"In the Middle Ages, they had guillotines, stretch racks, whips and chains. Nowadays, we have a much more effective torture device called the bathroom scale." ~ Stephen Phillips
That was my illustrious status update on Facebook yesterday. I was and still am, so fed up with the bathroom scale. I am even more fed up with myself for allowing myself to let an electronic heap of metal play such an important role in my life.
I have been overweight most of my life therefore I have quite a long and tortuous history with the scale. During times when I know I am not eating well and running the other way from exercise, I tend to avoid it and then verbally punish myself when I do get on it and see the number just getting higher and higher. It's even worse when I am eating well and taking care of myself because then I obsess about it. I get on it every single morning, around the same time. I do so after I go to the bathroom, but before I eat or drink anything. I make sure I have on the same type of pajamas...no socks. Then, I check it 2-3 times to make sure the number is accurate, sometimes even moving it to another room as the evenness of the floor can change the number a bit (I have a digital scale); praying that it will make the number go down even a little bit. I am sure there must be a psychiatric diagnosis for that somewhere....
The thing is though, it's not just the act of weighing myself that is dysfunctional. It's what I do to myself as a result. I know I am not the only one out there that does this. I let the number on the scale dictate how I feel about myself. The number that stares back at me says I am doing well with my weight loss goals or I am not. I let it convince me whether I am pretty or just a fat woman thinking that she's pretty. I let it discourage me and throw me off track from my health goals.
Well at least, I used to let it sidetrack me. So far, I have not this time around although I did come close this past week. I have pretty much stalled out on my weight loss and am frustrated. However I have too much to lose (no pun intended!) both physically and emotionally to let numbers dictate how I am going to get healthy. I have made a serious commitment to myself to change my life once and for all. Besides, the number on the scale doesn't account for my much improved cardiovascular status or my increased energy. It certainly does not account for how much I have decreased my risk for all the inherited diseases in my family such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
So what I have decided to do is say SCREW THE SCALE!! I think we should all say that!! I already know I am a beautiful person inside and now I am measuring my own outside beauty in other ways. I am looking at the healthy glow of my skin and the thickness of my hair that comes with better nutrition. I am feeling the looseness in my clothes. I am appreciating the muscle that I have built up in my body which is emerging from what used to be mostly fat. I am thinking about how much stronger my legs look.
I am not saying we should never weigh ourselves the rest of our lives, but we have to develop some type of healthy relationship with the numbers. They are just that, numbers. They represent a unit of measurement and not our beauty or our self-worth. For me, I have decided to take it one step at a time. I am going to fight the VERY strong urge to weigh myself every day. I have a doctor's appointment coming up in two weeks and am determined to not weigh myself until the nurse does at that appointment. Meanwhile I will keep eating well, staying active, and appreciating my body for all the beauty it holds, both inside and out.