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The weight: Forgetting about that nasty number

How to lower your self-esteem
How to lower your self-esteem
Jessica Girard

For many, the decision to start a diet is based on a number. The perception that less weight amounts to better health can be true in many cases, however, one's health should never for any reason be based solely upon that number. It is a dreaded thing, after all, and its immobility and upward movement leads to much discouragement for all kinds of people each and every day.

Since muscle is three times as dense as fat, the already-petite new runner who has built oodles of muscle in her calves and thighs over the past month, and who decides to step on a scale one morning, may be shocked and appalled to find that she has gained weight. Whether it be jogging, swimming, horseback riding, or frisbee golf, all of these activities help us to lose inches from our waists. Do they help us, though, to lose weight? Maybe. It is, in fact, a good possibility. But it's no guarantee.

Poundage lost can of course result in better health and higher energy, but it should not ever be the principle focus of any diet. Forget about the number, and erase from your mind the perception that being healthy is always about losing weight. This small step will make your lifestyle change vastly easier, will lead to a happier existence, and will help you to become a smaller, healthier version of yourself.

If you own a scale, un-own it. Unless the two of you are very attached, this will no doubt make your day. Now you're free. Living a healthy lifestyle is no longer about the weight for you. It's about the energy, the new sense of self-worth, and also, of course, looser pants. No more worrying about whether you've made the cut or where that needle lands. Stop looking down, start looking up, and enjoy the smell of the morning air during those twenty seconds you have previously spent, brow furrowed, staring into that little window and praying for a miracle.