My mom used to weigh herself every day. She kept the scale in the bathroom our family shared. She would go in, pick up the scale from the tile floor and gently place it on the fluffy bathmat in front of the tub. She explained to me that placing the scale on the bathmat made you weigh less. For years, whenever I weighed myself, I would try to find the thickest rug to place the scale on. One day, it occurred to me that if the scale resting on a rug was not a true representation of what I weighed, then why was I doing it? I realized that, like my mom, I derived a good portion of my self-worth from where the needle pointed on that scale. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to function without thinking about my weight or my body size. I wondered if it was even possible. The allure of the weighing machine was disturbing. It promised changes that could enrich or devastate my day, my week, my life. But it could only do this if I allowed it.
I try very hard to be kind to myself and not judge myself or others based on body size. And just when I think I have become completely nonjudgmental, I find myself being delighted and high-fiving my husband when I mistakenly put on a smaller pair of jeans and they fit perfectly.
In my psyche, there is still a tiny space occupied by a belief that a smaller body is better. It takes up much less space than it used to, but it’s still there.
How do I deal with this? I check my thoughts as they come. When I find myself thinking about my thighs, I don’t judge them and I don’t judge myself for thinking about them. I just notice my thoughts, then let them go. No standing in front of the mirror and pinching my thighs from behind to see what they would look like if they were smaller. Yes, I used to do this.
So, when I was delighted for getting into smaller jeans. I told myself it was okay to be happy about that, but it wasn’t the thing that would make my day. I accepted my reaction and found more interesting things to think about to make my day exciting and fun.
I’m not missing the irony here. Since I have stopped striving to be thin, and have begun eating what I want, my body is changing to more accurately reflect how I view myself. But my view of myself is not necessarily thin. My view of myself is that I am a valuable person. Regardless of what I look like or what has happened to me in the past, I am a good human being who deserves to be here. By thinking this of myself, my body is conforming to that end – becoming healthier. That weight loss may be a part of this is just a side bar.
Can you learn to accept yourself as you are – no matter your body size?
Over a year ago, I started to say this affirmation every day. It took a while, but it eventually began to sink in and, most days, I truly believe this. Use this or write your own affirmation to say everyday.
“It doesn’t matter what my body size or weight is. It doesn’t matter what other people think of my body size. I don’t get my self-esteem from the size of my body. I am an integral part of this universe and hold a special place in it.”
For tips and steps to take action to stop bingeing click here