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Rich Dafter

Taming The Scale - It IS Just A Number

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

One thing I constantly hear about from our community members here at eDiets is the battle they wage with the scale. For a great many of you, approaching the scale is a powerful, unnerving and emotional event. For many, it is the trigger that either inflates or deflates your emotional balloon. Quite simply, there are just too many people who put too many of their emotional eggs in this basket. The result is either agony or ecstasy.

Those who put too much importance on the numerical result of the weigh-in put themselves in a very precarious position. In my opinion, you give up all sense of control when you put your emotional fate in the hands of the scale. As I think about this issue, I’m reminded of the saying that many actors and actresses use when describing the pay they receive from minor acting roles. They claim to be “working for scale.” In weight management, working for scale can be a critical error that drains your motivational batteries.

I often imagine these people as mountain climbers hanging off the side of a sheer cliff. They are clinging to one end of a thin rope with the scale holding the other end. If the numbers revealed by the scale are acceptable and friendly, they hold on, relax and continue climbing. If, however, the numbers are unacceptable and unfriendly, they feel defeated, lose their grip and drop like a rock into the emotional abyss below. It’s just a terrible mistake to allow the scale to play such a large emotional role in your journey to health and wellness.

The truth is that the weigh-in is just one moment on one day. It only has the power to make or break your effort if YOU give it that power. The scale is an inanimate object that only you can give authority and life to. I see people run through all sorts of hoops just to survive the weigh-in.

For example, I had a woman recently tell me that she is so intimidated by the scale that she never even looks at her weight. When she weighs in, she stands on the scale backwards and has her husband read and record the number. She never even looks at the scale. This is how she copes with the impact of weighing-in.

When all is said and done, it’s important to remember that this is a journey that takes time. For most people, every trip to the scale does not show a loss. What is important is the bigger picture. Ultimately, it’s not what you weigh on any given day -- it’s all about the daily choices that you make, how you live your life and how you respect your body.

The support boards here at eDiets are full of people, whose goal is to be a certain weight. I am continually responding to these people with the same message. That message is to focus on healthier living and not pounds lost. I think it’s a huge mistake to make weight loss your primary motivation.

I’m usually telling people to forget about making pounds lost your goal. I want you to focus on making healthy decisions -- one decision at a time. This is just not me playing with words here. This is such an important factor that, in my opinion, plays a very large role in whether you succeed or fail. I strongly suggest that you make this process about making healthier decisions and not about weight loss.

Focusing on weight loss is just too short-sighted. When the pounds dont fall off fast enough, many get frustrated and give up. I see this happen all the time. I even had a comment from an individual, who reached her goal weight and was still struggling. If pounds lost is the motivation and you successfully reach your goal, you lose more than just the weight -- you also lose your motivation.

This is so much more about what you think than what you do. After all, what you do is a direct result of what you think! You will be much better served in the long run, if you make this effort about healthy decision-making. Let the weight loss be what it is -- a wonderful side effect of healthy living. Focusing on pounds lost is one of the major pitfalls on the road to wellness. Make this about making healthier choices, do it one decision at a time and stop working for scale!

Dr. John Sklare, director of the eDiets Emotional Support Center, shares his expertise on "emotional eating" with the eDiets community. Dr. Sklare is also the author of the eDiets Audio Companion Program -- the powerful and innovative new offline support program for your online eDiets program. With the current emphasis on Mind/Body medicine and natural healing, Dr. Sklare stands firmly on the leading edge!

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