Scathing scales

Go Vita Ballarat staff member and Naturopath Michelle, is into week 7 of her Spring Health Reboot. She has been feeling great and making progess with her food choices are regular exercise. But this week, Michelle explains how seeing a number on the scales can really knock your confidence. "Last week started off well- I was feeling really positive, had fitted in a lot of exercise and had eaten well, with the occasional treat.

On the weekend I did a 4km run and 8km walk each day – I was keen to be up and about and keep on track with my goals.

Sunday night I indulged in a slice of margherita pizza, a piece of garlic bread and a couple of ciders, but aside from that, my weekend eating was pretty spot on.

I am always telling myself not to step on the scales. The result on the scales has always had a significant impact on my mindset, and influenced my mood for the day.I understand that so many factors can affect the number on the scales - I am always advising customers to judge how they are feeling rather than seeking reassurance from the scales.

Weight can be impacted by hormones, the state of your digestive system, water retention, the weather and muscles mass.

On Monday, I was feeling so good that I made the mistake of assuming that the scales would reinforce that good feeling, pat me on the back, give me a high five and tell me what I good job I was doing with my eating and my exercise.

So it was a real knock to my confidence when the scales showed that I had gained instead of lost.

I jumped off of the scales. I hopped back on again. When that didn’t change anything, I re-set the scales. Still in disbelief, I even considered replacing the batteries.It was at this point that I realised no matter what I did, the scales were going to continue to tell me something that I didn’t want to see. Instead of being rational & reasonable- accepting the factors that can effect weight and soldiering on, I began a process that I have undertaken many times before: self sabotage.

This went on for the next two days. I cancelled my exercise plans, I ate whatever I wanted, I disregarded portion sizes and I was tired and cranky. I avoided speaking to anyone about it because I felt it would just reinforce the negative way that I was feeling.

Instead of being an incentive to tidy up my diet a little more, or make changes to my exercise, I took on the attitude of “What’s the point??”

Wednesday is the day I woke up and realised there was a point- my mindset is something that is not only very important, but it is something that I can largely control.

I had a session with my PT that day (Naomi from In your Element), who reassured me that particularly for women, there are several factors that can influence how much we weigh. Naomi encouraged me to remember how I was feeling before I weighed myself and use that as a guide rather than the scales. She also suggested thinking about how I feel in my clothes to guide me or, if I really need some numbers - use waist, hip and chest measurements instead of scales.

So I enter the new week with a different focus, and have re-discovered my motivation. The last couple of days have seen me embrace exercise again, and getting back to enjoying food that I love.

As expected, my mindset has lifted and I am instead tuning in to the way I feel, rather than what the scales have to say.

Bring on a new week!" Michelle.

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