You know when you know someone for a long time and you keep them in your lives for no other reason then they’ve always been there? More often than not they make you feel bad about yourself but it’s not even really their fault, they’re just being honest. Once in awhile they make you really happy though too and then you feel like it’s just “right”.
Today was one of those bad days. I had chosen for quite some time to avoid the situation all together but today I decided to re-kindle what once was, for better or worse.
It was a mistake.
It is my goddamned scale.
I had not weighed myself in a solid 5, maybe almost 6 weeks, but after spending most of March in food jail (aka Whole 30) and feeling pretty damn good about what I was seeing in the mirror and how I was feeling, I decided that the final piece of that puzzle was to confirm my actual mass. Why?
I was unhappy with the number the scale dared show me and do you want to know why? I thought I would be at least 4 lbs less than what I am. 4 lbs. You know what 4 lbs really is? Nothing. In the grand scheme of life I am not any better or worse of a person, any more or less fit, any more or less healthy, any more or less of anything, except 4 stupid fucking pounds but still I let it discourage me.
I immediately felt badly about myself and about EVERYTHING.
Ugh, even I know how stupid this is. My stomach is off today and I’m bloated and I’m approaching the wonder that is Premenstrual Syndrome and I’m human and some days I will weigh more or less for no particular reason than physiology. I have no control over those fluctuations. I ate cleanly Monday and Tuesday (never mind Sunday when I dared to dance in the light and enjoyed the most glorious nachos and margaritas EVER) and drank a healthy (maybe even ridiculous) amount of water. Why was the scale betraying me so?
I started feeling bitter about my decision to do the Whole 30 and thought about what a “waste of time” it was, remembering of course that I actually did the Whole 19 and 3/4 and then took a brief hiatus before starting again on Monday. Then I remembered that with the exception of today, and Saturday night when I chose to not only dance with light but instead downright strip in it (popcorn, candy, booze oh my!); I feel better. It was not a waste.
We are at T-8 days until I turn 40 and I’ve decided the first thing I’m going to do is stop weighing myself, move the scale far away from my bathroom, and I’m also going to really work on liking this body of mine for what it is. I’m going to start shopping (as much as my pocketbook will allow anyway) and buy clothes that make me feel good no matter what the number on the tag is. I am going to work really really hard on stopping this obsession I have with weight!
I will keep working out because I refuse to be anything but healthy. I will keep workout out because I want to be strong. I will keep working out because it’s a habit now and a good one!
My first actual effort to lose weight was when I was 14. I think I was worried because I was over 120 lbs. What in the sweet fuck? I ate a lot of yogurt and fruit, I think, and tried to run but the running didn’t last long because no. I don’t care for cardio, any of it, but least of all running. So for all of those following along, 26 years of obsessing off and on about my weight seems like a huge fucking waste of time. Being mindful of my health is one thing and a good thing; caring about what ‘number’ I am, either on the scale, or on a tag, is bullshit. I’m done.
Does that mean I’m going to exist solely on nachos and margaritas and eventually drape myself in a well cut muu muu? No. Not obsessing and completely giving up are two different things.
I am going to choose to define myself by anything but numbers unless those numbers having something to do with weight I can lift or number of burpees I can do and even then, as long as I’m moving my body at least 5x/week, I am not going to worry too much about that either.
Who’s with me? I want you again to think of any one or maybe all of the men you know (like really ‘know’ or have ‘known’)…how many of you have had a boyfriend or spouse, come proudly out of the shower and do some sort of gyration for you with complete disregard for what they look like because nine times out of 10 they are really just proud of their penis and want you to be just as proud? When have you ever heard a man say: “I’m off carbs.” or “Omigod, I’m so fat!”
Before anyone gets offended, yes, some men take very good care of themselves and I’m not saying that their positive body image is bad – it’s just a direct reflection of how women are taught or even more than that, socialized to view their bodies as compared to men. Here’s the thing, we are smarter than that right? Sure when we were 20 and bought Cosmo and didn’t think it was complete shit, we looked at the ads and the models and fully bought into it. Come to think of it though, we had it easy in some respects – Monica and Rachel were not skin and bone back in the early days of Friends.
Now young women are bombarded with simultaneous messages of ‘Love Yourself’ and body acceptance all the while still using phrases like “plus sized model” instead of just “fucking gorgeous human being”. We have our very own Miss Canada who was body shamed in her run for Miss Universe despite being absolutely stunning and beyond fit and then took the world by storm when she had the guts to say she was okay with how she looks, more than okay actually! This should not be breaking news. I’m glad it was because girls and women everywhere need to hear this message, repeatedly, until we all believe it, but how do we even live in a world where a woman who looks like Siera Bearchell has to defend her appearance?
So how about it? Who’s with me? Let’s throw away the scales. Let’s throw away the doubt. Let’s stop listening to the voice telling you are not enough. Let’s dare to silence those who even dare suggest we put the cookie down. Let’s just love on each other, but most of all ourselves.
March 30th is when it happens for me. Take a week to think about it; perhaps even arrange a small ceremony for the ridding of the scale. Then think about what makes you feel good and do more of it! Is it yoga? Is it Netflix? Is it ice cream or is it salad? Or is it all of the above? I don’t care. I just want to be and I want you to be healthy, be proud, and if the mood strikes, maybe do a celebratory naked dance coming out of the shower one morning – I guarantee no matter what you think, your significant other will appreciate it!
And to my scale? Well I have nothing more to say than this: Bye, Felicia.