carrot_flowers

How to quit caring how much I weigh

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I feel great. I love eating this way. I haven't weighed myself, but I know I'm nowhere near the weight I was hoping to be at the end of my Whole 30 because my clothes which fit last spring don't really fit much better now than they did when I started in August.

 

I've still 11 days to go, but I've been Whole 30 complaint 40 of the last 45 days (19 consecutive now), and I know that I'm going to be disappointed when I step on the scale.

 

Should I even step on the scale?

 

I run several days a week, do yoga and body-weight training, watch no television, and am a very happy person outside of ten or so pounds and a slighty jiggly midsection. Why the hell is a number on a scale or a pair of pants fitting so important to me when I really love this lifestyle and diet?

 

How do I quit caring about how much weigh?

 

Not that it matters, but I'm 5'6 and somewhere around 145 lbs.

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Someone posted something about this in the past couple months.  I'll see if I can find it, but the crux of the post was, you are the only person in the world (and maybe someone in your doctor's office) who would know that number on the scale. Why let 3 digits have so much power over you?

Instead of visualizing your disappointment in 11 days, focus instead on how great you're feeling now, and use your energy to appreciate that.  

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In my opinion, the best way to stop caring is to stop the behaviors that come from caring. So, give away the scale, ask your doctor not to show you the number, buy new pants and give away your "skinny" pants, etc. After some (probably considerable) time practicing a lifestyle that reflects finding contentment with who you are, eventually you will find that you really don't care.  It's a crazy difficult struggle - we all have something that we feel defines us, that we would rather NOT have define us. 

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Thanks so much for the answers. I decided that the fact that I'm aware of the issue and trying hard to change it is a step in the right direction. Also, my Day 20 daily Whole30 e-mail was ALL ABOUT this! Serendipitous, really.

Here's a slice of the advice:

http://whole9life.com/2012/06/be-good-to-yourself-inside-and-out/

Feeling good and trying to live mindfully.

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I have this motto on my desk at work:  "If you focus on results you will always chase change.  But if you focus on change the results will follow"

 

This is exactly what I needed to see today. I'm on Day 31 and only lost 1.6 lbs (but need to lose 15-20).

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I gave away my scale.  It helped.  A lot.  The most astonishing thing was what happened next.  I went to the house of the person I gave the scale to.  They had two scales now (scale addict!!).  I stepped on one.  It showed one weight.  I stepped on the other.  It showed another weight.  I cannot possibly have lost or gained weight in one second.  It convinced me I had made the right decision.

 

I know there are folks who are looking at major weight loss in their futures.  And for those folks, a scale might be part of a successful strategy (though not DURING a Whole30 of course).  But for ten pounds?  I'm not convinced a scale is useful.  I found, the longer I ate the Whole30 way, that my weight didn't change, but my body composition did (and I'm far from being an enthusiastic exerciser).  I don't think a scale could have prepared me for how my body was going to change.  I just look very different when I eat clean.  But I don't know what I weigh anymore.  (I also don't look at the doctor's office.)

 

Don't know if you have kids/have been pregnant, but if so, I don't know anything short of major surgery that will fix the skin and maybe the muscles.  I'm not thrilled that women are told our bodies need to be stuck in some sort of pre-pregnancy holding pattern.  I'm never going to look like I did before my twin pregnancy.  But dangit, I survived and so did my daughters, and now they sit at the dinner table and look at me funny while I eat my kale.  Damn and blast anyone who would tell me I need a better tummy.  I'm looking at you, women's fashion magazines.

 

Eat up, buy clothes that fit, give away the scale, and expect your body to keep changing over time.  It's weird to live this way - but it's good.  :wub:

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I have this motto on my desk at work: "If you focus on results you will always chase change. But if you focus on change the results will follow"

Exactly this.... I have gained weight on my whole30s but I have changed permanently. I only have sugar about once a month, rarely have dairy or grains, I have lots of good fats and a huge range of fruit and vegetables and am no longer anaemic, low in vitamin d, low in iron or have elevated liver enzymes. I still haven't undone the dieting damage that has resulted in me not understanding my hunger signals and the right amount to eat, but that will come with time, after all I have spent years dieting and only one year whole9ing

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I concentrate on being healthy. If you are very overweight, that's not healthy. But 10-15 lbs isn't that bad for you. Doctors love to say that losing that 10 lbs will help with diabetes or blood pressure or cholesterol, but if you are following a whole food diet and exercising, you are probably healthier than people who are at their goal weight but eat processed food.

