Once we get to this time of year, time seems to speed up as we race through the holidays and jump into the New Year. There’s an urgency to *get your life together* come January 1st. BEFORE jumping ahead, I like to encourage my clients to reflect on what went well in the year. So today, I invite you to help me celebrate these client wins and reflect on your own non-scale wins from 2021.
Why Non-Scale Wins?
We celebrate non-scale wins here at Everglow Nutrition because health is weight is not necessarily the best indicator of health. Diet culture will tell you that the number on the scale is the single measure of success or failure. But there are plenty of non-weight measures of health you can focus on instead.
This study provided data on a significant proportion of individuals who despite being categorized as “overweight” and “obese” were metabolically healthy. In other words, their biometric values including triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose were within a healthy range. On the contrary, a significant proportion of “normal-weight” adults in the study expressed cardiovascular risk factors.
This illustrates that there is SO much more to health than weight.
5 Non-Scale Wins I’m Helping My Clients Celebrate
Read through these client wins and reflect on your own progress!
1 – Ditching the “good” and “bad” food labels.
Let’s break down why this is a HUGE win! Labeling food as “bad” puts it on a pedestal. When something is “off-limits” it becomes that much more enticing. Also, labeling food as bad can lead to thoughts like “I’ve fallen off the bandwagon again” or “I’m so bad for eating x,y,z”. You might be feeling guilty or ashamed after eating “bad” foods.
Unfortunately, the same goes for labeling food as “good”. Even “today was a good day because I ate clean” is a harmful mentality because it enforces diet rules. Food has no moral virtue. You are not a “good” person for eating a salad or a “bad” person for eating a brownie.
After ditching these labels altogether, this client could focus on nourishing her body. She adopted a mindset of abundance around food and experienced less food guilt. CHEERS to that!
2 – Cultivating body acceptance.
Your relationship with your body lasts your entire life. Would you rather spend your entire life at war with your body or at peace with it? This client chose the latter.
She decided to work on improving her body image so that she could experience greater enjoyment in life and set a positive example for other young women. Talk about an inspiration!
Many people think that they need to change their body in order to accept it. These people have it backward.
You don’t need to change your body in order to cultivate body respect.
To cultivate body acceptance, this client:
- Let go of limiting beliefs picked up from diet culture
- Created an aligned wellness vision embodying her personal definition of health
- Repeated affirmations rooted in self-compassion
Her story illustrates that body image work is a change of the mind, not of the body.
3 – Less stress about food.
There’s enough to stress out about in life. Food shouldn’t be another stressor. Life’s too short to worry about how many calories are in the dressing you added to your salad!
Think about all the mental headspace you GAIN, when you stop stressing over food. You’re freed up to focus on your passions, work, and people.
As a non-diet dietitian, I firmly believe that you can achieve balance with nutrition without obsessing over it. I help my clients practice this through gentle nutrition. Gentle nutrition involves re-learning nutrition basics through a non-diet lens, allowing for flexibility with food, and honoring your body’s preferences.
In other words, you can still care about nutrition without it taking over your life.
4 – Stopped binge eating.
If you’ve ever struggled with binge eating, you know how impactful this win is! There were 2 key shifts that took place to help this client find freedom from binge eating.
First, she gave herself unconditional permission to eat chocolate. She stopped viewing chocolate as “bad” and allowed herself to enjoy it when she wanted it.
Second, she uncovered the emotional trigger that was driving the binges. Once she identified that what she was really craving at the moment was comfort, we were able to come up with a robust list of non-food coping strategies for receiving comfort.
To learn more about how you can stop binge eating once and for all, read How to Stop the Binge-Restrict Cycle.
5 – Increased body awareness.
After years of dieting, this client was able to reconnect to her body’s internal hunger and fullness cues. She began to notice early signs of hunger versus waiting to hit that *hangry* feeling. As a result, meals became more enjoyable and there was less of a drive to overeat.
Learning to listen to your body is one of the most powerful connections you can foster! You start to trust your internal body clock versus external diet rules. No more second-guessing the signals your body sends you!
What non-scale wins are you celebrating this year?
Does anyone else feel uplifted reading those wins? Don’t forget to celebrate how far you’ve come this year. All wins count, no matter how small. Want to celebrate your wins among a supportive like-minded community? Consider joining Everglow & Co. — my signature group nutrition coaching program to help you ditch diets and make peace with food!