Balancing the Scales

Isn’t it kind of ridiculous how one little number that only measures one aspect of our being can have such a massive impact on our happiness? Why does stepping on a weighing scales make people so unhappy if the number isn’t what they want to see when they could be the most charismatic, intelligent or kind person? Some people want to be lighter, some want to be heavier and if it’s for medical reasons then that’s fine but what about those people who are at a relatively healthy weight and have lots of things going for them such as friends, family, health, social life, job etc., why should how much they way take away from all of these things and make them unhappy?

I’ll admit that I have a weighing scales, at one point I was weighing myself everyday and even if I was up by 0.1kg I would be slightly pissed off, ridiculous I know as that only equates to a glass of water or a full bladder but psychologically that didn’t matter. When I seriously tried to start losing weight I cut down using the weighing scales to about once a week. I know a lot of people say don’t use them and I rarely use them now that I’m at a weight I’m happy with but when you’re trying to lose weight, seeing your progress for yourself in real hard numbers instead of people just saying you look better is a massive psychological boost. I would say have a healthy target weight in mind when you start otherwise the thrill of seeing the numbers drop could get addictive…

Once you hit your target weight you kinda start to think “Great, I can eat all the food now!” and the weight slowly starts to pile on again, almost unknowingly. I think it’s at this stage that having a weighing scales actually can be good. You’ve put in so much hard work to get to your desired weight in the first place and without intentionally doing it you start to put it back on. If you weigh yourself about once a month then it’s enough time to really see if you have actually put weight back on (and not just water weight or whatever) but it’s also short enough that if you have it won’t be that much and it won’t be too disheartening to start losing it again. It may just be the kick you need to get back into your healthy lifestyle.

Christmas is a bit of a tricky time for anyone watching their weight. There are so many parties and gatherings and we all sort have an obligation to show up and get involved, which is great. It’s the perfect excuse to eat and drink and not have to feel guilty. Understandably you put on a few pounds but just remember to make sure you enjoy yourself, don’t just shove a box of Roses or three mince pies into your mouth in one sitting just because you can, if you enjoy things then the few extra pounds of insulation shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. And remember, come January there are 11 months where you won’t have an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast.

The reason I started writing this post on weighing scales is because tonight is the PDF Christmas party, black tie event with a documentary premiere and afterparty in the uber fancy G Hotel in Galway. I have my dress, killer heels (literally, I’ve actually been practicing walking in them and look like a waddling penguin), am getting my hair done and have my make-up style all planned, pretty much like any other woman. Also like pretty much every other woman in my head I’m like “omg I’ve put on so much weight over the last month, I’m gonna look awful”, even though I’ll still look the exact same, nobody will notice but it will be in my head. The scales was literally up by 2 pounds at the start of the week and this actually bothered me and I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. So for the week I just keep going to class, kept eating the same things I always do but resisted all the desserts and cakes that are in my house. I haven’t checked what I weigh now because I feel better and know I’ve been keeping healthy all week so why should I let a number affect my night? I’ve never felt as confident, not just how I look but also in a how I feel and act. I used to be the shy/quiet one around people I didn’t really know (still am to a certain extent) but over the last year I feel like I’ve really come out of my shell and love the feeling. I’m more excited about going out as I know I won’t just be the quiet one with everything to say but say nothing. I’m happier. These are the things that should be measured and what people should strive to achieve, not how you look and the need for other peoples approval, although these will probably always be the things that people want and it’s understandable. It’s human nature to want to be loved and accepted. It’s the same with animals, they have a leader and dominant individuals, some also discriminate based on appearance so it’s something that is in our genes. The whole world of media, celebrity and social media makes us so self-concscious and seek other peoples approval. The amount of likes your photo got on facebook or instagram can actually affect peoples mood and perception of themself, even if they won’t admit it. Imagine how much better the world would be if there was a measure of peoples personality, charisma and kindness on their page instead of the number of likes or followers…