• How To Instantly Love Yourself More

    How To Instantly Love Yourself More | stupideasypaleo.com

    How To Instantly Love Yourself More In 3 Simple Steps

    1) Walk into your bathroom.

    2) Bend down and pick up your scale.

    3) Proceed to the nearest trash bin, and chuck it in.

    I’m not joking.

    Throwing my bathroom scale away was one of the single best things I’ve ever done for my health and my self-esteem, and it’s my honest belief that you should do the same.

    How It Started

    Growing up, I’d always been some variation of chubby, chunky or “big-boned”—quite possibly the worst euphemism ever invented. Naturally, when I was about 14, I decided I should be 125 pounds for the rest of my life. Totally reasonable. (Not.) And so began 15 years or so of obsession about my weight. I look back at pictures of myself then and there were plenty that show a normal-sized me, but I only remember fixating on the fact that the scale didn’t read 125. Ever. Sickening as it may sound, I let the scale dictate how I felt about myself for a long time.

    Then, I found Paleo four years ago, and while I was eating healthier than I ever had, I continued to fixate on the scale. My daily routine was down pat: Wake up, don’t drink anything, use the bathroom (#1 and #2), and only then was it okay to weigh myself. You can only imagine how dismayed I was when my weight actually started going up.

    The Tipping Point

    And then, I had enough. I realized I felt healthier than I had in years even though I weighed more.

    My energy was stable all day long. My moods were nowhere near as volatile. My skin cleared up. I was stronger than ever. I enjoyed eating such nutritious food and for the first time in my life, wasn’t focused on calories. And, I was performing well as an athlete.

    What the hell was I so bothered about? So what if I weighed more? I got so fed up with how much time and mental energy I’d wasted on chasing some arbitrary number on the scale, and I was ignoring all the signs of how much healthier I actually was. Would I actually be happier if I got down to that number I set for myself when I was 14? Could I get there and still be as healthy? I decided the answer to both was “no.”

    So in 2011, I threw my bathroom scale away. Forever.

    And Then, I Gained

    When I tossed out my scale, I continued to gain.

    I gained a love of self that I’d never had before because for the first time, I wasn’t using my weight to measure my self-worth.

    I gained more mental energy to devote to the things that really mattered, like helping other people and being a better friend.

    I gained confidence in myself, that I had more to celebrate about my life than achieving a number on a scale. (Because, even if I got to 125, would I be happier or healthier?!)

    But, Isn’t Weight an Important Indicator of Health?

    Yes and no.

    Carrying an excess of body fat and not having much lean muscle mass—generally termed poor body composition—is obviously not ideal for health. Chances are, if you’re reading this and you’re at an unhealthy weight, you’re acutely aware of it, even if you haven’t set foot on a scale. How your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror, blood markers of disease and how you feel both physically and mentally are all very powerful indicators of health other than bodyweight.

    Said another way, it’s possible to be thin and unhealthy, so bodyweight isn’t the only way to tell if something’s gone wrong.

    Perhaps the “ideal” weight you’re pursuing was given to you by someone else—such as a doctor, from a BMI chart or even chosen by you at a time in your life when you weren’t actually ideally healthy. (I wasn’t done with puberty yet when I chose 125 pounds so of course I was going to get bigger and heavier. It sounds so irrational now, looking back.) How productive is it to fixate on weight then, ignoring the other signs?

    When I went Paleo, ate more nutritious food and started weight training, I lost fat while increasing muscle mass. Simply put, I got heavier even though I was a bit leaner. Bodyweight can be a deceiving thing.

    My Challenge To You

    If weighing yourself makes you apprehensive, causes you stress or enables you to fixate or obsess, that psychological stress is subtracting from your health.

    Take a long, hard look at whether weighing yourself is adding to or detracting from your quality of life. Your worth as a person is not quantifiable by numbers on a scale: It can’t measure your kindness or how much you enrich the lives of others. It can’t tell how funny, intelligent or talented you are. It can’t tell you how good a person you are. It can’t show how much you are loved.

    All the scale dispays is how much your mass is affected by the force we call gravity. End of story.

    My challenge to you is to get rid of your scale completely, right now. Focus on other ways to measure your health. (Here’s a fantastic list of what to look for from Whole9.) Be kinder and more accepting of yourself and your unique gifts, because you’re pretty freaking awesome, imperfections and all.

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    How To Instantly Love Yourself More | stupideasypaleo.com

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    Have you ditched your scale? What happened as a result? Leave a comment below!

    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    32 thoughts on “How To Instantly Love Yourself More

    1. Best post yet!! I went through a phase where I weighed myself everyday and then I stopped and you know what- my weight didn’t change but my self-esteem did!

    2. This post is so freaking awesome, I just love you. I feel this exact same way and it breaks my heart to see loved ones continue to fixate on getting that number down. Hoping this message continues to sink in for people, thanks for sharing your story. ❤️

    3. Love, love, love. After years of fighting anorexia and overexercise, getting rid of my scale was the best thing I ever did. I can now even walk past the ones in the locker room at the gym without giving them a second look. I am healthy, I eat nutritious food, I am building muscle, and my moods aren’t dictated by a stupid number. We are more than what a machine tells us we are! You put this perfectly! Can’t wait to share!

    4. Great post Steph! Right on target. I think most of us have an ideal number in mind and should question where and from when we came to believe that we needed to be that certain number on the scale. Too much focus is placed on this number. Love the challenge part and measuring our worth as a person and not a number.

    5. I finished my Whole30 about 2 weeks ago. Even during that month I was still (in my head) obsessing over how much I’ll lose during it. I have focused on that stupid machine for too long! I’m going to throw it out right now! Thank you!

