I grew up attached to the number on the scale. I knew exactly how much I weighed on any given day and I never let the scale trickle upwards. I remember priding myself on weighing less than other girls my age. Even into my late 20's I was restricting my calories to dangerously-low amounts, taking laxatives daily, and trying whatever juice cleanse or detox tea I could get my hands on. Looking back I'm actually kind of mad at myself because I knew better. But I still allowed it to control me.
Now, at 33, (my 34th birthday is less than a month away but we are not there yet!) I'm in a weird place because I do compete in Olympic Weightlifting, which is a weight-class-specific sport, (although I'm not very good) but I'm also talking to you guys about how I don't have an "ideal" weight that I want to be. So what's the deal?
I'm gonna try to clarify all of this for you. My philosophy is now about being healthy and trying not to hold myself accountable to weighing a certain amount. I pay attention to so many other factors like mood, energy, sleep, fatigue, hunger levels, how my clothes fit, digestion, libido, etc. and I let those components tell me whether or not I'm healthy; not the number on the scale. Here's the other fun fact: since I lift, I have muscle. Fat loss and muscle gain are very real and can cancel each other out when it comes to your physical weight. This is why I try not to let clients get so caught up in the scale not moving in the direction they want. Pay attention to how you feel. As long as I'm sleeping well, my clothes fit comfortably, my energy is up, I'm generally in a good mood, and I feel strong and capable in the gym, then it doesn't bug me out if the scale jumps up a couple pounds overnight. There's always reasoning behind that sudden jump.
Luckily, my past experiences are no longer taboo for me to talk about. I accept that I'll never be fully "cured" from my disordered eating behaviors and poor self esteem, but my outlook is one thousand times better than what it used to be. My hope is that my story finds its way to those who need to hear it. Always remember, celebrate progress, not perfection.
-Dana Watson, Owner of ThreeSixty Nutrition & Certified Nutrition Coach