I know pretty much every post I write lately begins this way, but man am I busy! This week has been jam-packed with work, travel, seeing friends from school, and even a date! (!!) No time to do, well, anything it seems. The good news is, I really like my job. Really really. So even though I have a crazy ton of work to do, it’s work I like so I don’t mind it.
Since I haven’t had much time to blog, I wanted to share a post today that I wrote in my first week of blogging that I thing brings up an important discussion, but that didn’t get much attention because no one even knew my blog existed. I promise to be back with some fresh material soon, but for now, weigh in if you will. (<—sorry, couldn’t help myself!)
To weigh or not to weigh? That is my question for you today!
I used to be in the weigh-myself-every-single-day-sometimes-many-times-a-day camp. Every morning, I would hop out of bed straight onto the scale. Of course, I couldn’t forget to go to the bathroom first because God knows there had to be at least half a pound I could get rid of by simply peeing! (TMI? Sorry!) I would tip-toe up to it, & say a little prayer.
Like a good little scale-slave, I based my day on the number that flashed above my toes. If it was my happy number (Or lower! Oh joy!), I was a happy girl.
If it was above my happy number, I was a devastated, cranky wreck. I would proceed to beat myself up all day long, determined not to eat anything that could possibly be unhealthy or make that bastard scale number number creep up. After eating very little all day long, I would come home & weigh myself again. If the number was lower than it had been in the morning, I had succeeded. I could continue on with my day without guilt. If not, more self loathing. A longer workout followed, which naturally I suffered through because I had no fuel! By the time I got home for dinner, I was STARVING! But I couldn’t have dinner yet! No no no . . . the scale was calling me. Perfect little scale slave stripped down & held her breath. Had my food restrictions & over-exercising paid off? Typically, yes. But at what cost? Even when I was eating full, healthful meals & exercising daily, I based my mood, & my self worth, on that little number. It was madness.
I tossed the idea around. Could I really get rid of my scale? So much of my life hung on this habit of obsessively weighing myself. What could happen? I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, so logically, I knew that nothing bad could actually happen. How will I know if I’m thin enough? When I asked myself this question, I had my answer. Time to stop being a frickin’ lunatic! The scale went unceremoniously into the dumpster.
It was liberating. I was FREE!!!! Free at last! I have never in my life frolicked, but if there was ever a frolic-worthy moment, that was it. Honestly, I haven’t looked back.
I wasn’t immediately healed or anything. There was definitely a learning curve with this no weighing myself business. But eventually, I settled into a new routine, minus the scale.
And I would be lying if I said I don’t have days where I feel down about my body. Some days, I wake up, look in the mirror & think, “How can anyone be this bloated!?” or, “My thighs are enormous. Seriously, they are the largest thighs on the planet. My knees are completely eclipsed by them!” or, “Good God! Where did this ba-donk-a-donk come from? Sheesh–lay off the cookie dough!”
But instead of hating myself for the rest of the day, I cover up my “flaws” with a cute outfit that makes me feel great & get on with it.
Yes, I still weigh myself–about twice a year when I’m visiting my parents. Each time, I ask myself if I really want to do it because I know the potential consequences. It has been so difficult for me to get to a more positive place with my body image–do I want to undo it all by tip-toeing onto the platform of self loathing? I feel like I’m still in a fragile place about that number. Sometimes, I just skip it. And sometimes, I say to heck with it & just go for it.
When I let go of the negativity & self loathing, it freed me to actually listen to my body. I don’t feel like I work out any more or less than I did before; but now, I work out because I want to. Because I like the way it makes me feel. Because I know that I’ll feel lousy if I don’t. Because it makes me happy & silly & better than I’d be if I didn’t.
I eat when I’m hungry. I eat foods I like. I DON’T count calories (Blech blech blech! Never again!!!). Occasionally, I eat more than I probably should, but I don’t beat myself up over it. I eat healthfully overall, try to eat whole foods, & just don’t worry about it all that much.
If there’s one thing I do know for sure, it’s that I am happier. My scale was a bully, & it made me feel bad. I let it do that to me. I asked it to! And just like that, I realized I could get it to stop.
if I feel good . . .
if I’m happy with what I see when I look in the mirror . . .
if I like the way my clothes fit . . .
if I appreciate the strength my body is capable of . . .
then the number on the scale truly DOES NOT MATTER.
Do you weigh yourself?