Do you weigh yourself every day with your whole mindset being dependent on what the scale will say? How do you take back power from the scale? Are the numbers even worth the struggle?

In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about numbers, how we perceive them, and vanity sizing.


  • Beware of vanity sizing
  • The dangers of relying on external numbers
  • Numbers are not what’s important

Beware of vanity sizing

I know that shopping can be triggering because I have been there. When you are dealing with an eating disorder, sizes become important, so shopping for jeans, swimsuits, shorts, and so forth are stressful and triggering experiences, especially when you consider yourself to be – or are aiming for – a certain size, because all the sizes fluctuate.

When I talk about vanity sizing, what I mean is there are certain brands that notoriously change the sizes of their clothing so you can go to one store and fit into one size and it’ll fit great, and then you can literally go next door to another store and get that same exact size and it wont fit at all.

This makes it confusing to find out what size you are, over and above the already stressful situation of having to do shopping with an eating disorder. I bring this up because if your confidence and self-esteem are dependent on what size you wear, understand that this goes on and on and you will not fit into the same size in every brand.

If you don’t fit into the same size, I hope you don’t get triggered and go like ‘oh my gosh, I screwed up, I need to go on this extreme diet to go fit back into this size again’, because the point is that it has nothing to do with whether you lost or gained weight, it probably more has got to do with this vanity sizing that’s going on.

The dangers of relying on external numbers

The scale, apart from clothes-size shopping, is another big trigger. Even if the scale goes up half a pound, it used to send me into a complete tailspin and I would go gyming harder, would restrict more food, and would spiral. For myself and for many people, when this happens the internal dialogue turns darker too and you start to blame yourself.

It’s like there’s this trepidation going onto the scale, it’s like ‘oh my gosh, what’s it gonna say?’ like it’s gonna determine their self-worth for the day.

Really think about it: how much power do you give away to the scale, to any number that has got to do with how you try to measure yourself? Whether it is the size of your pants, how many calories you eat, the number on the scale, anything. You are giving away your power to these numbers that fluctuate throughout the day anyway.

Numbers are not what’s important

This is a slightly morbid but necessary example; no one will remember your size after you pass away, because it has got nothing to do with your value as a person.

And yet, I know there are a lot of you out there that are living life as if that’s what matters, that’s what’s gonna make you happy, that’s your value, that is your self-worth. But if that’s what defines you, if that’s what makes your life worth living, then wouldn’t they be in everybody’s obituary?

No, because the things that are on there are the ones that matter; your qualities, your life story, your loved ones, and your best traits. Those are the important aspects and they are important for you to focus on.

It is not possible for everyone to achieve this ‘ideal body’ because all bodies differ. Look at your family, on both your mom and dad’s side. What does your family genetics consist of? How do they look? This is your genetic makeup and it would not be possible for you to achieve the body of someone on the other side of the world, because yours belongs to you and theirs belongs to them.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well.

One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand".

Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it.

If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times.

My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it".

I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades.

But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share.

I am so happy you are here!


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