In my private practice, I talk to all of my clients about their triggers that take them to their forbidden food (and not be able to stop!).
Time after time I hear when women weigh themselves (and they have gained weight) this can be the trigger that ends up taking them off their path and self sabotaging all of their best efforts. These women, who might have otherwise been feeling fine can very rapidly end up in a downward spiral of feeling out of control and powerless around food and find it so difficult to get back on track.
Why does this happen?
When all of our self worth is tied up into our physical appearance we will see ourselves as worthy and lovable at a smaller weight and the opposite when we are at a higher weight.
We give all of our personal power away to a number on a scale. We need to remind ourselves that we are so much more than a number on the scale. We often forget that inside us is a valuable human being who has a lot to offer the world.
What to do?
There are a few things you can do here:
- Throw away your scales and no longer weigh yourself !
- If #1 is too much of a jump for you – can you weigh yourself fortnightly, or monthly. We are trying to let go of the obsessive daily weigh ins. The more frequently we weigh ourselves, the more likely we are to have a binge and be out of control with food. We want to try to break this association and trigger.
- Can you set some other outcomes or goals that are not so weight focused. For instance, can you set goals around how you want to feel or the number of walks you go on every week (but not in an obsessive way!), or a goal around being a mindful eater.
The focus of these goals is about creating healthy and sustainable behaviours that are much more focused on your overall well-being rather than focused on a number on the scale – because you’re so much more than that.
I would encourage you to think about your own triggers to spiraling out of control with food. Is it also weighing yourself and learning you’ve put on weight? Or is it when you are on holidays with no routine? Or when you’re faced with opportunities out of your comfort zone? Being aware of our triggers is so important and very powerful as this self awareness allows us to put a space in between our thoughts and feelings and our behaviour (bingeing).