 

I eat to nourish my body. I could cut back and lose more weight, but then I'd be back on the sugar high/low roller coaster and all the fun that goes with depriving my body with what it needs.

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Eat up, buy clothes that fit, give away the scale, and expect your body to keep changing over time.  It's weird to live this way - but it's good.  :wub:

 

:wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:

 

1000x this!

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Once I realized that I was letting the number control how I felt about my body (rather than I how I ACTUALLY felt I looked), I decided to stop weighing myself. Basically, if I feel like I look great, I'm not going to let the scale ruin that for me. And if I feel like I look fat, the scale isn't going to make me feel skinnier. 

 

For me, weighing myself daily kind of looked like this: 

 

Some random morning: Look in the mirror, OMG I look fat and bloated. Sigh. Step on the scale, and a number comes up. I lost two pounds! But I still feel like I look fat.

 

Some other random morning: Look in the mirror, Wow, I look great! My thighs look skinnier and I feel good! Step on the scale, and a number comes up. I GAINED THREE POUNDS?! Now I feel bummed and depressed all day. 

 

You've got every right to want to lose weight and be excited that you are (or bummed that you aren't), but let the mirror and/or your clothes be the guide. The number is pointless. 

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Ive been struggling with this, well I guess my whole life.  And why shouldn't I.  I was born in the 50s.  Women were beginning to be inundated with messages about their body and the need to loose weight.  I remember my aunts and my mom always talking about diet and on a diet.  Around 5th grade I was told by one of my aunts that I was getting fat.  I believed I was fat from that point on.  I thought I was huge in high school, but when I look back at pictures I don't see me fat.  But I did get fat.  I grew bigger and bigger as the messages about needing to be slim grew.  The doctors I saw, the diets I paid for, the dietitians that I went to in an attempt to get myself thin and what everyone told me was healthy.  All this time the food industry was making things taste better and better.  And here I am.  I have been low carb for the past year and did the whole 30 last month.  My body is changing everyday.  But the nagging fear is still there.  What if I do like I've done every other time I've lost weigh.  Oh, I remind myself, this isn't about losing weight.  But way inside my head, the old beliefs are still there.  I think time is magic, and with time and attention I may be able to alter this, however slightly.  

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For anyone struggling with this, I'm shrinking now more than I ever have in my life, but it's not showing on the scale.

Next year I'm going to need a new wardrobe and new shoes if I want them to stay on my body.

 

My doctor has been surprised at how little my shrinking is reflected on the scale in his office (as it's obvious to anyone with eyeballs), so don't ever let a scale tell you whether you're healthy, or the right weight. A scale can't measure your health, your value as a human being and frankly it's a bit dodgy on measuring your weight as well (weigh yourself, drink a glass of water, weigh yourself again). I was wasting away in my muscles last year, becoming very weak and really really tired, constantly losing muscle mass. Now I'm strong, healthy and shrinking.

 

Aside from changing what I eat, I've cut out all cardio workouts and moved to only lifting heavy things and getting more sleep. For the most part, live grain and pseudograin free, organic where I can.

 

If you'd told me this time last year, how good I would be feeling this year, I would flat-out not have believed it at all.

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I am curious too, why the no cardio. The biggest reason I started W30 in April was so I could continue to run-needed to reduce inflammation in my hip and halt degeneration-which it has improved btw. I have read that excessive cardio can increase inflammation but certainly not 30 to 45 min a day, correct?

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praxisproject,

i am just curious, why did you cut out all cardio? 

thanks!

 

 

I am curious too, why the no cardio. The biggest reason I started W30 in April was so I could continue to run-needed to reduce inflammation in my hip and halt degeneration-which it has improved btw. I have read that excessive cardio can increase inflammation but certainly not 30 to 45 min a day, correct?

 

It really depends on your context, and what you mean when you say "cardio." For some people, going for a run creates the wrong kind of response in the body, spiking cortisol, creating stress and inflammation, burning muscle mass instead of fat. For those people, going for a long walk and doing strength training would be a much better choice.

