True Being RD
Emily Marshall 

The Emotional Roller Coaster the Scale Puts You On

While trying to lose weight, things go great until they don’t go so great. You see a down trend in your weight & it makes you feel all happy, but then the next time you check your weight, the number goes up & you start to feel awful about yourself. 


It’s an emotional roller coaster. Even when you are “happy” because you’ve lost weight, you might feel like it’s not good enough which just makes you feel worse.


When you feel this way about yourself, you might have thoughts like “well, screw it! My weight is up anyways, might as well cheat the diet & then get back on it again later” or “why the hell is my weight up? I’ve been doing everything right! Is this pointless?” 


You may not realize it, but the emotional roller coaster you’re on is not doing you any good for your mental health. You might be trying to rationalize it by thinking “If I just keep trying at the diet, I’ll continue to lose weight” or “it’s not that bad, I just need to improve my health & lose the weight in any way I can” 


If you’re actually tired of feeling this way, there’s a way out. 

  • First, recognize what’s the trigger for the up & down emotional swings & consequent behavioral swings. Is it the scale or is it wearing clothes that don’t fit? Looking at old pictures of yourself or constantly checking yourself out in the mirror? The scale is an obvious one, but there could be more triggers for you hiding beneath the surface.
  • Once you find the trigger, try scaling back on the frequency you interact with the trigger. You’re turning to the trigger (i.e. scale) for a number of reasons such as for validation or control & these can be hard to let go of. Determine what is a reasonable number of times you can limit yourself to. When you do this, begin to notice if the emotional swings also decrease in frequency. (They most likely will )
  • Now, here’s the kicker: By doing this, you’ve just taken a step towards improving your mental health. Keep going in that direction. Start to unpack & explore the reasons behind why you are seeking validation, control & manipulation of your body size. From there, you might be able to see that you’ve been taking things out on your body & working towards weight loss was just masking a much deeper rooted issue. 

What has your experience been with scale or another trigger like holding on to smaller clothes? Let me know by sending me an email here

Photo above is by Brook Lark on Unsplash


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