Let’s play a game. I’ll name a day and you tell me how much you weighed:
- this morning
- your last check-up
- in ninth grade
- when you were nine years old
How many did you get?
I got all of them. Because the value of that number has been ingrained in me for years. Forty to be exact, since my ninth-year checkup, when the doctor explained that I needed to eat better in order to lose weight. Of course, the doctor meant well, as did the healthcare professionals who came after him (along with friends, relatives, neighbors and strangers on the street – peoples’ health expertise when you show up as ‘overweight’ is off the charts. This new era of heightened sensitivity hasn’t done much to increase awareness – just limited the comfort to comment on it.)
The scale was a morning ritual, the number according me worth or lack of it depending on what it was the day before (that’s the randomness of assigning numbers, be they your weight or your salary or your budget or your profitability. The numbers have no value in and of themselves, they must be compared and contrasted against another number. So it’s good to be clear on where you got that other number, how much you want to hit it, and the price you are willing to pay to get there.)
After awhile I stopped getting on the scale and watching what I eat and counting my steps and measuring my waist and holding myself hostage to a closet for a woman of a certain size (my jeans range from size 10-18 cuz I am a swinger). Some days I look trim and fit, others curvy and full. Some days I get compliments, others I get eyebrows raised. I react to both with equal measure (I mean, I love a good compliment, please don’t stop!), but inside, I know – my number goes up and goes down and what stays the same is my relationship to body and the room I give it to expand or contract.
So, why did I weigh myself this morning? Because once in a while I like to check in, get some input, have a baseline, see if I get triggered and explore that, too. Because that number is interesting (not important), it’s informational (not inspirational), it’s data (of no greater value than the value of the number itself).
Because I can tell you what I weighed when I was nine years old and every day thereafter, but the number I saw this morning is already a blur, as I give my beautiful body thanks for what is sure to be another great day.