The New Year is upon us! I don’t know about you, but 2016 definitely had its rough moments. All in all there were some wonderful highlights and amazing memories, but there were also some low points. Sometimes when we’ve had a tough year we approach the New Year as a “re-set” point or a time to “change things around”. I think it’s fine to set goals and aspirations, but if there is one goal I can encourage you NOT to set, it’s a weight loss goal.
Every year without fail I see people making weight loss goals for the New Year. While I absolutely encourage people to focus on their health, I do not believe that weighing yourself on the scale is the way to go about becoming healthier. The scale can be very frustrating and misleading as there are a number of factors related to our weight on a daily basis such as hormones, stress and water retention. Also, I don’t like the idea that a piece of equipment can have so much power that individuals could have a good day or a bad day depending on a number. The whole process of weighing yourself is a negative way of looking at health and I think this is also why some people end up “throwing in the towel” one month in while others can actually develop a very toxic relationship with food and body image.
It’s okay to have a physical goal, but how about choosing something that will make you feel empowered and strengthened? How about a goal to do 10 or 20 real pushups or to run a 5k? Or trying a new exercise class like yoga, barre or Zumba? These goals require time and commitment and will definitely lead to a mental change as well as a physical one, but the way you accomplish these goals is by seeing your body as strong and capable, not by restricting calories or only drinking shakes for meals. Or focus on improving your health. Focus on getting more sleep or eating breakfast every single day or making two new dinner meals a week. These things are incredibly beneficial for you and can absolutely improve your overall well-being without you ever having to step foot on a scale.
The other problem I have with only looking at the scale in terms of a goal is that your body could actually be changing and getting stronger/ fitter and yet the scale might not be budging. This is OKAY. We need to get out of the habit of using the scale as our only way of seeing if we accomplished a goal.
Weight is actually just a symptom of health issues going on. If you’ve lost too much weight or gained too much weight it’s because there are imbalances occurring within your body. When you focus on fixing the imbalances rather than just fixing the weight, you will see sustainable changes and your body with naturally deviate towards your set point. Also stressing about your weight can actually cause you to hold on to unnecessary weight for longer period of time! When you let go of what number you should be at and just trust that your body wants you to be healthy then as long as you are doing the right things and giving your body support, you WILL end up at a healthy, sustainable weight. It’s kind of like when you’re waiting for water to boil. If you are just staring at the pot it seems like the water will never boil. But as soon as you walk away (aka focus on other things) all of a sudden it happens. So focus on some other goals besides the weight and it WILL happen.
So, who is here to join me in some new resolutions for 2017? For me, I really want to focus on getting more sleep. I know in order to feel my best I need a minimum of 8 hours a night, but could really use closer to 8 ½ – 9 hours, so that is my goal. Anyone else like to leave a non-scale goal? : )