No Wellness Wankery

77: I stepped on the scales and hated what I saw...

September 12, 2023 Lyndi Cohen
No Wellness Wankery
77: I stepped on the scales and hated what I saw...
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Diet culture tells you that scales are a must. But there's actually no requirement for you to step on the scale. Not at all.

In reality, the act of weighing yourself might be stopping you from finding your healthiest weight.

Have you ever experienced how encountering an undesired number on the scale can send you spiraling, sapping your motivation?

Jenna was 8 years old when she was sent to her first dietitian to be put on a 'healthy eating' meal plan, aka a diet. She spent the next 20 years dieting and is now thankfully coming out the other side. Phew!

But are you ready for a reality check when recovering from dieting? Sometimes you do things that you know will help you, and sometimes there are things that you know will make you feel crap... and you do them anyway.

Last week, Jenna stepped on the scale—knowing she might not like what she saw. But she did it anyway.

Surprisingly, even though she hated the number and definitely shed some tears, something good came out of it.

We are so excited for you to listen to this story. A lightbulb moment in a life without dieting.

Let's redefine our relationship with diet culture, discover balance and joy in the process.

So, if you're ready to break up with diets, join us on this journey because change can really be as simple as a morning stroll, an extra glass of water, or a good night's sleep.

Need a little extra support to ditch the scales? In my FREE 30-day challenge I’ll teach you how to say goodbye to crappy old-school diet advice and create a healthier relationship with food.

Click here to sign up for F*CK DIETS Challenge.


