Day Program Intensive & Standard Outpatient

Can a Number Determine My Happiness?

by Elise Gordon, MS, RD/LD


My 5 year old can count from 1 to 100, quite amazing I think! To her she has learned her numbers and is proud of herself.  Then I go to work and hear my girls stating how they wish they could go back to weighting 90 pounds and I wonder where along the line did it happen that the idea of a number changed from being just that, a number, to something magical?

Eating Disorder RecoveryWe are a number OBSESSED society!  Now do not get me wrong, most numbers are very important, like 9-1-1 obviously and your ID number, but somewhere along the way, we have tied our weight number to whether we are someone of value.  “I just know that if I get to 100 pounds, I will be so much happier.”  Really?  Happier?  But will you be HEALTHY?  Will you be able to maintain that weight with normalized eating and exercise and still including all of your favorite, fun foods?  Probably not!  And then…what?  You will be happy to weigh that number forever and never complain about your weight again?  In my clinical experience at The Walker Wellness Clinic, it seems that the complete opposite is true; that one continues to focus on losing more and more weight, and wanting the number to be lower.

Do you know that 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner?

Do you know that 46% of 9-11 year olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets?

We must change our future!  We have to change our definitions of what is healthy.  Let’s stand out!  Let us not join the latest statistics and continue to contribute to years of dieting and body-loathing, unrealistic behaviors to maintain a “normal” weight and the formation of eating disorders.

It is important to remember that there are many reasons for weight changes that are not all negative.  Do you know that muscle is denser than fat and therefore can cause your weight to increase?  Body composition  analysis becomes a very scientific procedure to ensure health and wellness, to make sure you are at appropriate body fat to have a menstrual cycle, strong bone density, and no cardiac complications.

It is time to make choices, and that is a choice to LIVE, really LIVE, enjoy life, and the things that are important.




Let us embrace this and hold one another to a higher standard and stop the number fights with weight, clothing sizes, calories, fat, and number of minutes on the treadmill.  Let’s Start Living!

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