Like most American’s I too used to obsessively weigh myself. In high school, every morning I would hop on the scale and it usually read 130, 131 or 132 and every night I hopped back on that scale to find my weight at 135, 136 or 137. A five pound weight gain – oh no, I got so fat every day! But now I know that it is impossible for those five pounds to have been stored fat as we have been trained to believe! A human cannot create and lose five pounds of stored fat in a matter of 12 hours – metabolism simply does not work that fast (and is the reason why after a killer workout, stored fat does not magically disappear and give you a lower reading on the scale). We have also been trained to believe that our health can only be correctly measured by numbers, and more specifically by our weight. How many times have you started a health regimen and after many days or weeks you can FEEL and SEE the difference? Your clothes are looser and you know your overall size has been reduced yet the damn scale spits out a number that seems to indicate otherwise and you give up, right then and there… Even though I have not owned a scale in decades I too found myself going down this same path just a few years ago by always stepping on my friend’s health-o-meter when at her house. Despite being able to fit into smaller clothes that were previously off limits, I would become demoralized when the number on the health-o-meter didn’t change, or worse, increased. I was cancelling out actual proof that I was becoming trimmer because of a number that didn’t seem to correlate with what my body was telling me. I gave up my power over my health and let this stupid scale dictate my progress and accomplishments.
Currently, we’re being taught to choose our food based on grams of protein, fat or sugar. Or some new made up number on the front of the package. We’re trained to look at these numbers (even though most people, including myself cannot really use them in our everyday life and don’t have time to create and update the excel spreadsheet that is seemingly required to keep track of this type of “healthy eating”) and chose our foods based solely on this information. Why? Perhaps, it’s to make sure we don’t look at the list of ingredients and find out what shitty ingredients food companies are selling to us. And perhaps it is to make us believe that we can be healthy while consuming a diet of processed foods.
As you switch from mostly processed foods to mostly real foods, the molecules of the processed food ingredients that have been building up in your cells for so long will be excreted from your cells then excreted from your body. Since you are not continuing to put these ingredients in your body, it will eventually rid itself of that crap that slowed down your cells and contributed to your “weight.”
The human body is not designed to be stagnant. Our weight is not meant to stay the same, all day long, all month long, all year long and even all adult life long. As I mentioned above, when I used to weigh myself twice daily my weight fluctuated by 5 pounds…every day. And the most likely explanation was that when I weighed myself in the morning it was after I had excreted all of the contents in my intestines and bladder that had been processed! At night, my belly was literally full from food and drink I had consumed that day. This was not fat gain! This was normal, everyday digestion. Most women are aware that their body and size fluctuates monthly around our menstrual cycles. Pregnancy is a life event that causes fluctuation in size. During my first pregnancy I ate like crap and exercised minimally and by week 3 I couldn’t fit into my clothes. During my second pregnancy I ate mostly real foods, exercised a whole lot more and by week 3 I couldn’t fit into my clothes. Also, with both pregnancies, despite the big difference in my food consumption I weighed well over 200 pounds at the end. This is just how my body is during pregnancy. I gain weight fast and I gain a lot of it. Both of my children weighed about the same at birth, 6 lbs, 10 oz. and 6 lbs, 5 oz….so I wasn’t so big from big babies, I was big because that’s how my body is while pregnant. But if I judged the health of me and my babies by a magical number on the scale, I would have failed miserably. We’re told that a 60-70 pound weight gain during pregnancy is a big no-no…no? NO!
Listen to your body. It well tell you by how snuggly or loosely your clothes are fitting whether or not you are eating, exercising, sleeping and managing stress too little or too much. Your body tells you when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to stop eating, we don’t have to depend on a clock for this information. And it is okay to be hungry. Our bodies start to get sick when we run them too much without enough rest. And conversely, we feel truly good and vibrant when we take good care of our bodies!
Forget the counting, forget the scale. Get to know your body and your body will tell you everything you need to know about your health.
Be Well and Love the Earth!