How to Be…Habitual

by Lindsay Timmington

Day 5 of the yoga_girl challenge and today the theme is “Get Rid of a Bad Habit.”  Unfortunately I have more than my fair share of bad habits to break but I stumbled across the one that’s probably the least healthy as I went to shower this morning.

Three years ago I lost about twenty pounds.  I wasn’t terribly overweight but I was terribly uncomfortable in my own skin and finally at a point where I was ready to live a healthier life. When I got to what I now consider my ‘fighting weight,” I was amazed at the difference twenty pounds made. I was curvy, strong and finally felt like my outside matched how I felt inside.

I’ve been able to, with relative success, maintain my weight despite some natural ups and downs moving in accordance with the ups and downs of life.  But the truth is, I’m an emotional eater and I often found myself turning to food for solace making my attempt to maintain a ‘fighting weight” substantially more difficult. And in the past couple of years I’ve gone through some “sit on the couch and eat a block of cheese” type periods in the past two years.

What I found worked for me was a regular weigh-in each week, and-as taboo as the phrase may be-calorie counting.  I found that if I didn’t log my food, my mind would quickly erase a cookie or five and what I knew to be a double or triple portion would be reasoned away into a single serving. Exercising has never been a commitment I’ve had trouble keeping but logging an accurate calorie loss isn’t always easy. At the end of the day, the whole thing is time-consuming, stressful and can unfortunately and terrifyingly give you a major complex that can quickly head down the road to disorder.

So the bad habit I’m getting rid of for the remainder of the challenge is my scale. What began as a weekly weigh-in quickly has turned into a daily (admittedly sometimes twice daily) step on the scale and I see how easy it is to become obsessed with food, exercise, calories and weight. I’d step on the scale each morning, unclothed, on an empty stomach and the numbers that flashed back would determine the course of my day, my mood, my meal plan and my confidence level. And at the end of the day it’s pretty shitty to be shackled to a number on the scale.

I can rant and rave about society and the objectification of women and the pressure to be pretty and skinny and sexual and this, that and the other, but at the end of the day the only person we control is ourself including our reaction and our attitude about ourselves and the world that sees us.  So I’m choosing to render my scale, “out of order” for the remainder of the challenge.

Here’s to letting a number on the scale be a number that neither represents your worth or drives the direction of your day. Here’s to measuring your worth not in the weight of your body, but your heart.