Today, I have a real special treat for you all. My dear real life (in person) friend and blogger, Melanie is guest posting for me today. Melanie is hear to talk about learning to love yourself. She has been writing inspirational posts on her blog for awhile now and I couldn't wait to have her do a guest post for me.
I have known Melanie since 2005 when she took over my internship. We only worked together for about a month, but we became fast friends. We have been really close since day one and I wouldn't change a thing. Ok, maybe for her to move back home so we can see each other more often.
Take it away Melanie...
First, a big giant thank you to my dear friend Danielle for the opportunity to do a guest post. I'm excited to be here!
Lately I've been writing more on the topic of learning to love yourself. A huge part of that is learning to love your body. So today I want to share with you one of the first things I did to improve my own body image...throw away your scale!
You may be thinking, she can't be serious! Yes, yes I am. Well it's probably better to give it away, but the point is get it out of your house! Weighing yourself frequently is one of the worst things you can do for your body image. It is also completely unnecessary. The number on the scale does not represent anything important to your health. How you feel is what's most important. Do you feel strong and healthy? Do you feel like you're eating lots of nutritious food and getting enough exercise? If the answer is yes to both of these then you're already taking steps to be healthy. And if you feel healthy then why does it matter what you weigh? It doesn't! Even if your answer is no to those questions, that just means you need to be making your health a bigger priority, it does not mean you need to stress about the number on the scale.
One of the reasons I'm a big proponent of not weighing ourselves is because of how much our weight fluctuates. From one day to the next and even one week to the next, there are so many factors that can make you gain or lose 5-10 pounds, or more, depending on your body. How much water you're drinking, how much salt you're eating, how much your sleeping, where you're at in your menstrual cycle, etc. These are normal, natural things, some of which are out of your control and others, like drinking lots of water, are important to your health and should not be neglected to simply lose a few pounds.
The biggest reason I'm so adamant about staying off the scale is because I know from personal experience how much it helped me in my own search for body love. As someone who has recovered from anorexia, I know oh too well how detrimental poor body image can be. Obsessing about your weight is a step on the path to an eating disorder. It may not seem like a big deal at first, you'll tell yourself you're just being healthy. But there's a fine line between being healthy and having an unhealthy obsession, and trust me when I say, you do not want to cross it. How thin you are should not be your life's focus. There are so many wonderful things in life that are truly important. Your weight is not one of them. Being healthy definitely is, but obsessing over the numbers is not.
If you can't bring yourself to get rid of your scale right away, at least try something for me. Hide it far away, tucked under a bunch of stuff on a high shelf in your garage, or wherever will be really inconvenient to get it out. And just try going for a few weeks or a month without weighing yourself. Then just see how you feel. It may take longer, but after awhile, you'll realize you don't think about it as much and will likely feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror. Eventually you won't give it a second thought that you don't have a scale and aren't positive how much you weigh, because you will realize that it doesn't matter. And big bonus, all that energy you spent thinking about something silly will now be free to be used for something important!
A huge part of my recovery from anorexia has been learning to love myself. And as I learn to love myself, I'm really learning to prioritize my life, and in doing so, learning what is actually important to my happiness. Being healthy will always be an important piece of loving myself, but that not only includes being physically healthy, but mentally as well. Thinking kind thoughts about yourself is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. If you're treating yourself well and listening, and respecting, what your body is telling you, then you won't need a number on a scale to tell you if you're healthy and happy or not.
So here's to loving yourself, all of yourself, and staying off that scale!
Thank you Melanie! I know this hits home with me. I hate the scale and I hate weighing myself. I would rather go off how my body feels than a number. A number that can bring down my self esteem in seconds. I always love a good reminder on loving yourself and your body!
Please go check out Melanie's blog, Mel's Empty Journal where she talks about her children, life, being a mom, the struggles us moms go through, learning to love yourself, exercise and so much more.