Body Image and Scales: It Loves Me – It Loves Me Not

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            Do you step on your scale in the morning, and let the magic number it displays influence whether you have a good or bad day?  Over the past several years counseling women, I have encountered many who give their scales that much power.   Other women have sadly expressed that their mothers did this, and it had a profound effect on their growing up years.  If their mothers weighed in at a lower number, they displayed more of a fun, upbeat side.  But if the cloud of weight gain (even a pound or two) hung in the air, the house felt tense and their moms acted depressed and/or bitchy.

Eating disorder programs usually recommend that their patients get rid of their scales.  They realize that many of their clients have an obsession with weighing themselves, often stepping on their scales many times per day.  Experts believe people can tell whether they are gaining or losing weight by the way their clothes fit.  Besides, weight varies throughout the day, week, and month (according to the menstrual cycle) normally anyway.

How long will you continue to let your scale cause you to have bad days, weeks, and months?  Can you honestly say that you never let the number on the scale  – the magic number- influence how you treat people?  You may want to discuss this with safe people who you trust to give you feedback.

If you don’t have the courage to put your scale away long-term, consider giving it a vacation.  Put it in your attic, or send it on a cruise to Fiji if you want.

Try This:  Write a letter to your scale.  Tell it how you have given it too much power in your life (i.e. letting it dictate on many days whether you have a good day or a bad day).  Describe in detail how it has influenced your life.  You may even want to give it a name, and suggest that it go away for a period of time.

© Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC and Fannies:  Reflections on Cookie Dough, Life, and Your Derriere and Fannies:  Reclaiming the Plunder of the Body Image Bandit, 2007 – 2047. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC and Fannies:  Reflections on Cookie Dough, Life, and Your Derriere with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.