I realized this morning that this it the first New Year in about 14 years that I have not had a weight loss goal as a goal for the year. Wow! 14 years of wasted energy directed at a fallacious goal. Each year I felt like I wasn't good enough, like I needed to work harder. And yet, each year I always had the same goal. If my goal had been truly to lose extra weight because I was overweight and concerned for my health, then why did I have to continue to make the same goal every year? Because losing weight and the number on the scale was about more than that to me. I realize now that it was all about control and it was a misplaced coping mechanism. I had it in my head all those years that I was not good enough and that if I just lost a little more weight then I would be happy with myself. Of course I can see clearer looking back and that would have never been the case. My end goal weight was constantly shifting lower and lower. It never really was about the weight loss and I can see that now. Listening to My Body
I used to be so tied to weighing myself on the bathroom scales too. I attempted many times to exercise with the goal of being healthier and stronger, but the scales would end up pulling me back down to obsessing about the weight instead. Now it is such a wonderful feeling to exercise every day because I want to do it for my health and not run to the scales for confirmation that I was doing a good job. Because I am not looking at the scales for affirmation, I am able to notice more how my body feels after exercising. I can notice the wonderful feeling that you get when the brain releases all those feel good endorphins after exercising. I can notice if a workout was the right effort, too much, or too little for that particular day. I feel more connected to my body and how it is responding to the exercising. Instead of sticking to a regimented exercise routine, I listen to my body each day and push it when it is ready to be pushed and slow down when it needs a rest.
The Old Ball and Chain
But as wonderful as this all is, I know the scales will probably always be a stumbling block for me. It was such a battle about 6 months ago to get rid of our scales. First, I asked my husband to take them away. Then I asked him to just hide them, not throw them away because I wanted to be able to weigh once a week. And for the first couple of days I was okay with that. But then the obsessing over not being able to weigh myself multiple times a day anymore took over and I resorted to searching all over the house for where he hid them. I finally found where he had hidden them outside the house and I used to wake up before him just so that I could sneak outside and weigh myself. I felt so ashamed of myself, but I couldn't stop. After a little while of this and after a particularly helpful therapy session, I was able to see that I needed to get rid of the scales once and for all. That night I came back from my session and told my husband that I had been sneakily weighing myself and that it was time to throw them away. Mercifully, that night was our garbage pickup night so I did not have a chance to go back and change my mind. If I had the chance, I most likely would have, regardless of how strong my resolve was at that moment. My tie to the scales was more powerful than my resolve. But that night I took the scales in my hands and walked out to the trashcan by the curb and threw the scales away. I realized in that moment just how powerful a hold they had over me because to throw the scales aways physically affected me by making my stomach hurt and my hands shake.
For several months after throwing the scales away, I struggled with not having a scale and even resorted to weighing myself when I was at someone else's house a few times. But by that point, it had lost its "magic". Previously I had very strict rules for myself about when and how I would weigh myself and sporadically weighing at someone else's house didn't hold the same appeal and power over me. Then one day I finally stopped caring about weighing myself. Although, I do have to be honest and admit that I still get oddly excited when I have to go to the doctor and I find myself hoping that they will weigh me. I know, kind of crazy, right? ;) It's okay, I can see it for what it is now. But because of how getting weighted by the doctor makes me feel, I know that it would be in my best interest to probably never have a scale in my house again.
Now here I am at my first New Year without a scale to prompt me to make my annual weight loss goal. And I have to say that it feels really good not to have that ball and chain tied to me anymore. This year I got to put my energy into the present and the future and into what I want to get out of my life in this coming year. I am really excited about the journey that I am on this year and I am so happy the weight loss obsession is not a part of that journey.