 

I know that when I stopped taking spin classes all the time my body composition improved (lots of stuff was changing at the same time too, but I'm confident that I am more fit without spin than I was with it). As I've gotten more fit, I've made a choice to include things like sprinting and agility and metabolic kettlebell workouts along with my strength work, but I don't expect I will ever run marathons. I just don't enjoy doing it, and I don't believe it helps me get closer to my goals. If you LOVE running, run! Just be aware that you are doing it for the love of it, and make sure that you take time to recover, take care to fuel your runs properly and work hard to maintain muscle mass with strength training.

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I have insulin resistance and crazy inflammation, I used to think it was normal until I did my first Whole30 and my arthritis disappeared.

 

I used to do lots of cardio, with zero success in either health or weightloss. For me I suspect it's a cortisol issue, as I have had lots of problems losing muscle mass rather than fat (possibly burning organ tissue as well - got really sick at one point and my doctor banned all exercise) and also other issues that come along with additional inflammation (arthritis, inflamed sinuses).

 

I got a TotalGym last year and switched to lifting instead of cardio and my health has never been better, same goes for my muscle mass. It was a tossup as to whether I got a TotalGym or a cardio machine, but TotalGym won as it could handle my weight.

 

Everyone is different, but for me, ditching cardio and switching to lifting heavy things was awesome :D

 

Added:

 

Oh, I should mention that I've also worked rotating shifts for over 10 years, which is considered stressful on the body and metabolism, in case there are other people in the same boat.

Edited by praxisproject

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I think you have to listen to your body.  Weights are fine, but for me there is nothing like a good run … the mental and emotional high can't be beat for me.  It is my meditation and solution to getting through stress of all kinds.

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Thanks for the honesty and courage to talk about this. I have struggled with The Number (on the scale) for a long time. I wanted to comment because I suddenly and overwhelmingly had an epiphany yesterday (on my Day 5 of W30), and this is what it was:

- I have never undertaken a food program/diet/way of eating/recommended meal programming/eating identity (like Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, etc..) without having the secret goal of losing weight. (Even when I really didn't have much weight to lose.) There may have been some other stated goals like being healthier overall, reducing inflammation, reducing fat/cholesterol, reducing consumption of animal products, etc etc. However, even if I didn't admit it to myself, the underlying goal was always "Lose Weight" or "Stay Skinny". 

- Yesterday, I was in an interesting spot in my afternoon where I was feeling pretty full and satiated, which is a feeling I am not used to or comfortable with (historically). I would normally do anything to prevent that feeling. Yesterday, however, I decided to be an adult about it. I accepted that feeling satiated and satisfied is GOOD, that it's good FOR me, it's NATURAL, it's how things should be, and it's something I am worthy of and deserve. I focused on other things and did not dwell on the feeling itself.

- Then, I realized that I might not lose weight on Whole30. In fact, I might gain some weight (because things happen, and I have no idea how my body will react to this way of eating). Then came the epiphany: I was able to get past that and decide to be OK with it. More than OK with it, because the place I am in mentally is so. much. better. I am learning to control my relationship with food (of course I'm miles and miles away from that still, but on the way), and not let myself grab for comfort in a bunch of junk that I don't need or want, just to quiet my brain from anxiety or from being uncomfortable/worried/upset with something else that's going on.

 

Thank you, Whole30, and thank you, everyone on these forums for helping me repair and heal my broken brain. :) 

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Someone posted a great success story about how she was disappointed to lose "only" 1.6 pounds at the end of the Whole30 but then she took her measurements and she had lost 14 INCHES!!! I am on Day 7 and I can already tell that my clothes are fitting better. I will be curious to weigh myself at the end of the 30 days but I am not going to let it define my success. I am feeling amazing. I love feeding my body with wholesome, delicious foods. I love feeling like I am in control of what I put in my mouth and making good decisions every day about what I am eating. I, too, have done Weight Watchers, tracking on MFP, and eating "paleo-style" but not all the time (which I now realize is wrong - you can't load up on healthy fats and then also go eat chocolate and cookies).

I can already tell that the Whole30 really might be the way for me to truly change my relationship with food. Wouldn't that be amazing in this, my 40th year?

