BODY

Stop judging yourself on a number

MEL NOAKES

The Self Care Coach

I am often amazed how women allow different numbers define them and specifically, how a number on the scales can influence how they feel about themselves.

As a culture we have started to use numbers as a measurement of success, happiness and validation.

Photograph by Thomas Kelly via Unsplash

Event the slightest deviation from what “should” be can impact a woman’s mood for the day, week or even longer.

“I’m (insert age), I should be so much further along”

“But I’m a size (insert dress size) now”

“I can’t believe I weigh (insert weight)

“What if the numbers are wrong?”

For example, BMI is used as a key indicator of a healthy weight and height ratio.  However, BMI doesn’t take into account muscle, age, ethnicity or where body fat is stored.

Dress sizes are different in many different stores.  Bra sizes vary from different suppliers.  Your weight will vary depending on the time of day and month.

Calorie counting is also something that women have become obsessed with but forget that a calorie represents energy.  If  you are expending more energy you need to replace that energy and you need a certain amount of energy to fuel your body.  If you consume too much energy your body stores it as fat and if you consume too little, your body goes into starvation mode to protect itself.

So what is a better way to use numbers?

It’s time to choose different measures

Photograph by Maria Molinero via Unsplash and Lucy Williams at My Heart Skipped

1. Select a broad range of numbers

Numbers are an important indicator of health, but no single number gives you a full picture.  A broad set of numbers gives you a much more holistic and broad definition of wellness.

You should consider how many minutes of physical activity you do a week, how many hours a day you sleep, your waist circumference, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels and yes you can include your weight, age, height and daily calorie intake in here too – but as part of an overall picture of health.

2.  Redefine the numbers of success for yourself

A recent client decided she’d be successful when she had more than 30 days of holiday a year.  A friend counts how many days she spends with her god-children.  Another friend counts the number of countries she’s travelled to.

Why not select numbers that make you smile and signify a greater level of joy than simply a number on the scales or the number in your clothes?

 3.  Throw away the scales

I’m not saying your weight is irrelevant, as per point 1, it’s one of the measures you can use to determine your health, but I’ve found in the seven years I haven’t weighed myself, I’m happier and more content with my body and I’ve started to tune into how it feels rather than what the scales say.

It’s liberating!

What numbers do you currently use as a measure of success and what will you change now you’ve read this post – I’d love to know!

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