What I Learned When I Ditched the Scale

This past summer I made the decision to ditch the scale.

Then the school year started and all the kids went back to school and this was the first year ever that ALL the kids were in school and so instead of getting tons of stuff done in September I kind of went hog wild in the undisciplined department.

It was reminiscent of when Michael Phelps retired from swimming (the first time).

He gained about 40 pounds and was semi-out-of-control because he had a really difficult time adjusting from total structure and a definitive reason to be disciplined to much more freedom.

I had given myself permission to enjoy September and to not put tons of pressure on myself to go from one extreme to another.

I gave myself time to adjust and time to breathe.

I apparently also gave myself time to eat.

Everything.

And having a little more time at my disposal also affected me in the exercise department.

Forced discipline and self discipline are two totally different things!

So I’m back on track in both the eating and the working out departments.

I’m still not stepping on the scale again.

But here is what I noticed when I stopped weighing myself.

There were other factors involved, but that’s when the discipline totally went out the window.

And what I learned about myself is that although I have established some habits that have stuck just because that’s the kind of lifestyle I want to lead (I haven’t had soda in over three years and I stopped using sugar in my coffee), I still have lifestyle habits I’d really like to make permanent.

Because if they were permanent, if they were actual habits, then all my clothes wouldn’t be too tight right now. I wouldn’t need to be constantly monitoring myself on the scale if I did some things on a regular basis rather than only when I was trying to lose weight or get ready for swimsuit season.

So I have some habits that still need work.

I don’t want to cut out entire food groups.

I definitely still want to enjoy a glass of wine (or three ) on occasion.

But I also want to be able to maintain a weight and waist measurement that is healthy without being a slave to a scale.

Or ever looking at one again.

But I also don’t want to take supplements or use powders or patches or fast or cleanse or do anything else that’s not just eating stuff that’s mostly good for me, moving every day, breaking a sweat every day, maintaining the muscle I have and adding a little bit more, and doing what I need to do to maintain flexibility and balance cause if I’m gonna be a grandma I’m gonna be an old grandma and I wanna be able to keep up with my grandkids (plus set an example for them).

So what do I need to do if I want to do all that?

I need to get more sleep.

I need to plan my meals better. Sometimes I’m really good with that, but sometimes not so much. But if I want to put mostly good stuff in my body then I have to have mostly good stuff available and ready to eat.

And this means I need to leave time to prepare it. That’s something I’ve definitely not been good about. Scheduling in that time!

I don’t want this to be something I do only when I’m trying to squeeze into my jeans.

When I was in high school I went to France on an exchange program for three weeks. I stayed with a host family.

The way French people view food and the way we Americans view food is so different.

It’s an experience over there! Even for kids at school.

And what I realized about myself in September is that I have a long way to go in the healthy eating department and what I need to teach my kids.

And what I mean by healthy eating isn’t necessarily what I eat or what options are available to my kids for their meals. I mean that’s part of it. But it’s also so much more than that.

I want to teach them all to cook. I want to teach them all to be more adventurous eaters and try new things. I want to teach them to plan and prepare. I want to teach them that what and how they eat affects the quality of their life and the amount of energy they have.

And I want to teach them to sit down and enjoy the experience of a meal.

This will be a challenge during the week with the craziness of school and sports, but it’s something I really want to work on for myself and for my kids. And it’s also a challenge when you are on a budget.

And I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it.

But it’s time to make some changes that stick.

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