    6. I ditched my scale two years back. Best. Thing. Ever. How do I know how I’m doing physically? Well, I continue to PR my lifts and feel energetic . No longer does an arbitrary number define my self worth. My weight hasn’t probably changed much( I don’t know what I weigh. Even at the doctors office they have instructions not to tell me what the scale says.). But I do know that in eating paleo, my lab numbers have significantly improved and my muscle mass has gone up and I’m no longer struggling with metabolic issues. A number on a scale could not have told me any of that.

    7. I can’t say it enough, love. YOU are a wonderful person. I don’t use the scale. I really hate it. It messes with my mind, so I definitely go by how I feel, function, etc. Great post. You’re soooooo amazing

    8. I must admit when I accidentally broke my scales I was bummed (somehow got water on the display and it short circuited it), but it ended up being a blessing in disguise.
      I don’t need the number on the scale to tell me how awesome I am. It doesn’t define me.
      Besides my clothes tell me a different story.

    9. Okaaay I am going to be the odd one out here, but I have actually found my scale to be beneficial on many occasions. I cut out my scale for a year and naturally found it to have many awesome consequences. But I also have struggled with body dismorphia for six years and can wake up one day thinking/feeling that I have gained five pounds over night. I have found that being able to weigh myself and see that I have not gained a single ounce has helped me to realize that these are lies and work towards silencing them once and for all. I think there is a balance. It has helped me, but if it gets to the point where I cant go with out using it then I know that it has become an obsession. But everyone is different, what works for one doesn’t for another 🙂

    10. Dear Steph,

      I LOVE you for this post. Since I did my first whole30 around this time last year, I’ve also ditched my scale and have been SO much happier because of it! I’m still in my early 20’s and I’ve had “scale issues” for YEARS already, since I was a little bit chubby in elementary and middle school. Now, I don’t need the scale at all to tell me if I’m “healthy” or not. If I feel strong, I feel good. If my clothes don’t fit right, I’ll eat a little cleaner. Simple as that. One thing I love about the crossfit community is a lot of women are finally realizing that they would rather be strong and look strong than have a thigh gap and be obsessed by the number of 100-calorie packs of cookies or string cheese they are consuming. Trying to pass on the good word to all my friends and family, who haven’t come to this realization yet. Thanks again 🙂

    11. “Proceed to the nearest trash bin, and chuck it in.”

      No, no, no! Put it in the garage as you’re going to need it when weighing the sand for your sandbag training, as I did a couple of weeks ago!

      Actually, thinking about it a bit more, I also found them quite useful when trying out the use of creatine in my training to get an idea of water gain and loss (from what I can tell; 1-2kg worth at one point).

      Of course I get your point though. The concept of “weight loss” has never made much sense to me, unless you’re being shipped somewhere or have some kind of weight requirement for sport, etc, what difference does a number on some scales make? Look in the mirror, happy? Sorted. Pull on your pants; do they fit nicely? Sorted.

    12. I have been struggling with this for awhile now, I started struggling with diabetes 20 years ago, I lost weight exercised and kept my blood sugar under control, then I hit a wall, started gaining weight and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t lose and the harder I tried the worse “everything” about my health got pppffftt 😛
      finally I realized I was just burned out ….I am obese, there is no question about it and I have alot of work to do and MANY hurdles to over come, all I can say is I am trying (Paleo is part of it) but I have to admit sometimes it all feels just overwhelming 🙁

      1. Enjoy the freedom, Elizabeth! It take a lot to convince folks sometimes but the results are often incredible. Keep up all your great work!

    13. This is perfect timing! I have struggled with eating disorders, which is why I started paleo — to gain healthy control over my eating. However, I still was weighing myself at least 10 times a day. TEN TIMES! I finally made this post to Instagram (http://instagram.com/p/ouEYp7EPnx/) committing to breaking up with my scale. I’ve been going strong for five days, and although that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s astronomical to me. I absolutely love this post of yours, thank you for writing this!

      1. Rachel, I absolutely applaud your courage. You have made a massive change. Congratulations to you on your progress and keep going strong!

    14. Thank you for this! I am about 25 lbs overweight (no, really I am, I have rolls and a tummy that, well it has an unhealthy hang to it). I don’t obsess about my weight by weighing every day. I only weigh about once every week or two. I have been paleo for a little over a year, but wasn’t feeling optimal so I started the Whole 30 on April 1st. I have continued until June 1st when my younger daughter and I had a baby shower for my older daughter. (There were just so many organic gluten free cupcakes and rice crispy treats left! Needless to say, I feel awful and am ready to Whole 30 on!) Within the first week of my Whole 30, my pants fit better and my upper tummy flattened out a bit. I had tons of energy and I just felt healthy for the first time in years. It was miraculous! I weighed myself out of curiosity and I had lost 2 lbs. 2 weeks later I weighed and I was back up. Sigh… 60 days into it and I still bounce around between those 2 lbs. I read several Whole 30 results from people who lost between 6 and 15 lbs. I wondered what was wrong with me. It is good to hear that you don’t necessarily have to lose “weigh” to be doing better. I started the Whole 30 because I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. And I have those 25lbs to lose. I feel amazing on the program, so I will continue. Thank you again for the encouragement!

    15. This is exactly what I needed to read. I’m starting the Whole 30 and I keep asking myself it will help change my body image. My scale…my stupid scale. I stand on it every day…sometimes twice a day expecting to see a miracle. It serves two purposes: making me feel good, and making me feel bad. Guess which it succeeds more at? I can’t wait to go home and throw it away!

    16. I have a scale which, for me, is like a spider in the corner that I avoid at all costs. If only they wouldn’t weigh you at the doctors office! I start to do all the unhealthy things again when I know that’s coming. Wear light clothing, don’t eat before going, etc.. And I’m very muscular and athletic. Yet I hear the number and feel crappy. I still have work to do with the mental part of this :/

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