Day 85–100 Days 100 Ways To A Healthy Relationship With Food
There are so many tired tropes in the world of weight loss. Two of the most ubiquitous are the weight loss graph (diagonal line down, top left to bottom right), and the before and after photos (Insta style, taken with a phone in the bathroom mirror — fat and miserable on left, thin and happy on right).
I reject them both.
1. No Weigh-ins, No Graph
I’ve been following this plan (of a pretty easy ‘weekday only’ version of 16:8 Intermittent Fasting) for 85 days now. I’m not a weight loss expert. I’m not a nutritionist. But, I have 85 days of experience on this ‘way of eating’ and 30 years before that of worrying about my weight (and weighing myself a lot), so I can speak with some (self-given) authority. I am my own expert in this article, and you can quote me!
Weight loss is easier when you don’t weigh yourself.
Ok, I’ll immediately qualify that. I will weigh myself, once, at the end of this 100 day project because I think that’s a bit of info that will be useful to me. I have a rough idea of what I weighed when I started (though I purposefully didn’t do a Day 0 weigh-in).
But that’s it, once, in 100 days. And, honestly, after this project I don’t see myself getting on the scales any more frequently than once every 100 days. I’ll keep going until I am in the BMI healthy weight range for my age, gender and height. And then, with glee, I will stop weighing myself forever and I will, literally, take my bathroom scales to recycling center.
Weighing yourself is the worst thing you can do while trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
You start obsessing over the numbers. Your whole life becomes about it. And, actually, what you need to be concentrating on, is the process. You need to find a way of eating, that you can happily do forever, that enables you to either lose weight slowly, or maintain. It’s a challenge.
So why add in the guilt, shame, worry and obsession apparatus that is a set of scales?
How do I know if I have lost weight or not? I know. You know. Clothes fit differently, the appearance in the mirror is different. If you have been wanting or trying to lose weight for years (and especially if you have lost and gained weight over the years), you have a pretty good idea of how you are doing without weighing yourself.
2. No Before And After Photos
Would you agree that the world is too focused on superficial images — what things “look” like? Do you think it is right to judge people by their appearances?
Then why do you want to see people’s before and after photos?
You’re just buying into the very nonsense that has got a lot of people, perhaps including you, into this body image mess in the first place. The idea that people’s “success” should be judged by how they look, in photos.
It’s that attitude that has ended up with Facebook becoming a horror smug-fest highlights reel of people selectively picking socially acceptable #goals moments from their lives to give others the impression they are “doing well”. When in reality, they are probably miserable. Just like the people who look at their photos and now feel inadequate. Welcome to the self-obsessed misery circle-jerk that is social media.
Let me ask again — why do you want (or feel you “need”) to see people’s weight loss before and after photos?
Is it because you don’t believe that people have lost weight unless they show you photos to prove it?
You know what happens when you post before and after photos? You get abuse both ways, you can’t win. Some people will say you looked fine before and by losing weight you are some kind of fat-traitor and vain and “unhealthily thin”. Others will say you look great in the after photos and how did you ever let yourself get in to the state of the before photo? Do you really want or need these judgements?
Or perhaps you are searching for validation or praise from others? Are you sure what you say is “pride in my achievement” is not, really, a little bit of look-at-me smugness?
If anyone genuinely believes I have “made up” losing weight over the last 85 days while writing an article every day about it, then that’s…just…bizarre.
So there you have it. No weight loss graph for me. No before and after photos. Those two decisions have helped me lose weight and preserve my sanity.
On track. And fired up. Onward.
81/85/100 (Number of days goals met/ number of days into project/ 100)
Be responsible about food and weight management. Research a healthy weight, and healthy methods of weight management for you physically and mentally. Remember, you are not defined by what you weigh. I am not a nutritionist.