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Someone posted a great success story about how she was disappointed to lose "only" 1.6 pounds at the end of the Whole30 but then she took her measurements and she had lost 14 INCHES!!! I am on Day 7 and I can already tell that my clothes are fitting better. I will be curious to weigh myself at the end of the 30 days but I am not going to let it define my success. I am feeling amazing. I love feeding my body with wholesome, delicious foods. I love feeling like I am in control of what I put in my mouth and making good decisions every day about what I am eating. I, too, have done Weight Watchers, tracking on MFP, and eating "paleo-style" but not all the time (which I now realize is wrong - you can't load up on healthy fats and then also go eat chocolate and cookies).

I can already tell that the Whole30 really might be the way for me to truly change my relationship with food. Wouldn't that be amazing in this, my 40th year?

I couldn't agree more! Turning 41 and feeling the same as you explained! Thank you

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How to quit caring about how much you weigh? GOOD QUESTION, let me know when you figure that out:)

 

No I get it, an old boss of mine used to say "Women loose inches, not pounds", of course I was insistant on feeling like I was failing  because the lbs were barely creeping off at the time.

 

From all that I'm reading from others, it does seem like IF we need to track our progress, lbs is not the way. Perhaps measuring inches, instead? Obviously ideally we would only track progress based on how we feel but I'm not quite there yet, wish I was, maybe we should think about keeping a daily journal on how were feeling instead?

 

PS; I do find that certain veggies definitely can make me bloated, how about when you're feeling bloated of "off" don't measure your progress by how your clothes fit, just and idea:)?

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So I had a really rough year in 2013 and it's definitely brought me a new perspective coming into 2014 and my 4th Whole30.  I completed my first Whole 30 in September 2012 and I have to admit, I did it for all of the wrong reasons.  I was training for my 2nd marathon in 4 months, cross fitting 3-4 times per week, and working a very active job at the time.  I wasn't eating enough and felt like crap most of the month, but I did see gains at the box.  While I looked really fit at the time and was the skinniest I've ever been, I was also exhausted, miserable, and still unhappy with the number on the scale at the end of the 30 days.  I mean, I only lost 6 pounds and I was exercising like a crazy person…how could I not be within my normal BMI yet?  

 

Long story short, I decided then that I needed to get rid of my scale.  It wasn't doing me any favors to keep weighing myself because all I did was feel bad about the numbers and make myself more miserable.  And then I got injured…meaning that most of last year, I couldn't work out.  Want to know what happened?  Yea, I gained about 40lbs back because I threw a healthy diet out the window and never really learned how to treat my body well.  I used exercise to compensate for the 80% paleo, 20% junk diet and once I couldn't do that anymore, I didn't know what else to do.  It's funny though, I knew I had gained weight back but I hadn't stepped on a scale in months.  I didn't feel awesome about myself but I didn't feel horrible either.  I wasn't obsessed with my weight and just lived with it until the doctor made me step on a scale.  It's funny, I hadn't actually really connected how weighing myself changed my attitude about my body and affected my self-esteem until that moment.  I started sobbing in the doctors office on the scale because I couldn't believe what it said.  I haven't been back on the scale since then and absolutely refuse to see the number from now on.  I don't want to define my self-worth by 3 numbers.

 

Going into this W30 and this year, I'm still rehabbing my two injuries.  I'm back in the box and working out, but still need to take it easy.  I'm hoping to get back into running at some point since I enjoyed it, but have no desire to run as many distance races as I was doing in 2012.  I'm working on slowly improving my health through my diet and hopefully becoming a stronger, healthier, more fit me.  My new mantra this year is "Will the decision you're making right now help you with your health and fitness goals this year?"  It's not about my weight or looking skinny for the first time in my life.  It's about being aware of my decisions, including what I'm eating and why I'm eating it, and how they affect what I'd like to accomplish in life.

 

Good luck to everyone!  It's a battle to get separate your self-worth from the scale, but it's awfully peaceful on the other side when you get there.  In this case, the grass really is greener on the other side.  

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Stop postponing life until you become that perfect number on the scale. Waiting for the ideal body to show up on the scale and rescue you from all of life's problems causes massive amounts of stress.

Waiting for life and wanting to be 'there' with the perfect number on the scale is a cruel taskmaster. Judging yourself every single day by how you look in the mirror and what you weigh on the scale is postponing life.

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