Stop Obsessing About Your Weight
the moment I let go of it…
was the moment I got more than I could handle.
the moment I jumped off of it…
was the moment I touched down
-Alanis Morissette, Thank U
“I HATE your SCALE,” my client, Sarah (not her real name) said. “What’s wrong with me? I just can’t lose weight!!” She was obsessing, a trait not uncommon to people who work out and care about our physical appearance.
A few weeks ago, I heard an economist talking about how economists determine if a country is in a recession. The decision is directly tied to the gross domestic product (GDP). The problem with that, this economist ventured, is that the GDP is only ONE indicator of a country’s economic activity. “You get what you measure,” he said. “If all you measure is the GDP, is it any wonder we go through largely fear-based economic cycles?”
The problem lies in what we choose to MEASURE.
The same is true when it comes to your physical transformation, your mental health, even your sex life. If all you focus on is the number on the scale, you’re probably getting in your own way. Are you obsessed with making a “weekly breakthrough” in therapy? You’re probably making a breakthrough MORE difficult than it has to be. Sex, too, is impacted by this “measuring” — I know many guys (straight and gay) who think about sex in terms of how many women or men they’ve “bagged,” and how many times they’ve had sex that week—instead of the QUALITY and intimacy of those experiences.
Remember the first time you put your fingers in those “Chinese handcuffs?” It was maddening, because the harder you tried to pull your fingers out, the “cuffs” got tighter! Somehow (hopefully) you figured out that you had to push your fingers TOGETHER to get them out.
Sometimes doing what seems counter-intuitive—even backward—is the way to move forward.
I encouraged Sarah to be less focused on the numbers on the scale and instead ask different (but still measurable) questions: How do you feel physically? How is your energy level? How is your sleep at night? How are your clothes fitting? Have you noticed any changes in your concentration, attitude, or mood?
In physical training, as in life, often the moment we release our attachment to the result is the moment we get exactly what we’re seeking. (Thanks, Alanis).
© 2008 SAM PAGE