For those of you who follow Nutrition Solutions on Facebook, you know that I attended the CHRISTUS Live Well Women’s Conference a few weeks ago. (By the way, welcome to ALL my new subscribers from the event!) This all day event is designed with women’s health in mind and is a day of learning, connecting, and rejuvenation. It was my first year attending and it was a memorable event. I spent almost 8 hours in the screening section calculating women’s BMIs (body mass index) and daily estimated calorie needs. It was a whirlwind of activity and I loved meeting so many women. I only wished that there was more time for me to talk to each one and hear her “story.”
During lunch we heard Helen Hunt speak. The most memorable thing she said was a quote from her favorite poem. I wish I had written it down, but basically it was that women love secrets. They love to know secret things about each other and that is what connects us together. I agree. One of my favorite parts of meeting my clients for the first time is hearing them tell their story of health. It is so interesting to me to learn about their health goals and their journey of how they got to where they are now. Sometimes they tell me things about their weight, how they feel about themselves, and their hopes for their future that maybe no one else knows. In that way I feel very connected to my clients. I feel blessed to hear their story.
My secret that I will share with you is I hate the “numbers” that go along with our weight. I hate that we sometimes judge our self-worth by the numbers on the scale or our BMI. As I asked woman after woman to share her weight with me, I got a variety of responses. Only one refused (!), but other responses were “too much” or she would whisper it to me so no one else could hear. Truly, the numbers really don’t matter. Sure, knowing our weight, calories, or BMI are important for research purposes and I completely support that. We need to have a way to benchmark and categorize. But, for our personal uses, there isn’t much value. Really, we know how healthy we are just by the way we feel and how we look in the mirror. We don’t need a number to tell us that. We just know. We don’t need the scale to tell us if today is going to be a good or bad day. We don’t need to know our BMI. Will knowing that suddenly motivate us to make difficult changes? I don’t think so. We will make changes when we are ready.
So I’m a dietitian and I don’t like the scale or diets. I think we should throw away the scale and vow to not diet and instead focus on our overall health and well-being.
Assignment for this week:
- Think about how the scale affects you. Is it your worst enemy? Or do you feel neutral about it? How do you feel about your weight? Are you embarrassed to say your weight out loud? Or do you think of it just like any other number, like your age? I’d love to hear your thoughts via email.
- If you need help improving your health and body image, join me for my summer Intentional Eating Class, starting June 8th.