Ditching The Scale


Out on a run this morning through new fallen snow, it occurred to me that we are at that time of year when so many people’s well-intentioned resolutions begin to fade and fall away; leaving many of us convinced that we are weak and without willpower. That we are incapable of making lasting change.

As someone who now finds herself in the position of having made many changes over the years that not only  stuck, but that also got richer, deeper and truer over time, I spent the run wondering why that was so. The wondering took me all the way back to being twenty-five years old and thirty pounds overweight. To a time where I hated myself for being “fat” and for the cruel ways that I was treating myself.

At some point I just got so fed up with the diets, the use of food as medication and the way I felt about myself, that I made two radical choices. To get rid of the scale, and to figure out why I was using food to beat myself up with. It was scary to let go of the scale. Without that constant external number policing me, it felt like things might get even worse. More out of control. That without that constant reminder of either my failings or of the longed for number, I wouldn’t know what to do.

But that’s not what happened.

What happened was, as soon as I made the choice to stop policing myself with the scale, some internal “weight” lifted. I felt freer. Over time, a new kind of relationship began to form with myself where less and less was I turning to something outside of me to tell me whether I was good or bad. The less I was in the habit of thinking in those terms, the better I began to feel. The more I began to trust myself.

The self-trust that began to emerge after I ditched the scale, provided the foundation for exploring why I was using food the way I was. Not from a punitive place, as in “There’s something wrong with me,” but more from a place of recognizing that there just had to be a reason why I was doing what I was doing.

And there was. As a matter of fact, some very good and sane reasons why I was doing what I was doing.

Though it took a long time to get to it and to unwind from it, all along the way, I was learning how to be in relationship to myself where I was moving towards something, as opposed to away from something. In other words, instead of trying not to be overweight or hating on myself, I began to turn towards learning about myself and what it was that I needed. What it was that had been missing and that had been driving me to do what I was doing with food.

The more I moved towards myself (as opposed to what I didn’t want), the better my life became.

Which brings me to why so many of our intentions just do not work. When we see the diet or the program as something short-lived and separate from who we are and how we will live beyond a particular time period, we define ourselves according to something fleeting and in the direction of what we are trying to move away from. In essence, whenever we are focused on “the scale” as opposed to putting ourselves in the position of being with ourselves, understanding how it is that we tick, what we need, what is not working, we will never feel integrated enough to follow through with the very best of our intentions.

As long as we are in relationship to ourselves from a distance where we are imposing something on ourselves as opposed to knowing ourselves, we are tied to what we do not want. From this place we are at war with ourselves as we avoid dealing with the underlying reasons of why it is so difficult for us to care for ourselves. In so doing, we leave the most important parts out; dooming us to fail because we are not all there or all on board.

But when we begin to get interested in ourselves and why we do what we do, not only do we get the “results” we want, we come to find that the results pale in comparison to what is possible in our lives. For example, all I wanted all those years ago was to lose weight. Which happened only when I stopped trying to coerce myself. But that was nothing compared to the way that my mind and emotions began to change to the positive and to what was possible. To the way that my life has taken me on a decades long journey of exploring what it means to feed myself and others in life-affirming ways. And to the deep, deep understandings I hold about myself; who I am and what it is that makes me tick.

All because I decided to ditch my scale.


Sleepless Nights


Did you ever have one of those nights that not only can you not fall asleep, but you just feel awful all around? Maybe something in the body hurts. Maybe the room is too hot. Maybe your mind is buzzing away or you are awash in fear.

I just had one of those recently and it left me prickly and surly the next morning. Mostly, because I could not run down the cause of why I had the night I did. Was it the late afternoon chocolate? The extra moments I spent watching something on a screen when I knew I felt like I was being assaulted? Was it the chicken I ate? Maybe it was raised in fear and that was what I was experiencing. Was it my husband’s restless sleep next to me or the storm blowing around outside? Or how about the volatile energies in the collective?

Maybe it was everything all together all at once?

It was like a tsunami of human experience ripping though me. At first I tried to sort through each one of the possible culprits to figure out what it was. But there were too many to know what was what. I went from deep and burning frustration right into despair. Not over what was happening per se, but because I just could not figure it out.

There it is. Being in the middle of a storm is one thing. Believing that you can manage it, or even understand its origins or purpose is quite another. That understanding right there is the difference between heaven and hell. Our need to figure something out, coupled with our downright refusal to say “Yes” to what is happening becomes our vote for hell.

Whether we know it or not.

I’m not saying it’s not important to run down the things that bring on a sleepless night. Or any other disturbances we find in our lives for that matter. Of course it matters. If only to learn to take responsibility for our own experiences, what it is the body needs, along with the consequences of the choices we make.

What I am trying to say here is that not everything can be figured out. Not everything can be known. Then what?

Do we fight like a fish on a line against what it is we do not want? Do we rail against the unfairness of it all? Or do we let go? Into the deep and demanding rigor of being alive in a body having all kinds of experiences. This requires going beyond our expectations and demands that Life be a certain way for us to be ok. It means going beyond us putting our stamp of approval or rejection on what is happening.

Lest you believe this means giving up, it’s just not the case. In fact, it is anything but. Instead, to let be whatever is happening is to align with the Truth that we cannot know everything, that everything is not within our control, and that to believe it is, is to create a kind of living hell.

Mostly, it is to forgo the peace that is available to us in every single moment. No matter what is happening.

Which is why the next day, I turned my attention not to the potential culprit of my terrible night’s sleep, but to my response to it. And what I found was a woman so bent on fixing something that she was not able to just be with herself, without demand, in the midst of a terrible storm.



