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I broke up with my scale

I broke up with my scale years ago...

A common question: “Wow, you look great Natalie, how much weight have you lost?

Me: “Thank you, I have no idea!

A common question: What did you do to lose the weight and keep it off?

Me: “I changed my RELATIONSHIP with food”

A common question: “Does Whole30 make you lose weight?”

Me: “You can, it’s not intended to be a weight loss program; but a huge side effect of becoming a healthy person with healthy habits (what Whole30 promotes) is weight loss!”

These are some of the most common questions I get.

Of course when you have battled with weight for most of your life, like myself, these questions and comments are meant to be complimentary. And I do receive them as such, BUT I don’t evaluate my weight by this, in fact I don’t evaluate my weight by the number on the scale either. That’s right I said it, I don’t know how much I weigh, because I broke up with the scale years ago…

When I got serious about my weight loss journey back in 2009 (pic on left), it was definitely about the number on the scale. I started with the typical low-carb diet, got a membership at the gym (which I did use), and spent almost 2 years losing close to 100 lbs; YES, 100 LBS. You may be thinking; Wow, that’s an accomplishment, and yes, yes it was, but that was diet Natalie. This Natalie restricted certain foods because they had carbs or were categorized as “bad.” That weekly weigh in would measure my success, did I lose what I wanted to lose? Was that number what I had expected to see?! Did I lose enough to reward myself with a “cheat meal”, or better yet even “cheat weekend?” You see, this diet Natalie, was controlled by her “good and bad” food choices and controlled by that number on the scale. Many of you can relate to this, weighing yourself every morning, {naked of course, and preferably after the morning routine (#2).} Even If I weighed what the BMI told me I should (who made that thing up, anyway?) It wouldn't be good enough, I could lose 5 more, or even worse I told myself it doesn’t matter because I’ll gain it back at some point. How can a number have such an effect on me? What does that number truly say about my health? How does that number define me? And to top it off, how the heck can 2 lbs put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day when I woke up thinking; man, I feel skinny today, I must be down a couple of pounds. This here, is the definition of the scale having control over me.

Soon after I hit my “goal weight” I became pregnant with my 1st child. After he was born in 2012, was when I was introduced to Whole30. A 30 day experiment where you change your health, habits and relationship with food.

This eye opening experience was the 1st of many rounds I would complete, but here is where the story changes: this is where my relationship with food started to shift.

Whole30’s premise is evaluating how certain food affects you; physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the rules is you're not allowed to weigh yourself during the duration of the program. It’s the bigger picture, the habit change and decisions around food that equate to what is defined as food freedom. The mindshift of the ol’ cliche “diet'' to a lifestyle change. Shifting from, I can’t have that, to, I don’t want that (and no, not from a willpower struggle). Deciding which food is “worth it” or not. (I’ll explain what my food freedom looks like in the future)

Now let me be clear, this food freedom doesn’t happen overnight, in fact it’s something that is constantly changing, and being evaluated, perfection isn’t the goal here (as hard as that is for my personality to accept). This food freedom really started to stick after the release of Food Freedom Forever, By: Melissa Hartwig-Urban. (If you can get one thing from this, READ THIS BOOK) This book was a game changer for me, this is what I had been needing, the REAL LIFE application post Whole30.

Six years later, in 2018 when my last and third baby was only 3 months oId I was craving all the benefits that Whole30 brings me. (Increased sleep, better mood, less inflammation, high energy [insert newborn, and 2 young kids], self- efficacy, self-esteem, just to name a few) This was the last Whole30 I’ve completed to date. You read that right, I haven’t done a Whole30 in two years. That’s the intention, use the reset to discover where your relationship stands with food.

My current relationship with food is the best it's ever been. I know which food makes me feel and look great, and I know which food doesn’t. Not that a certain food is bad or good, it just comes with consequences. I’m not referring to the consequences of the rising number on the scale, but the way I mentally, emotionally, or physically feel. Yes, part of that evaluation is, does this food cause me to feel bloated, maybe? And hey, maybe it’s worth it.

Here's where I stand today; I control the food I eat, and I don’t make decisions or restrictions on food because I’m afraid I’ll gain 5-10lbs (hello, diet mindset). The scale says nothing about the way I feel and the way I look. I frankly don’t care what that number says, I’m happy with the way I look physically, and I won’t let the scale rob me of that self-confidence. I measure my “weight” in the growth I’ve made, accepting myself regardless of that digital blue light.

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