I’ve noticed a lot of backlash lately toward articles focused on weight loss, and I’d like to weigh in.
(Apologies, I did not intend to begin with a pun.)
I don’t want to talk about weight loss.
No. Quite the opposite, because not losing weight is so much easier, and healthier too.
In just three simple steps, you could be feeling great—without weight—in no time. Instead of shedding pounds, why not drop weight instead?
We are a weight-obsessed culture. Health, happiness and well-being have been reduced to a rigid numerical system measured in pounds. Since when are scales a household necessity? These machines may have once seemed to offer a simpler alternative to actually monitoring how our bodies feel, but they have since spawned a terribly complicated industry. This industry sells us our self-worth in tiny pills and quick-fix books.
I say f*ck the industry. F*ck weight. Try this instead:
Step 1: Throw Out The Scale.
I mean it. Throw it out right now. I’ll wait…
…Is it in the garbage? Out on the lawn with a “Free” sign next to it? Lodged in a tree outside a now-broken window?
You see, weight, like age, is just a number—that is, a meaningless figure to which we ascribe vast and various values. Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to regularly track your weight, stepping on a scale once a year at the doctor’s office should suffice.
Now that the scale is gone, you cannot know your weight and therefore cannot lose or gain weight. You following? We’re on the right track. Instead of focusing on weight loss, which is no longer possible, you will have to—gasp—focus on real measures of well-being.
How does your body feel? Is your skin dry or glowing? Do you ache or feel strong? Do you strut or trudge? Are you often sick, or rarely? What internal “scales” can you monitor daily in order to track your body’s progress?
Step 2: Eat food.
Sit down first.
Most importantly, enjoy it.
What? Enjoy food? Oh yes. The second step to achieving a weight-free lifestyle is eating. Eating with relish (with delight, I mean, not the condiment. Unless you like relish, in which case, don’t hold back). Eating with gusto. Eating with awareness. See your food. Feel it; smell it; really taste it. If possible, take time to enjoy preparing it, too.
When food is ritual, celebration and veneration, rather than chore and inconvenience, it becomes a powerful means of connecting with and feeling good within our bodies. There is plenty more written on this subject, so I will leave it at that.
Step 3: Move.
Do something. Anything. Find an activity that inspires you and do it often. Maybe it’s a simple walk in the park. Maybe swing dancing, climbing trees, yoga, boxing, spinning in circles, playing lions…anything.
If you haven’t been an active person in the past, muscle gain might actually cause you to gain weight, but we’re weightless now, so that’s neither here nor there. Moving may result in increased energy, smiles, optimism, endorphins and friends (shared interests are an excellent starting point for new friendships). It may also result in increased appetite, and that’s just fine (see Step 2).
Do these three things, and you will never need any diet. That’s right, I have just given you a miracle-non-pill, super-special-non-weight-loss-treatment for free! No need to thank me, just share the solution with anyone who needs to not lose weight.
In all seriousness, if one person threw out their scale after reading this, I would consider this article a success.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran