Should a 12 year old be asking herself: “How can I lose weight?”I started weighing myself at the age of 12!!! Yes 12. Why on earth was I was asking myself how can I lose weight at 12 years old? Well, I was a ballerina from the age of 5 till 17 and my very strict Russian ballet teacher called me “fat” or “chunky legs” very often throughout the years of training, and I became obsessed with the scales over that time.
It’s crazy how one person can change you and play with your mind especially at a young age. The scales became my friend and my enemy all at once. Looking back, there was no way my weight would have altered much at all, as I was in my adolescence and super fit therefore plenty of muscles and hormones too. But I had no idea what was happening to my body and my mother never spoke to me about what was happening to me either. Unfortunately she and my father would agree with my ballet teacher and they put me on a diet. Basically restricting me from eating rather than teaching me about good nutrition. I mean we didn’t eat badly, as a French/Italian family our diet was heavy in pasta, bread, cheese and pastries.
“I wasn’t fat I just had puppy fat which is totally normal for a little girl of 12”
I kept this relationship with the scales for years. I would go on them everyday, first thing in the morning before I drank anything and after I had the longest wee possible! Making sure I was completely naked, I even took any jewelry off. My obsession with the scales continued into my 20’s and I even went on the scales when I was pregnant at age 30, not that it did any good.
It all changed for me when I became a personal trainer 10 years ago and started to educate myself on eating to nourish my body. At the age of 35, I finally understood that the reason why I weighed myself every day or multiple times a week, was to “keep an eye on potential weight gain”. The scale served as a sort of “check and balance”. I was scared to put on weight and that fear was ingrained in me from the age of 12.
Why was I expecting the weight to pile on? Was I not applying a healthy lifestyle? Was my current eating habit a daily battle with maintaining my weight?
As I grew older and wiser, I understood that like me, many women constantly chase an “ideal weight” or ask me “how can I lose weight?”. Perhaps it’s a weight from when we were much younger. We have a number in our head and think “If I could just weigh X amount again, then I’d be happy”.
Well I’ve got some disheartening news for you. If you are chasing that magical number, more than likely once you reach it, you still won’t be happy!
I know this because I have seen it happen time and time again with my clients and myself. Even though some of us reach that perceived ‘ideal weight’, we still come up with other things we want to fix or improve.
Its a never ending cycle.
My suggestion for each and every one of you is what I now apply to myself is to stop trying to reach that “ideal weight” and concentrate on how you feel. Train to feel amazing. I focus on performance and lift reasonably challenging weights as frequently as possible. If I need a break from training I take it and never obsess over it. In fact I even find myself craving my workout.
“Health is not about the weight you lose but about the life you gain”
I feel physically amazing for it and the physical training always improves my mental state positively. My clothes still fit well. I have been on this path for a few years now, training frequently and eating well, not worrying about the scales and I would recommend you start this new way of thinking as soon as you can. The quicker the better because every minute spent worrying about the number on the scale is wasted life that you will never get back.
Some people may wonder how they can accurately track their progress if they are told to put away the scales?
The following tools are, in my opinion most important:
How do your clothes fit?
Are you following simple stress free nutrition guidelines?
How do you feel? Do you feel stronger, healthier? Do you feel better than ever? Do you have more energy? Are you performing well in your training? Do you find daily tasks easier?
Focus on your actions. Are you eating well? Are you training consistently? Are your actions in line with your goals?
Has your self-confidence and body image improved?
If you like to track numbers, keep track of a few measurements like waist, hips, thighs and arms.
I CHALLENGE YOU
Put the scales away for 30 days minimum. Use the tools above instead.
I strongly believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the results and the new mind-set that comes along with the challenge.
AND ONE MORE THING …
I’ve recently found that just by cutting down on alcohol my body has changed so much. Less subcutaneous (that’s the fat that sits under the skin), and much less bloating. I know it ain’t easy but it’s an readily available source of excess calories to go after😢
Obviously the above applied to me, I wasn’t obese or unhealthy. Anyone who’s child is either obese and or unhealthy should seek the advise of their Doctor in the first instance, and try to follow a regime of a healthy nutritious diet and increased physical activity, under their supervision.
If you would like help with your weight or fitness for health, then you can sign up for one of my personalised fitness and nutrition plans for less than £1 a day for a 3 month programme.
There are easy to follow guides and videos that will help you find a structure on which to build a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones.
To find out more please click the link below, and join some of the thousands of ladies just like you that I’ve already helped.