In case you were wondering, Edible Arrangements didn’t run any super spectacular Cyber Monday deals.
I know this because I checked. To send one to myself.
Anyway, I would happily bet you an Edible Arrangement that if we surveyed everyone reading this blog today, a majority of you would say you weighed yourself on a regular basis.
Believe it or not, I don’t own a scale. I can’t recall the last time I stepped on one or what number it last displayed for me.
I will not allow my day to be defined by seeing some number appear on an appliance you step on, dedicating my whole existence to the sum total weight of my organs, skin, muscles, fat and bones.
I certainly do not fault you for still using a scale. Everything you read and see in the news portrays a society consumed with weighing as little as possible, measuring our daily self-worth by weighing in and noting every ounce of water we retain and morsel consumed (or not consumed).
Isn’t there a better way to live a happy and healthy life? I like to think so.
Before I get into what works for me, I should give you a bit more background on my history with the scale.
TRUTH: I have always weighed more than I look. Seriously. Maybe I have heavy bones or organs but no matter how thin I am, the scale has always showed a number higher than what you would expect based upon my appearance.
Back in college, when I experienced my 18 month bout with amenorrhea, the doctors couldn’t fully figure out the problem.
I looked very thin but the scale said I was the right weight for my height. So everything was fine, right?
Numbers can lie.
I may have been within the “healthy” weight range for my height but I didn’t weigh enough for ME.
Every BODY is different yet we all require the same thing – a certain level of body fat and adequate nutrients and caloric intake to function properly.
Muscle weighs more than fat. If you exercise, chances are good that you built yourself some muscle, thereby automatically weighing more on a scale even though you appear as though you weigh much less.
My weight was a poor indicator of my health. I needed more fat on me to function.
One doctor in particular decided that I simply needed to keep gaining weight until my period returned.
This doctor weighed me every week, looking forward to watching that number increase.
Talk about psychologically confusing. Aren’t we supposed to want to see the numbers going down? Who wants to see the numbers going up?
It was right then and there that I STOPPED looking at the scale.
Instead, I chose to dedicate myself to eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly while making sure I was still enjoying myself.
As you can see in the pretty diagram above, the arrows indicate that each component relies on the other.
I like to think of my approach as my own form of “checks and balances”. Too much or too little of any of the above components is not OK.
It is all about finding that day-to-day balance, checking in with yourself and NOT THE SCALE.
But wait – what does “healthy eating” even mean? I don’t think there is one set definition. I think healthy eating is different for all of us.
For me, healthy eating is following a vegetarian diet of nutrient dense, whole foods with little to no processed junk.
A wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, plenty of peanut butter and avocado for healthy fat and protein from beans, eggs and dairy.
Healthy eating also means listening to my body.
Healthy eating means giving in to my cravings and satisfying my appetite with what it craves. And if that craving is onion rings, chocolate fudge cake or extra peanut butter on a random Monday afternoon, so be it.
Eating not according to calories or some fad diet plan, but according to my appetite – loading up on nutritious foods that fuel my body for workouts, my organs for bodily processes and my mind so that I can function, feel good and enjoy myself.
Listen, we all have hungry days. We all have parties and holidays full of yummy foods and times when we just don’t feel like food prep for the week.
I have learned that these days are a part of life. A happy and healthy life.
I know what you are thinking. I can sit here and preach about my healthy eating and lack of care for my weight because I burn a ton of calories running.
This is true. Exercise is not only a mood booster and associated with reduced risk of disease and illness, it builds muscle, speeds metabolism and gives you a bit more wiggle room in terms of your diet.
A little more room to indulge while still looking fit.
However, how you fuel can make or break your workout routine. Just because you go and run 10 miles doesn’t give you the green light to gorge yourself on the entire jar of peanut butter, several mounds of cake or an entire pizza. Maybe just an entire Edible Arrangement.
Food is fuel, remember that. Think about how you would feel after consuming a bunch of junk, day after day. Not so good, right?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.
You heard me. Live a little. As in, enjoy dining out, order dessert, enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, or your favorite holiday goodies.
I don’t care who says we need to stop associating food with enjoyment - cake will always follow the word birthday and celebrating will always involve a good restaurant. Well, that is if you are celebrating with me.
What good is hitting that magical number on the scale and fitting into your skinny jeans if you can’t go out and enjoy how you look and feel?
Is it really worth being miserable because you won’t allow yourself a bite from the bread basket in fear of what the scale will say when you get home?
I would rather weigh a few pounds more and be healthy and happy than be 5 pounds lighter feeling miserable, hungry and low on energy.
Remember last week when I was all excited that my Gap running leggings didn’t slide down?
It really is possible that I weigh more than last winter.
It is entirely possible that I have more junk in my trunk to help those pants stay up.
So what could the scale have to say? Is it up a pound, two pounds? Three? Four?
I don’t need to know the scale’s opinion.
I like how I look. I like having a shape. I like having some curves and muscle to support my workouts.
I like getting hungry and eating, knowing very well that I will have sufficient energy to run.
And I like to enjoy myself.
I may dread my monthly visitor but at least when she arrives, I know I am doing something right.
I definitely have more to say on this subject including some additional tips and tricks for staying on track without the scale but I will address that in a separate post.
Right now I need to put on my GapFit pants and go for a run. And of course, eat something first.
I NEED TO KNOW:
Order anything good with a Cyber Monday deal?
How often do you weigh yourself?
What restaurant do you choose when you want to go out and celebrate?
**Please remember that what I discuss is based upon my own personal experiences and what has worked for me. I may be studying to receive my certification in Nutrition but I am not a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist or Doctor. Please speak to your doctor before starting a new diet/fitness program.