Recently, I was thinking about a friend I used to work with years ago. Everyday, she would walk to an empty conference room in our office building where there was a scale left behind from a Weight Watchers program. She would weigh herself at least once, often twice, each day. On most days I would join her, usually just to watch this ritual, but sometimes to weigh myself too.
I always asked her why she felt the need to constantly weigh herself, a question I started asking myself as well. What always confused me was the fact that she was, and still is, drop-dead gorgeous and not the least bit overweight. And, to top it off, she’s incredibly intelligent, funny, and kind. So, why is it that women with so much beauty inside and out become imprisoned by numbers on a scale?
The more I accompanied her on her daily ritual, the more it began to frustrate me. Finally, in protest, I went home one day and threw my bathroom scale in the dumpster behind my home. I wondered what it would be like to start determining the course of each day based on what my body felt like, instead of what it looked like.
So, what’s it really about? Is it an attempt to adhere to unrealistic standards of beauty? Maybe. But, I think it extends much deeper into our relationship with self. Most people, at their core, really just want to experience peace, balance, and happiness. The mistake many of us make, is searching for these things outside of ourselves. “When I have the perfect” body, job, relationship, etc. I will be happy and life will be amazing. But, here’s the catch – when you acquire those things, you’re still the same person with the same attitudes, beliefs, and personality.
I believe the answer lies with embodiment. What does that mean? It means really inhabiting your body and your life in the present. Accept and appreciate yourself exactly as you are in this moment and start showing yourself some love by:
- Nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods that make you feel great;
- Trading exercise for movement – rather than chain yourself to a treadmill, engage in activities you really enjoy doing, such as walking in nature, dancing in your living room, or kayaking;
- Spending quality time with loved ones; and
- Doing things you want to achieve in life now, instead of waiting for perfect conditions to present themselves.
We spend so much time trying to create healthy relationships with our families, friends, and partners. But, what would happen if you invested that same energy into your relationship with yourself? After all, it’s the most important relationship you have.