I used to have a number in my head of what I’d like to weigh because I figured that number meant I’d put on that illusive glass slipper and finally be pretty enough to twirl in my ballgown.
But that shit’s for Cinderella and my fairy godmother is probably drunk.
You can read countless weight-loss tales of women and men who thought they’d feel different once they hit a certain weight. But they didn’t. The same insecurities raged. The same person in the mirror stared back, even if physically, they looked vastly different.
You know the first time you felt fat? Don’t you wish you could actually go back to that person and slap her?
I recently lost 4 pounds. Don’t get ahead of yourself by cheering me on — it’s part of the same 10 pounds I’ve lost and regained over the last year. Normally, I’d be beating myself up and playing mind games with where I should be by next week or next month in regards to the number on the scale. I just don’t necessarily have a final weigh-in number in mind for my goal weight. (Aside from a 2015 goal of losing 15 pounds, which seems like an arbitrary number.) I’m on what seems like an endless eat this, not that journey. I considered going back to Weight Watchers (can they just give you a “Buy 4 times, get the 5th time FREE” pass?) but there’s this nagging feeling that I’m grasping at straws at this point. Something has changed.
I’m waving the preverbal weigh-in white flag.
I didn’t share this with readers last year, but I went to the doctor for a full write-up physical while training for my 2nd half marathon. I expressed my unhappiness with the number on the scale. The doctor mentioned he struggles with weight too and he’s tried My Fitness Pal and Weight Watchers.
Been there, done that.
He told me to continue training for my half-marathon and wait until we get my blood-work back to see if anything was off.
It wasn’t. Nothing was off. Nada. I’m perfectly fucking healthy.
Actually, I believe his words were, “You’ve got really excellent numbers.”
Oh. Why, thank you. *slow-mo wink*
Do you know what’s it’s like being told you’re perfectly healthy? IT’S AWFUL. I needed a reason why the number on the scale doesn’t fall into the “normal” BMI range. I have everything telling me I was healthy, except that damn number. I worry that number could be detrimental down the road, the older (and hotter) I get.
So, here I am, living with really excellent numbers…*slow-mo wink*…but letting one damn number from a scale tell me how I should feel. It’s certainly held me back from doing things.
At 5′ 7″, I stood taller than most boys in elementary school and began wearing a bra in 5th grade. I was well on my way to being a wo-man (You must emphasize the WOAH) needing an underwire bra, with thighs that touched before I could even rectify what that meant in my head. At 11 years old.
It lead to a lifetime of squashing that inner mean girl talk. I have found, though, I’m much more forgiving of myself as an adult. Perhaps it’s because most women now have underwire bras and cellulite? Hey – we’re in this together! So I don’t feel as different as I did when I was 11 years old.
That said, I want to work on the self-love a bit more. If you had asked me if I liked my thighs 10 years ago, I would probably laughed and grabbed them to show the jiggle. Because I’m a giver AND a visual learner. Now? Now I know these beasts can move huge pieces of furniture, run 13.1 miles, cradle a ginger kitty and laugh in the face of thigh gap.
So, obviously, progress can be made. My thoughts are, instead of focusing on the number, focus on how I’m feeling.
I like how I feel after I do yoga.
I like how I feel after I go for a run.
I like how I feel after I eat a healthier lunch and forgo the Jimmy John’s #9 (Hold the tomatoes and mayo).
I like how I feel when I meal plan.
I like how I feel when I’m not doing a jig to get into my jeans.
This body of mine can and has done amazing things and I need to remind myself of that more often than what the number on the scale tells me. I want to take more of a #wycwyc attitude and move past reminding myself I didn’t get up early enough for a run and instead go for a quick walk when I get home from work.
I realize I talk a lot about empowering yourself and empowering other women, so it may come across that I have all the confidence in the world. But that constant power struggle between confidence and self-doubt still tugs in my mind as well. It’s not easy.
<insert “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it” quote here. Along with one giant groan and eye roll.>
It needs to start with accepting this body right now, how it is. Loving every nook and cranny. Heck, people learn to love their scars. The huge one on my leg looks like a tiger mauled me, and that’s exactly what I tell people when they ask. They don’t need to know in college I skid on some ice and fell off my bike into a bush. Yes, I was sober. Yes, the bush ripped my sweatpants and then skin. Yes, the story now is a tiger mauled me. I sort of love that scar now.
How do you get to that point? How do you train your mind to respond with kindness and not criticism? How do you avoid beating yourself up at each bump in the road? What if I actually focus on how I feel first instead of what the scale was telling me?
I don’t have the answer, friends. But I’m surely going to give it a mother-effing whirl.