Guest Post by Z Zoccolante: Stop Weighing Yourself – How to End a Love Affair with Your Scale

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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

We love to have guest posts and we’re so grateful that others want to share their stories and experiences with all of us. Every individual is entitled to their own health beliefs and we respect everyones wishes. While some of the comments in our guest posts may not be reflective of a true “Paleo Diet”, it is our hope that the common goal of a healthier life will help to guide you in your own health choices.


Stop Weighing Yourself: How to End a Love Affair with Your Scale

by Z Zoccolante

“You weigh yourself everyday?” I ask perplexed. I’m the friend with the eating disordered past, but scales have never been my thing.
“Morning and night,” she states. “I’ve done it for years.”
“What if you stopped? Like today, what if you just stopped weighing yourself?”
Her bottom lip dips down, towards her espresso cup.
“What are you afraid will happen?”
An expression pools across her face – The admission of something we repeat in our heads but are afraid to say for other’s ears. “What if I blow up like a blimp?” she says with lowered voice.
“So the scale’s your measuring stick. How do the numbers affect you?” . . .

Tiny numbers rule her day. If she’s ‘heavy’ in the morning, the day starts on a bad note. If she’s ‘lighter’ she feels happy, like things are on track.

Her scale’s numbers tell her how to feel about herself. They tell her that after the cake and the glass of wine, she’s ‘heavy.’ They roll over into the next day and affect her decisions about what to eat or what to wear. She’s wondered if the job or the promotion that slipped through her grasp would have been hers, if she were thinner.

Often people don’t realize that weight fluctuates within about five pounds during the course of the month. Hormones change. Digestion can back up. We could be chastising ourselves over a large glass of water!

Many people have love affairs with their scales. But if we measuring our worth in numbers, what are we measuring?

If we allow a number to effect how we feel about ourselves we don’t allow ourselves to be present in our bodies. We shut down our awareness of how our body feels. We disconnect from ourselves and let a number tell us what to feel.

How many times have you felt good in your body until a step on the scale instantly brings you down? How many times have you thought you were a gluttonous blob only to wonder why the scale doesn’t reflect that?

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Look at it this way, if a stranger called you an idiot you probably wouldn’t lose sleep over it. But how would it be different if someone close to you called you that? We’ve let our scales become close to us. They’re inanimate objects that we’ve granted the power to hurt us and control our moods. We nurture dysfunctional relationships with something that doesn’t even have a heartbeat.

Years ago, when I was in the hospital, I’d found myself fascinated with a quote plastered on the wall. It read:

“This is what a scale is: a weighing machine. This is what a scale measures: level, size, balance, range, degree, extent, amount, magnitude, and dimension. Notice this list does not include happiness, self-esteem, worthiness, lovability, deservingness, goodness or badness, beauty, body image, fatness, distress, or sanity.”

A scale does not measure any part of what I love about my friends or about myself.

Imagine your gravestone with the words:
Name: X. Successfully weighed: X.
How sad. What’s the point? What can a number on a scale, tell us about who we truly are?

I invited my friend to do an experiment to test if her fear was true. Would she blow up like a blimp? What was she at risk of loosing?

A few weeks later, having not mentioned the subject again, I slipped in the passenger’s seat of her car.
“I haven’t weighed myself this week,” she said beaming.
“That’s awesome,” I said. “So what?”
“It’s been liberating,” she smiled.

In the months that followed she set a system where she weighs herself once a week, on a predetermined day.
“I used to use the scale as a punishment or a reward,” she tells me. “Now I’m free from the number on the scale affecting me at all throughout my day. It’s pretty fantastic.”

Would you like to be free?

  • Throw your scale away.
  • Be dramatic and burn it in the front yard (safely of course).
  • If that thought causes a minor heart attack, start with a baby step.
  • Reduce the times you weigh yourself.
  • Put your scale in a drawer so it’s not accessible every time you walk in the room.
  • Set up a system, like my friend did, where you weigh yourself only once a week.

Fluctuations are a normal part of life with our bodies. Let’s not obsess over every one of them.

We end a love affair with our scale the same way we would with any relationship.

  • Realize the cons outweigh the pros.
  • Realize the relationship no longer serves you.
  • Realize it’s unhealthy and doesn’t lead to joy.
  • Realize you are more than an arbitrary number.

Desire freedom and true awareness of your body.
And then . . .
STOP IT. Stop weighing yourself. Stop cold turkey or stop with baby steps.

Try it for yourself. Take a breath. GO.
With Love,

Z 🙂


Z Zoccolante

Z Zoccolante is an author, actress, and fairytale dreamer. Her debut memoir will one day help others, who are trying to recover from eating disorders, attain happiness and freedom. As a coach, she specializes in uncluttering and defragging the mind. Originally from Hawai’i, she now lives in LA.