I recently read someone making the point that when we are lacking in self-respect, we will find ourselves agreeing to things we know are not good for us. This lines up well with a Lakota teaching about the evil spirit Iktomi whose nefarious power is to not only get you to believe the wrong thing, but to act on it.

Seems this human frailty to be led astray has been around for a very long time. A long history, if you will, of  the ways in which we can be duped, taken advantage of, lied to even, and how we will take up that intentional obfuscation of reality as a basis for how we choose to act in the world. Even when we know it is neither true nor good for us.

From what I can see, it seems this predicament has never been more prevalent. More ubiquitous. More threatening to our very existence when it comes to who we take ourselves to be, and how it is best to be using our limited time here.

I am, of course talking directly, but not exclusively, about the screen technologies and all of its offshoots. Given that we have not been able to wisely and humanely integrate the current technologies into our lives, truly making our life here better, how do we imagine we will be able to handle the likes of 5G and AI?

If you doubt the negative impact, or believe this is just how it is now, you need look no further than the skyrocketing rates of loneliness, depression, anxiety, obesity, increased societal drop-out levels amongst our young and wide spread polarization to see but a fraction of the harmful effects that have been caused through how we use the current technological iterations.

Given how we struggle with what we have now, just what do we imagine we will do when all the lines between virtual and actual reality have been totally blurred? How will we make our way when every minute of every day we are being convinced to engage in activities that somewhere deep in our human hearts, minds and bodies we know is not good for us, but feel compelled to do anyway?

We focus on developing greater self-respect as the very bedrock of our existence.

To respect one’s self is to value one’s life. No. Matter. What. If this makes sense that this quality can serve as an antidote to what we are facing, believing and doing, it becomes necessary to ask yourself a few questions. What does self-respect even mean to me? Have you ever thought about it? Do you know when you are choosing to violate it?

To live grounded in self-respect is to refuse to believe in or participate with anything that devalues you. Anything that dings the preciousness of your own life. And you cannot look outside of you as a reference point. While this has always been so, it has never been more so because the culture at large has fallen under the spell of Iktomi. Fallen into believing the wrong things about what it means to be alive. Fallen into a very abnormal abyss when it comes to what we accept as just the way it is now.

This is a solo mission. An inside job where we begin to walk back the “little” daily choices we make that undermines our value. Maybe it’s the endless scrolling and envy you feel while on social media. Maybe it’s gossiping or thinking mean things about yourself. Maybe it’s ingesting substances or over scheduling yourself in ways that dull your life force.

Whatever it is, you will know it by its telltale sign: Self-Destruction. A kind of slow drip killing off of your very magnificence. Of your life-giving capacity to act on your best behalf. So when you find yourself engaged in that telltale sign of believing the wrong thing and acting on it, get out of it as quickly as you can.

You Cannot B.S. The Body


As we begin the New Year with the best of intentions, if we hope to be “successful” at whatever we are resolving to change, we must become intimately aware of what is motivating us. Especially when it comes to resolutions that include the body.

For example, if our resolution is to lose weight or to exercise more, and the underlying motivation is to control the body, force it into looking a certain way, or if the unconscious sentiment behind your actions is fear, loathing or disgust of your body, your intention will be doomed from the start. This is not something a lot of us tune into because this is not what we think about when it comes to making changes in our bodies.

Whether we know it or not, we are deeply influenced by the western perspective based in invasion and control (think surgery, pharmaceuticals and all of the programs that seek to exert dominion over the body). But is this actually what our bodies most need, or what it is that brings them into balance? When we are willing to pay attention, we see that the answer has to be no. Look around at all the failed attempts to cure lifestyle-related illnesses by this approach, and it becomes obvious this is not what our bodies most need in order to to be well.

The truth is, you are one, whole living organism with every single part of you touching and affecting every other part of you. There is nothing going on in your mind that your body doesn’t know about, and nothing going on in your body that your mind doesn’t know about. When we deny or ignore the inseparable and seamless reality of who we are when it comes to our bodies, we miss out on more than we can imagine.

If this is true, and for just a moment imagine that it is, do you think you can trick your body into something? Do you think you can deny it what it needs and it won’t notice or care? Do you think you can hate it or be afraid of it and it won’t know how you truly feel about it?

Deciding to go on a diet is easy. Committing to a new program is nothing compared to what it takes to get to know how you actually feel about your body, and what it is that drives the choices you make. Make no mistake about it. It is a gigantic, lifelong endeavor to find your way back to recognizing that how you feel about your own body, and what you do to it, is how you feel about all of life. Including your own.

Ultimately, how you feel about your own body is how you feel about yourself.

This is deep and potentially scary to contemplate. It is no small thing to come face to face with the realization that how you feel about your own body reveals your sentiments towards yourself; how valuable or precious you believe you are. Or not. 

And that is why you cannot B.S. your body. Because it is you, and you, know how you, feel about you. Even if you have lost track of this consciously, somewhere deep inside is the knowing of when your actions come from a place of love, and when they come from a place of trying to get yourself to conform based in reasons that are less than loving.

So as you step forward this year, or any time you are looking to make a change, check in with yourself asking “What is driving this desire for change?”

It’s important to note that we sometimes do make a change out of fear, like when we get a scary wake-up call related to health. While the fear may be the shock we need to jumpstart a much needed process, at some point, it will cease to carry you forward in a life-affirming way if that remains your sole focus.

While arduous at times, learning to value yourself will always win out over behavior modification. Meaning, that while the body might momentarily seem to be submitting to the stick of the “carrot and stick approach,” it will be short-lived, unsatisfying, and worst of all, missing the very point of your existence.


If this resonates, you might consider checking out an upcoming program I’m offering called The Healer Within.