As a weight neutral dietitian, there are few and far instances where I find weighing clients helpful. When I work with individuals struggling with eating disorders, I take blind weights in order to assist me in monitoring their nutritional status and medical stability. When I work with pregnant mothers, I monitor weight trends to ensure baby’s growth is moving along appropriately and mom is well nourished. Even in these instances in my practice, I still only view weight as one marker from which I can understand my clients nutritional and health status from. I’m far more concerned with understanding my clients responses to food, relationship with exercise and ability to care for oneself when experiencing strong emotions or responses to stress as opposed to singularily viewing weight as a marker of their wellbeing.
If you are working towards detaching from using weight as a marker of how “good” you are or measuring your worth based on if your weight stays within a narrow range, here are 3 practices for you to assess to work towards weight neutrality as opposed to heading down the rabbit hole of weight and scale obsession:
- Monitor your response to food. Are you mentally categorizing foods into categories (clean, good, bad, dirty, etc)? Creating judgements around food puts certain food groups on a pedestal and creates unhealthy responses when they consume something outside of said “good/clean” foods.
- Check in with your intentions around movement. If your exercise is only motivated by the satisfaction you gain from “checking the box” it’s likely not an activity that will be sustainable in the long run. I typically ask my clients to imagine what activity they would choose to engage in if it had no impact on their weight whatsoever.
- Measure the quality of your lifestyle. Are you able to engage in activities your enjoy regardless of your weight or are you creating a false limitation (ie. when I lose x amount of weight I can participate)? Engaging in activities that align with your values creates community and build positives neural pathways for you to disconnect from your weight.
If you struggle with detaching from the scale or obsess about weight you may benefit from working with a nutrition therapist and exploring your relationship with food and body. Click here for more information on booking an appointment.