Wait, don’t tell me, I already know the answer: Too many.
Here’s a perfect example:
I was having one of those days where your brain is so full, you’re just waiting for all the overcrowded thoughts and ideas and reminders to start seeping out of your ears. Between figuring out who was going to watch my too-sick-for-daycare son, how I was going to hit my work deadline, and when I was going to stop at the store for baby Tylenol because we’re out again, my mental capacity was shot.
When I couldn’t bear to think another thought, that was the moment my brain decided to point out that the waistband of my jeans was digging into my love handles. Thanks, brain.
It’s an all-too-familiar story that begs the question: If we’re already spread so thin, do we really have the extra mental energy to stress over how thin (or not thin) our bodies are?
I’m guessing that the average woman thinks about her weight – both in positive and negative ways – a minimum of seven times per day.
1. When catching a glance of herself as she steps out of the shower.
2. When choosing her outfit for the day.
3. When eating any meal.
4. When chatting with female friends or co-workers. (Because the conversation always turns to weight, doesn’t it?)
5. When huffing and puffing during exercise.
6. When watching television, reading a magazine, or viewing any other kind of media that’s filled with perfectly Photoshopped bodies.
7. When doing the deed. (Ok, so maybe this one isn’t every day.)
No matter how you slice it, seven times a day is a lot to think about something. For some women, thoughts about weight are probably only surpassed by thoughts about their kids (naturally) and food (ha!).
If you’re feeling a little weighed down by your brain’s tendency to dwell on the number on the scale, I challenge you to attempt to go an entire day without thinking about your weight. Not once.
I realize we have a bit of a pink elephant situation going on here.
The fact that you’re trying not to think about your weight means you’ll undoubtedly start thinking about your weight, right?
So here’s what I propose: When a thought about your body size pops into your head—”I hate my thunder thighs” or maybe “When I’m thinner I’ll wear that outfit”—immediately redirect your brain to a thought more worthy of your precious mental energy, either something positive or something useful.
- A body positive thought that’s completely unrelated to weight, like “I really love the color of my eyes.”
- A precious mama memory, like the last time your child fell asleep in your arms (be it last week or last year).
- Your exciting weekend plans.
- The next time you’re going to have a chance to sleep in!
At the end of the day, take stock: Do you feel lighter—metaphorically, if not physically—for having replaced thoughts about your weight with thoughts that truly deserve your mental attention? Does your mind feel a little bit more spacious? If your brain is as jam-packed as mine, you’ll be thankful for even a tiny bit of wiggle room!
Be honest: How many times a day do you think about your weight? What do you think would happen if you tried to go a day without a single reflection on the size of your body?