A lapse is not a relapse.

I have a confession to make.

At times, the number on the scale still sends me into a spin. Total downward mental health spiral. I’ve largely overcome these old demons, but they tend to rise again.

This is a hard confession to make because I work with so many who struggle with their weight and my focus is almost always on detaching worth from an inanimate object and challenging the culture that objectifies women and says we need to be small and unseen and “perfect” to be worthy.

I’m the first to point out the social structures that control us through weight.

In my own therapeutic exploration of this annoying situation I know the root origin of my own struggles. And while I wish that I was completely capable of bypassing this default setting it’s a reminder to me of the struggle of so many.

For those of you out there who don’t know this struggle and for those so called “health coaches” let me give you some advice: just saying “embrace body positivity” and “love yourself” and “acceptance is key” and “don’t own a scale!” is not the remedy. Those are shallow statements when facing root issues of perfectionism and other more pervasive challenges.

The best we can do to face a set back is reach out, get support, lean into healthy coping strategies and take stock of what’s important.

A lapse is not a relapse.