 

You can visit her blog at zzoccolante.com or connect on Twitter @ZZoccolante.

 

 

Guest Post by Z Zoccolante: 3 Easy Ways to Avoid the Stress of Holiday Sweets

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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

We love to have guest posts and we’re so grateful that others want to share their stories and experiences with all of us. Every individual is entitled to their own health beliefs and we respect everyones wishes. While some of the comments in our guest posts may not be reflective of a true “Paleo Diet”, it is our hope that the common goal of a healthier life will help to guide you in your own health choices.


3 Easy Ways to Avoid the Stress of Holiday Sweets

By Z Zoccolante

The holidays can be stressful for so many reasons: gift shopping, family events, the collection of parties, making memories for the kids, and of course the sugar filled goodies that tease us from every co-workers desk.

As a child, I overheard the adult conversations about holiday weight gain and their resolutions to rid themselves of it. We have all refused the beautiful dessert, or forgone the second spoon of a dish we truly wanted.

The most stressful part of the holidays, for me, used to be the collective mass of food available. At fifteen, I developed an eating disorder and bought into the lie that skinny was beautiful.

I longed for holiday joy, but was faced with dread, self-loathing, and self-distrust. How could I be happy when I was a big fat failure?

When I recovered, I studied the source of what robbed my holiday joy. I realized that we tend to set rules for ourselves instead of listening to our bodies.

Rules like:

“I will only allow myself one cookie.”

“I will bake cupcakes with my child, but I won’t eat any.”

“I’ll have just one forkful.”

“No thanks, I’m watching my shape.”

Many of us share a collective predicament: the focus on our bodies as a measurement of our self-worth. So how do we stop this ridiculous war?

Here are 3 simple things you can do, this holiday season, to bring the magic back into food, and peace to your heart and mind:

1) Get Rid of the Rules.

Have you devised certain written or unwritten rules about how/what you’re allowed to eat? Throw them in the trash. Seriously. The best thing I ever did for my body was to make no food taboo. The psychology is simple. The more we resist something, the more it persists because we’ve given it a strong focus. Take the power away from food.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

Allow all foods, but pay attention to how your body feels when eating each food. The body is amazing and will tell us what it truly needs, if we let it. Allow foods that you want too, like that delectable cupcake. Then, when you are enjoying that cupcake, actually enjoy it. Use all your senses to appreciate taste, color, and texture. Don’t just shove it down your gullet, in the car, hating yourself the whole time. Treat foods like treasures, whether they are body needs or body wants.

2) Get Rid of Naughty/Nice food labels.

It’s become quite boring to hear people talk about food being on the “good” or “bad” list, as though foods must compete for a “naughty” or “nice” award. Food is food. You are not sinful because you ate a brownie for dinner. Likewise, you are not a saint because you refused the brownie and had a salad instead.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

When you notice that you’ve just put a food on the “naughty” list ask yourself, “Why is this food naughty?”

Often, we crave sweet food when we need more “sweetness” in our lives. Sometimes our eating masks an emotional need. Other times we just wanna eat the cupcake.

If you want to eat the cupcake, at least know why you’re eating it. Then eat the darn thing, with love.

3) Get Rid of Being a Grown Up.

When I was a kid, the holidays were full of special moments. Time spent in the kitchen baking cookies with my mom. Dancing to Christmas music while flinging tinsel on the tree. Palm trees glowing with rainbow Christmas lights. As we grow up, some of the sparkle we felt as a kid dims.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

Bring the sparkle back.

  1. a) Does your family sit around after meals, watching TV? Suggest an alternative. Build a snow family in the front yard. Take a walk and see who can capture the best photo on their camera or iPhone. Create arts and crafts for the house or mailbox.
  2. b) Tired of the same holiday goodies? Is your body craving a more natural treat? Try out a new recipe. There are numerous people today creating recipes from ingredients your body might process better. For example, you could start with the free holiday recipes on this site.
  3. c) Make a secret family recipe and gift it to a neighbor.
  4. d) As a child, what did you love most during the holidays? How can you recreate that sparkle in your life today?

If you find yourself struggling with food stress this holiday season, please contact me here. I LOVE coaching and want to support you.

Mele Kalikimaka and joyful holiday wishes to all.

With Love,
Z 🙂


Z Zoccolante

Z Zoccolante is an author, actress, and fairytale dreamer. Her debut memoir will one day help others, who are trying to recover from eating disorders, attain happiness and freedom. As a coach, she specializes in uncluttering and defragging the mind. Originally from Hawai’i, she now lives in LA.

 

You can visit her blog at zzoccolante.com or connect on Twitter @ZZoccolante.