Saturday, 6 November 2010
It makes sense that we should weigh a bit more in the cold of winter, and a bit less when we're outdoors and active in the summer. Though clearly in modern, especially urban societies these differences are a lot less noticeable. In women, our natural cycle is obviously going to make some difference to our weight, too. And someone recently told me that they weigh more after they've been awake five minutes, even if they've been to the toilet in that time, than straight after they wake up. I haven't tested that one ;-D
On the course I've been doing, Deanne Jade recommends not weighing eating disordered clients in session. Although this goes against the policy of many clinics and institutions, this makes a lot of sense in terms of relationship dynamics. After all, if you as therapist are weighing them, there are all sorts of issues around power, shame, and your professional investment in the client gaining or losing weight. However, she takes her opinion further. Not only would she not encourage eating disordered clients to be weighed in session, she encourages them not to weigh themselves, either. In terms of therapists of any sort, she asks how we can recommend someone else doesn't weigh themselves if we are doing so?
Lest you feel this whole discussion is irrelevant to you, I return to the question: Do you ever weigh yourself? And what do you make of what you see on the scales?
Deanne contends that weighing is actually a lose-lose situation. If your weight has changed in the undesired direction, you feel like a failure. However, if it has gone in the wished for direction you may feel that you therefore deserve a treat (often a slippery slope), or that you can't possibly keep it up (self-fulfilling prophecy). Or perhaps, although it's changed it wasn't as much as you hoped, so you still feel like a failure.
When you stand in front of a scales and decide to get on and weigh yourself you are asking a question. And you get an answer from the scales. However, what is the question that you really want answered when you do this?
I found this a quite powerful reframing of the act of weighing myself. What is it that I want to ask or prove by weighing myself? Some people say they just want to check how they're doing. This in itself suggests the question, "Can I trust myself and my body?" As for me, the first thing that popped into my mind was "Am I loveable?"
Synchronistically, my scales batteries ran out at the start of the week. So I have now decided not to replace them and have already retired the scales to the cupboard under the sink. My Dear One's comment? "Great, now I won't stub my toe on them anymore!"
So, the next time you think of getting on the scales, try to take a deep breath, step back from the situation, and check in with yourself to find out what it is you really want to know. And maybe you'll decide not to get on the scales after all.
Image: Adjustment (Justice) from the Thoth Tarot.