the scale and a slippery slope.
Want to really know what I'm thinking as I'm about to write this post?
Oh brother, not this again. But yes, this.
A post about weight/the scale/being confident/being UN-confident/how women treat one another…
you might as well settle in and hold on-this post is going to be a wild ride. My wild ride. Please don't feel like this should be your story or that I'm stepping on your toes. I'm simply sharing what is true to me. Your story might be exactly opposite of mine..and that's fine. We each must be the tellers of our own story. Not letting others have the say.
Let me just say I've written about this topic many times on the blog, each time totally genuine and real for where I was in that particular season of life. My health and weight story looks kind of like the spice aisle. Or maybe the laundry detergent aisle. Basically a whole bunch of variety that all boil down to the same thing. I'm a woman who wants to be healthy…
but I get so caught up along the way. Just like with spices or detergent, there are so many avenues and routes you can take to end up with a really clean shirt, or a really great-tasting food. With my health, there are so many different ways to reach "healthy" and sometimes that's overwhelmed me.
It wasn't until my late twenties that I started to fully embrace my body and how God created me. (I feel like I owe a huge apology to our fabulous Maker for being so hung up for so long). Then over the next few years I began to figure out what healthy eating looked like for me, and then later on-our family. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?
The tricky part for me has always been the scale. That darn scale. It's ruled one too many days for me and by now I should know better. And I do. I haven't weighed myself in quite some time and it feels good. They say ignorance is bliss.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be healthy. Our bodies are created to function and function well-We must take care of them. Binge-eating potato chips for months and then worrying over our health would just be silly. But here's the world I live in.
Last winter I weighed considerably less and let me tell ya-that scale was my BFF. I woke up, my mind consumed with how little of calories I could eat and how MUCH I could run. Most days I was doing 3 or 4 miles a day. And for some, that's fine! Remember, this is my story. But for me, I began to worship that silly scale. The thinner I got, the more confident I felt.
The problem is, I was greatly missing the joy of food. And you'd better believe scales awful sister GUILT showed up if I ate something that wasn't on my handwritten schedule. The problem was, I was already healthy before I even started this craziness. I wasn't the skinniest version of myself I could be, but I was healthy. Isn't healthy what we should be striving for?
The truth is, no one looks at others and says "Good job! I see you're embracing your curves and not worrying yourself stick-thin." At least I've never heard it. Instead I see and hear weight loss praised. Even when the woman scooping up the compliments was already at a healthy weight before, we clap and cheer when she loses just a bit more. (again, my own personal experience)
This winter I, admittedly, haven't been running on the treadmill like maybe I "should." Am I healthy? Do I keep up with my girls? Do I eat healthy most of the time? Do I plan to be more active in spring? Yes. To all. (I mean, 90% or more sugar free for 7 months?! Holla!)
Do I worry other women are talking about how I've gained weight?
The awful, ugly truth.
I've sat in circles where I was the only one that ate bread and felt guilt so thick I could barely swallow. I just, somehow…don't think that's normal. Sometimes I wonder how great it would feel if I'd been someone off The Biggest Loser..because then my size now would be recognized for what it really is-healthy, instead of just seen as the slightly bigger version of myself.
What it comes down to is this-I'm not my skinniest self. By my own choice. I know within a matter of a few choices and decisions the exact route to lose about 10 pounds, right now. I know I have the power to do that. But for what? For whom?
I want my girls to grow up seeing a strong, confident, healthy mama. One that exercises and enjoys food and doesn't beat herself up over the numbers game that is the scale.
I'm taking a confident stand against the scale in my life right now. I'm choosing not to step on it..I'm eating a variety of foods and not apologizing for the lesser healthy ones, like the bacon on my plate above. I'm taking notice of my health and if all my jeans start to get too tight, it's time to rein my habits in a bit. But I'm not letting that darn scale and the whispers I fear rule my happiness.
If you see someone who is healthy and happy…compliment that. Even if they're not the skinniest version of themselves. That's braver to me than attacking my self-consciousness with calories.
I am so lucky and blessed to have a very small circle of very important, deep friendships. Friendships with gals who have seen me wear every single one of the six sizes in my closet and I still know that I matter to them….my soul, my heart, the real stuff of my body. Sisters across the web…will you join me in pursuing a healthy, kind lifestyle? For ourselves and the sisters that surround us?
Because for me, when I'm caught up in worrying about my weight, sliding down that slippery slope called the scale..all other voices in my world are silenced. My art doesn't get painted, my laughter doesn't bellow out, my ears don't do the listening they crave. I'm just half the person I am, literally and figuratively.
Where do you weigh in on this conversation? Can you relate or have you found yourself slipping down the unhealthy slope? I'd love to hear.
Here's to being US-our best versions. Our healthy versions, most interesting selves.
We matter, you and I. And we're worth more than any numbers on the scale.