Non-Scale Victories

I woke up this morning and felt great (could have been the after effects of drinking my favorite rose last night). I felt energized and strong and fit.


Then I stepped on the scale. No change. Still where I have been the last year. And yet I’ve been working out consistently for the last 67 days (although this week I slacked a bit). But still! Shouldn’t that count for something?! My mind kept racing. Maybe I wasn’t working out hard enough. Maybe I was eating too much out or too many desserts. Maybe I was having too much fun (aka drinking too much alcohol).

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There are pros and cons to weighing yourself. It shouldn’t be the only measurement without looking at other areas of your life and taking into account non-scale victories as BeachBody encourages. So here I am to walk you through my morning and how I turned my thinking around.


4:20 - Wake up and put on my workout clothes. Check myself out in the mirror thinking I look pretty darn good.


4:25 - Step on the scale and think how is that possible? Maybe it’s water weight from the wine...


4:30 - 5:00 - Do 30/60 minutes of Booty day. I was DRIPPING in sweat from the heat and knew I had to stop early to get ready for my trip. Feel lazy and defeated about not finishing my workout when I skipped Monday for a softball game and skipped Thursday to get my nails done (considered Thursday my day off). Life happens, Megan. Life happens.

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5:00 - 5:30 - Get ready for my trip. Shower, eat overnight oatmeal, and finish packing. Feel frustrated when I can’t download episodes of Shameless to my phone for the bus ride. 


6:00 - Call (why do we say that?!) a Lyft to go to the bus station.


6:15 - Feel SO strong carrying all my bags and choosing to take the stairs as I make my way to the bus terminal.



Stepping on the scale twisted my mood for the worst. When I talk to patients I encourage them to use the scale if it works for them. If you can step on it and be unphased by it and simply use it as a measurement and a means of accountability then go for it. If you’re like me and that tiny number can dictate how you feel that day then skip it and focus on non-scale victories. Those can include:


  • Feeling more energized. 
  • Enjoying your workouts and getting them done most of the time. Nobody is perfect.
  • Carrying/lifting heavy things.
  • Feeling your muscles burn and enjoying it (but they shouldn’t hurt).
  • Flexing your muscles and seeing progress.
  • Feeling confident.
  • Choosing nutritious foods more often because you treasure your body.

And please know that some weeks you can crush all of your workouts no problem and other weeks your body needs some slack. Go with the flow. Don’t try tthe be perfect but try your best to reach your goals.

Weight Misconceptions

I have a lot I want to say to people in this post and I can only hope that I can articulate what I want to say in a way that makes sense.  

Every day we are surrounded by messages that say you need to be thin to do x, y, and z. Or you grow up being compared to people based on size or shape. People make comments about others based on what they look like ALL THE TIME. This upsets me deep down to the core.  

Making a judgement about someone’s appearance is not fair. You do not know what they do or what they’ve experienced. Some people may be struggling with a disease or hormonal imbalance that affects their ability to lose weight and/or contributes to weight gain. Other people may be so busy taking care of others that their health falls by the wayside. And others may live a healthy lifestyle but live in a larger body. So I challenge you to think twice before making comments about how other people look. Just like books shouldn’t be judged by their cover, people shouldn’t be judged by their size.

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Furthermore, a good life is not negatively correlated with weight (meaning as your weight goes down, your life does not get better). If you lose weight it doesn’t mean you’ll get that promotion or find a boyfriend or be happy. Living your best life, however that may look to you is how you succeed and find true happiness. When you’re happy and confident you attract other people, your happiness is magnetic. The thin ideal is just that, an ideal that society wants us to believe is the end point. But life is a journey of ups and downs where we have to continue to adjust and do what’s right for OURSELVES. Life is about so much more than trying to be a shape or size that other people tell us to be. Yes, being healthy is important but health does not equate to skinny all the time. The focus should be on healthy habits and behaviors not on weight loss.

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My lessons for today: 

  • Think before you speak out about someone else’s weight or appearance. There’s often more going on than you think or know.
  • If you’re living in a larger body or are struggling with the thin ideal, know that you aren’t alone.
  • Identify you’re true values and dreams and go after them no matter your weight or size or shape. When we are happy we are more likely to take better care of ourselves.
  • If you want to make some healthier changes, that’s great. But take the focus off of weight and instead focus on the positive changes you are making and how that affects your overall health.
  • Happiness does not grow as weight goes down. We all deserve happiness no matter what size we are. 

If youre struggling to put your health health and happiness first or to identify ways that you can be healthier please reach out to a dietitian. Many dietitians work in different ways just like therapists so don’t be discouraged if one doesn’t “fit” just right. This post is meant to show you that everyone has an inner struggle and you aren’t alone if society makes you feel you should look a different way. I know I feel that pressure. My only hope is that by writing these posts I can positively affect one person and help them realize that health is so much more than body weight.

Intuitive EVERYTHING

Julie and I got to Maine on Friday. She spent the day working while Mom, Dad and I volunteered for Travis Mills. Mom and I were called for help with planting flower boxes. Anything for the Travis Mills Foundation.

 

Saturday was our first official day together. I spent the morning napping (why am I so tired?!) before working out. Julie went for a run, Mom did 21 Day Fix and I did 80 Day Obsession. So proud of us all for getting our sweat on. Afterwards Julie and I floated in the water with a beer and talked. I ended up so so so burnt...  

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I’m so upset with myself. I put on sunscreen but not good enough...and didn’t reapply. I’m angry for not taking better care of my skin. I’m anxious about putting myself at risk for skin cancer. And I’m upset that I’m likely going to be in pain for the rest of my vacation.  

 

Then I thought how I can learn from this for next time and move on without judgement. Just like intuitive eating!  Rather than beat myself up over a sunburn or a large bowl of ice cream, I can look at it as a learning experience. 

 

Did I enjoy it in the moment? 

Yes. I greatly enjoyed sipping an IPA and talking to my sister about everything under the sun (while literally burning under the sun). 

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How do you feel after? 

Grateful for time with my sister, but uncomfortable and in pain because of the sunburn. 

 

How can I adjust next time? 

Be more diligent with sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. I should also remember that this pale skin is very sensitive the first time it sees sun and should be gradually introduced to summer sun. Aka spend shorter amounts of time in the sun at first while building up my tolerance.  

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Ask yourself these three questions the next time you’re being hard on yourself for something. It will help you analyze the situation without judgement and create a plan for moving forward. After all that’s all we can do in life is move forward.