I’ve never had a great relationship with scales. Honestly, I didn’t give a flip what they had to say. I was happy with my body and I didn’t want the scale to ruin that. If you asked me what I weighed senior year of high school or freshmen year of college I couldn’t tell you. I just didn’t care.
Then my my first year out of school my clothes started to get tighter and all of a sudden I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I began deleting photos of myself (I was the photo queen!) and I stopped wanting to go out. I was unhappy and didn’t know what to do about it.
The more unhappy I became, the further I strayed from the scale. Only this time it wasn’t that I didn’t care what the scale had to say, it was because I was afraid of what the scale might say. Ignorance is bliss, right? Unfortunately weight isn’t something you can ignore forever, eventually I was forced to step on a scale at a doctor’s appointment and came face to face with a number I didn’t want to see.
I still remember the day leading up to the doctor’s appointment. Knowing that I was going to be weighed put me over the edge. I was full of anxiety and denial. My heart raced as the nurse led me to the back room where the scale was, my hands began to sweat as I removed any unnecessary bulk, and I became light headed as I stepped up. By the time the nurse read the number I was in so much of a fog that I barely heard her. That didn’t stop the tears from falling.
That moment was when I decided to stop ignoring the scale and instead began trying to beat it. I began my healthy journey and little by little I began to win each battle. Every week I would step up on the scale and be greeted by a small victory. I probably weighed myself more in that post-doctor appointment span of a year than I had in my whole life leading up to that point.
Admittedly, I became obsessed with the scale. I maintained my weight to a T and kept myself accountable with weekly visits to the scale via my local Publix. I never purchased an actual scale fearing my little ritual would turn into an all out obsession.
Then the numbers stopped being nice. I was up a pound, I was down a pound, I was up three pounds, I was down four more, etc. etc. I couldn’t take it anymore – I knew I had to stop. Then, sometime last October I stopped stepping on the scale. I gave it up cold turkey and never looked back.
I felt free again not worrying about what the scale had to say. I lived my life the way I wanted to and felt great about my choices. An extra dessert? Why not! Beer every night? Well, if you insist! Without the scale I had nothing to keep me accountable and sure enough I fell right back into some old habits. I ate larger portions, drank more than usual, and had unaccountable snacks just because.
Unfortunately with old habits came back old frustrations. Tighter clothes, photos I was unhappy with, and an ever mounting fear of the scale developed. I’m only human, these feelings can’t be pushed down. As much as I want them to….
I was caught in limbo of feeling free and wanting to fit into my jeans again. I was so confused, I had no idea what to do. I felt something building up inside of me ready to explode.
Last week it exploded.
It was like deja vu walking up to the scale in Publix. All those same fears and anxiety from that day so long ago at the Doctor’s Office came flooding back to me. Again, I was afraid of what the scale was going to tell me. I was afraid it was going to be a number I didn’t want to see. My hands began to sweat, my head began to spin, and I literally had to remind myself to breathe in and out.
Stepping on to the scale and reading the number was like crashing into a nightmare (I know, melodramatic much?) It was not where I wanted to be. I wasn’t happy.
All those old feelings returned to me and I panicked. I didn’t want this, I didn’t want to feel this way. I hate scales. I HATE scales.
I overreacted. This crazy person thinking this was NOT me. It was a lunatic who wasn’t happy with herself. I was happy with myself. I was happy with where I was at in life and I was happy with my body… right?
Later that evening I was joined by a certain monthly visitor that explained my emotional reaction and the feared number. I was bloated, retaining water, and in the worst state of mind. I stepped on the scale this morning and was down 4 lbs from my little breakdown last week. It was still not a number I wanted to be at, but it reminded me more than ever that scales lie.
Scales tell us nothing, which is why I’m faced with this never-ending battle of ignoring them. Truthfully the only reason I stepped on the scale in the first place was to get a weight for a before of my New Rules of Lifting for Women Plan challenge (notice how I never ended up disclosing the number). If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have come anywhere near the scale.
If a scale gives me that much anxiety then why should I put myself through it? No thank you.
I’m at a loss right now. Part of me wants to vow to not step on another one and part of me wants to return to see if I can get back down to my ‘happy weight.’ Luckily, the part that wants to never step on one again is much, much stronger. That part wants to kick ass at her Half Ironman in September and knows worrying about a pointless number isn’t going to do that.
I’m strong, I’m a runner, and I’m me. I don’t need a number to rule my life. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll be fine.
I choose happiness.
Good-bye forever scale. I never want you to make me feel that bad again.