I don’t own a scale. The only time I get on one is when I’m required to at the doctor’s office — but I usually look away and don’t watch them write down the number.
Why?? Well, because I know my body and I don’t feed my self-esteem from a number on a scale. If a doctor needs that number — fine. But I don’t need it.
The truth is, I’ve always weighed a lot more than I look. Most people guess I weigh about 50 pounds less than I actually do. According to all the BMI and weight charts I am overweight.
Most of my life I’ve been a size 10. I’m a tall, solid woman. I have broad shoulders and curves. I don’t appear to be super skinny nor do I look overweight. I’ve been a size 8 at my smallest and a size 12 at my largest.
I’m satisfied with the way my body looks which is why I don’t feel the need to constantly weigh myself. I don’t need a number to put me in a category that will undoubtedly make me feel shi**y about myself.
As long as I still fit into my awesome pair of size 10 jeans that I’ve kept for years — I’m golden. Those jeans are my scale. If they get too tight or I can’t pull them up — I get more motivated to exercise a little more and maybe slow down on the junk food. It’s that simple.
Last week my husband casually mentioned that he had purchased a scale.
“What??” I had said to him at the time, incredulous. Why would he do such a thing?
Turns out he bought a cheap scale to weigh our luggage on for an upcoming trip (the overweight luggage fees at the airport are pretty horrendous).
Okay, fair enough. Not like I’m going to get on it!
I was tempted. After a couple of days walking by the scale sitting on the table and smirking at it, I finally gave in. I didn’t want to do it — but I felt compelled.
I exercise almost daily, I try to eat relatively healthy food. I don’t have any health issues that I know of. I don’t deprive myself on diets. I feel confident about the way I look.
But I was still curious. I wanted to know if I still weighed a lot more than I felt I looked on the outside. I suddenly had to know.
So I got on the scale.
Yup, it was up there all right. Same as before. Even though I was always exercising and fitting into the same size 10 clothes — I was still at a number that is considered to be overweight.
I felt shi**y. A grown, intelligent, and relatively wise woman feeling discouraged by one scale and one number (well three numbers actually) .
I’m over it now but it still burns me that I let my weight bother me. I’ve seen the documentaries and movies about eating disorders and the obsession so many people have with calories, weight, and working out. I see how people are literally killing themselves to be thin and strive daily to hit a certain number on a scale.
Thankfully, I haven’t experienced an eating disorder. But I can almost imagine what it must be like.
I know the next time I go to the doctor they’re going to weigh me. They’re going to look at the number and probably tell me I could stand to lose 10 pounds. And that’s okay. It is important to stay a “healthy” weight, especially as we get older. I get it.
But I fit into my clothes. I exercise. I finally love my body after decades of judging it. I’m not going backwards. And I’m not stepping on that scale again.
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Visit Michelle at The Pondering Nook for blogs on life, love, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting, body image & more! Also Catch Michelle co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast on similar topics.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.