Since I can remember I’ve had this obsession with the scale. Obviously a lot of it stems from years of yoyo dieting, eating disorders and body issues. However, even as I got over those things I still struggled with not stepping on the scale every single day. It’s silly really that we put so much emphasis on a number. I mean, what does that number really tell us? Our health? Our power to love? Our self worth? NO!!!!! It tells us how much our bones, fat, muscle and organs weigh. Something that is going to be ever changing as we age and grow. Even when we are adults and we think we are done growing our body is still changing. So of course we shouldn’t expect to see the same number we saw when we were in high school or even when we were in our twenties. Our bodies mature and change and with that we should accept that number to change as well.
Now I’m not saying we should sit back and watch it steep to some obscene number as we gain weight unhealthfully. I’m saying that we shouldn’t have the expectation of it remaining the same as years go by and our bodies change.
It took me many years to realize this. Honestly it wasn’t until this past year where I spent so much time struggling with the weight gained for fertility, that I learned to respect my body a little more. Part of that respect came from stepping off the scale. Like I said, for years I was waking up daily, emptying my body of liquids with a trip to the bathroom, then stripping down and stepping on the scale. Every morning. Then I would let that number judge of how my day would go. If that number was up I made sure I hit the gym hard and cut back on calories. If that number was low I might have an active recovery day or an actual rest day. Maybe allow myself to splurge a little more than I would if it was up. Ridiculous right? The crazy thing is, I know that millions of other women do the same thing. I know this because they’ve told me. I’ve had so many conversations with friends, or just women in general where we’ve joked about how we allow that number to control our lives.
“Want another glass of wine?” “Oh no thank you I was up a few pounds today.”
“Let’s go get a frozen yogurt.” “I can’t I gained a few pounds over the weekend.”
You’ve probably heard it and maybe even said it at one point or another. But why? Why do we let that number run our lives? Don’t we matter so much more than a silly number?
YES! AND at 34 I’m finally realizing this. For the past several months I’ve found myself waking in the mornings and bypassing the scale. Then going about my day without thinking about it or the number I would have seen at all. You know what? It’s been quite freeing really. I find that I’m no longer stressing about what that number will be tomorrow throughout the day. No longer worrying how what I put in my mouth will affect it or if I’m spending enough time at the gym.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a new respect for my body. Before when I was stepping on the scale daily, I would shame my body if that number was much higher than it was before. I would feel mad, depressed, and frustrated with the way I looked. Now, as I’ve stepped away from the scale, I no longer notice those feelings. Even when I put on a pair of jeans that no longer fits, or go shopping and notice I’m no longer the size I once was. I respect that my body isn’t what it was when I was in my twenties, let alone a few years ago. I’ve come to respect that muscle weighs more than fat and while I might have weighed less in the past, I have more muscle now that contributes to that number being higher. Even though I’ve always known this, for years I didn’t embrace it.
It’s sad really. The amount of time I spent stressing over being a certain weight or looking a certain way. What’s really important is being truly healthy. At this time in my life, truly healthy means carrying more body fat so I can hopefully one day soon carry a healthy baby. It’s taken me a few years to honor my body for all it’s doing for me and I can honestly say that stepping away from the scale has helped me to do that. To treasure this amazing thing that I have rather than worry about a silly number.
So I challenge you ladies (and gentlemen) to step away from the scale! To learn to love your body for all it’s done for you and will do for you in the future. To embrace your curves and respect your muscles. To nourish your body with good healthy food and an active lifestyle not just to lose weight but because you love your body and you want it to be healthy. Who knows, maybe you’ll find with your newfound love for your body that you lose those last 10 pounds or gain the muscle you’ve been wanting to. You’ll never know if you don’t try it 🙂