. But to me, saying you’re just going to throw away the scale is the same as saying “I’m not going to weigh myself because I am scared of what it will say.”
Most of us think the scale is not our friend. I say it is one of your best friends in learning to have a positive body image and knowing your body is good.
Step on that scale. See what it says and pay close attention to the chatter in your head.
What is it saying? Then you will know what work you have to do to love you.
The goal is to know that you are good and whole and complete, regardless of the number on the scale.
Most of us don’t like what the scale says. That means that most of us have some work to do. And it isn’t easy to unwind all the beliefs we have accumulated over the years about what a body should look like.
I want you to know that it is completely possible to step on a scale and feel completely neutral about what it says. I know how to get you there.
It starts with one tiny thought. It starts with seeing your body as a very neutral circumstance. It is not good or bad. It is a body.
A body that can’t make you feel good or bad until you think something about it.
To start feeling neutral about your body you need to stop shaming yourself when you get on the scale or look in the mirror. You have to redirect your thoughts to something true and something that you believe.
People think they should look in the mirror say, “I love my body” over and over. But your brain is smart. It will call BS on that thought all day long because it doesn’t believe that you love your body.
You must start with something that you believe.
“I have a body” is usually a really good place to start. You do have a body. That is a belief you can believe.
You say that phrase, over and over until you can say, “I have a body” without any negativity coming up.
Once you can do that, then it is time to move to a different belief about your body. You slowly change those thoughts, always with a thought that you believe, until you can honestly say that you love your body, not because of how it looks, but because it is so good!
I want to help you get rid of all that chatter in your brain that says your body isn’t good enough. It is a battle in the head that is real! But you can win this battle. Schedule a free mini-coaching call with me. I can help you silence all the negative body talk.