Hello, welcome to the no Wellness Wankery podcast. My name is Jenna D'Apice and I'm usually joined by Lyndi Cohen, dietitian nutritionist, nude underscore nutritionist if you haven't listened to the show before. But today is a little bit of a different one. Something happened to me yesterday that I just thought A it would feel nice for me to get it off my chest and speak about it, and, b I feel like it would be super helpful for other people like me and I know there are so many people that have been on diets their whole life and intuitive eating can feel super scary and it's such an unknown, but I have a story about why it's really incredible. So basically, if you don't know a little bit about me, I was put on my first diet when I was eight. I remember my mum was obviously trying to do the best thing by me and she took me to a dietitian and I was given my first meal plan that I had to stick to. And basically I have a niece I have three nieces actually, and one of them is eight at the moment and I just keep looking at her thinking how can anybody give you a meal plan to stick to For that even to be a thought in her brain. I'm so glad that that's hopefully not something that is the norm for little kids anymore, but that is what happens. So, basically from the age of eight until I started intuitive eating at around 28,. So that's 20 years of dieting at the part of my life where it kind of shapes all your habits and teaches you everything. So it's not even like I had always been on a diet. I didn't know not being on a diet, it was just like the norm. It wasn't even a diet to me, that was just life, the way that I thought life was going to be, when I was about, yeah, 28, started intuitive eating and I could start to see so many incredible changes happening in my life that I never even thought was possible. And Christmas last year I went to a water park. Why did I did that? That's another story, that's a different podcast. But I lined up for like 40 minutes for this ride and got to the top and I had to step on a scale and I had a big red light that basically said you're too heavy for this ride, go back down. And that was so insanely upsetting to me Like I just couldn't believe that there were so many people around me Like I lined up for 40 minutes and all of them could go on the ride and for some unknown reason I couldn't. Anyway, I went back down the bottom of the slide and, obviously to suck up a punishment, I found another scale weighed myself. So I could, because obviously a water park, there's just scales everywhere. I found another scale weighed myself and saw the number and I just cried and I was like I can't believe that I am this heavy. But I had been going so well and intuitive eating and I've been feeling so good. It was Christmas time. I was like you've just been eating like a lot and that's great because it's the first Christmas that I'd had in my entire life where I wasn't riddled with guilt and shame. So I'm like this is still a win. But this year I've been again. The whole year I have been feeling so great and my brain has so much space and I'm doing so many amazing things and I'm enjoying cooking and I'm living life and I'm loving it. My clothes are all still fitting me like there's nothing wrong. So basically every time I leave my Pilates room in the gym to walk, to get changed, I walk past the scale. They have a scale right there staring me in the face and for some unknown reason, yesterday I was like I want to see what I weigh, because in my head I was like my life is so much better and everything's getting amazing. So obviously I would have lost weight, I would have been smaller than this number in my head. And so I did all my normal disordered thoughts around the scale and I thought I'm going to go to the bathroom and I'm going to take off my watch because, like that's just what Weight Watchers conditions you to do Take off your earrings even. And I got on the scale and I weighed the heaviest I've ever weighed in my life. I was five kilos heavier than the weight at Christmas. That made me cry and this was honestly such a shock to me. When I saw the number, I instantly went back down to the change rooms and I just cried. I was so upset and I just thought this intuitive eating it's so stupid. Like why am I doing this? And then the thought popped into my head of before I did this. Yes, I was always on a diet. My life sucked, but I was smaller than I am now. And then that's when it hit me that I'm literally saying my life sucked, but I was smaller than I am now, and that's when I realized this is why I want to tell you this like intuitive, eating isn't for nothing. I have changed how my brain thinks about these things. I have unwired, started to unwire 20 years of conditioning that dieting and being the smallest is the only option, because I realized how bad my quality of life was. I don't obsess about food. I don't think about planning my next meal. I never think. I've never thought once in as long as I can remember well, probably I only started this two years ago. I haven't thought in my recent memory about how I don't want to go out with my friends because I don't want the calories, or, honestly, I often thought that. I always used to think of like, oh, I'll just stop doing everything and then I'll start again when I'm thin. I used to honestly think if I went to jail, I could just get thin and then I could come out of jail and restart my life. These are huge and it's so incredibly powerful to say these things out loud, because you're like what the flying eff, if I went to jail, I could just get thin. We're not doing that so. And then this is where it all turned around for me. Normally in my life, if I ever got on the scale and I weighed the heaviest I ever weighed in my life, there would be two options I would diet or I would binge. That would literally be the only two options. And yesterday, yes, I was still so upset I'm not gonna say that intuitive eating had miraculous healing properties and I just looked at this number on the scale and I was like, oh, it's fine. No, I was upset, I cried. But the thing is, I then had something on in the afternoon and there was a huge grazing platter of food out there and that would normally have been such a fork in the road of how am I gonna go? This Am I? I'm obviously having nothing, or I'm eating the entire board Would be the generally the only two options. And what happened was insane. I was hungry, so I made myself a plate of food. I made a little plate. I had some little sausage rolls and some cheese and some biscuits and all the fun things that I enjoy, and then I ate that plate of food and I was talking to people and I was having a good time, and then I forgot about the food and the fact that I didn't have all or nothing was after I had just cried about the scale was so insane to me. And that's when I was like I need to tell people about this, because even if you feel like intuitive eating is the hardest thing in the world, it probably because it is. Diets are so easy to start. You just research them a little bit, get your plan, go to Woolies. You're always like, oh, your Sunday grocery shop so you can get all the stuff ready to start your diet on Monday, and then you make your meals and you stick to it. It's so easy at the start and then it is so incredibly hard to stick to it. Intuitive eating is the opposite. I've been doing this for two years and it is still so hard yet for me to hit this type of hurdle and feel like, oh my gosh, I actually have made such intense changes to my brain and the way that I think I actually can still see the positives. And I didn't just take a huge step backwards, I didn't binge or go on a diet and I just realized, yeah, I probably need to move my body more. This is not about I just wanna keep putting on weight and I don't want my clothes to fit me. That's also not what intuitive eating is. But now I'm like, oh, okay, I need to move my body more. Obviously it's not about the food, because everything that I eat is incredible and I'm not obsessed with it and I'm loving life and I'm eating fruits and vegetables more variety in my diet than I ever have in my life because I don't have these safe foods that I have to eat. So then I came home and I was like, oh, I'm just gonna wind down, go to bed, because I know sleep is so important for me. And then this is the wildest thing I have the thought of. You know what? I'm not just gonna say I'm going to a 6 am gym class because I hate that, and that's what I normally would have done. I just set my alarm like half an hour earlier than I usually do because I'm like okay, I need to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier. And then I set my alarm for half an hour earlier and I wasn't like so mean to myself. So I actually ended up only getting up 15 minutes earlier than I usually have been, but that means I went for a walk that was 15 minutes longer than the one I did yesterday and that's so much more sustainable for me than signing up for some boot camp or going to some 6 am high intensity class, which I despise, that I used to do every day. Imagine doing something you hate every day of your life and making life feel like this life sentence of just stuff you don't enjoy doing. So I just thought this was a nice thing to share, because weighing yourself is horrific and I'm not gonna say that intuitive eating is going to unravel everything you've ever been taught and make you be able to stand on the scale and be like oh, who cares, it's just a number. But the fact that I have seen these results of the change in the way that I think, and that I can see this number and now be like yeah look, I don't necessarily need to lose weight, I don't feel like I need to lose weight, my clothes all fit me and everything's great. But I don't wanna continue to put on weight, and that's obviously what is happening, bit by bit, so I can make small, tiny changes and even if they don't result in weight loss, that's okay, because I don't aim to aim for weight loss, I just wanna stay the same. So I hope that was helpful for you. I just thought, no matter what point in the journey of diet culture you're at, if you're thinking about, I could never stop dieting or intuitive eating is too hard. I've tried and I've failed. Look, it is hard. But the fact that I did all the wrong things yesterday and I shouldn't have got on the scale because I knew that it would upset me, and I got on and I was crying, but the fact that I turned those tears into something that I could handle and not something that was these huge changes in my life and wanting to swing the pendulum swing all the way in the other way. I'm like this is incredible and there's so much life left to live after you say goodbye to dieting.

The Power of Intuitive Eating
Finding Balance and Happiness Beyond Dieting