learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Friday, 15 April 2016

Getting Rid Of The Scales


I always make a point of saying I'm about promoting health & wellness, not weight-loss or 'shredding'. Focusing on becoming healthy and happy is way more important, valuable and fulfilling than focusing on one specific goal weight that you want to get to. Putting all your energy into achieving a certain weight is setting yourself up for disappointment.



When I was about 18 I became pretty obsessed with trying to get to a certain weight - I'd weigh myself constantly, cut out certain foods because I thought they'd make me 'fat' and only wanted to do cardio exercise. I thought that if I didn't reach this weight I couldn't be happy, I wouldn't be beautiful and I'd be unhealthy but guess what? I became miserable (surprise surprise). I was so fixated on losing weight that I was actually neglecting what my body needed and I felt tired, I looked unhealthy and I was starting to lose my love for food. As soon as I stopped focusing on that insignificant number on the scale and started living a healthy, balanced lifestyle I became happier - I was enjoying my food again (so much so I started this blog!), I found a passion for exercise, I started realising my body needed rest days and I learnt to accept & respect the body I have. Oh, and I lost weight, I became my natural body weight....but that's just an added bonus.


I see so many people of all ages, both genders and from all different walks of life striving to achieve a certain weight and all I want to do is shake them and tell them no, no don't do this, focus on health & happiness! The number on the scale doesn't determine how happy you are and if you think by reaching your 'goal weight' (which is probably too low anyway) you'll miraculously be body confident, happy and fulfilled then I'm afraid you're wrong. Don't spend your precious life doing all you can to shed weight, restricting your calorie intake and pushing yourself through gruelling exercise regimes that don't make you feel good. When you begin to feed your body the nourishing food it wants, exercise in a way that brings you happiness (be it walking, dancing, HIIT training, pilates, etc) and accepting the body you have then that number on the scale will honestly be the last thing on your mind because you'll FEEL good and that'll show and make you glow.

Another reason I hate this obsession with weighing ourselves is because I think it leads to unrealistic expectations. Just because you lose weight it doesn't mean you'll suddenly have a tiny waist, slender thighs, a flat stomach, perfect skin, long legs and curves in exactly the 'right' places. Losing weight doesn't change your skeletal structure, shock horror. It seems like an obvious thing to say but I know many people have this vision in their head of what they'll look like then they do reach their goal weight and it's always inaccurate. Every single one of  us has a different body and different proportions, so your friend who's 9 stone will look completely different to you if you're 9 stone. We all have different natural weights too, there's no right weight you should be.

Aim to feel good, to feel healthy and to feel happy. I had an injury a few months ago which meant I couldn't exercise but somehow I lost half a stone. I felt sluggish, unhealthy, unhappy and weak but funnily enough the weight I became was the weight I used to aim towards back when I was 18. Being that weight didn't make me happy, at all. I'm now well again and back to exercising and eating a truly varied and wonderful diet and I've put on a few pounds but I've never felt more confident, so strong and so content in my own skin. It really goes to show that the number on the scale doesn't matter, it's how you feel in your body that's important.

Focus on your health, not on your weight.

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