I most enjoy questions, whether they come from a client, a reader, a dear friend or a totally stranger (hoping of course that stranger speaks some version of English or is very clever at charades as I only know 5 words that are not of English origin).
One of the questions I was asked recently was how often I weigh myself.
My answer? Every hour on the hour.
Ok ok ok ok, confession, of course I don’t do that craziness, I actually haven’t weighed myself since before Lily was born (almost 5 years). Of course during pregnancy I had to do the weigh-in at check ups, but that was never a big deal, it went hand in hand with things like taking my blood pressure and hearing my girl’s precious beating heart.
Why don’t I weigh myself?
The reason I don’t weigh myself is that it tells me absolutely nothing about who I am. It only conveys to me my pull of gravity on earth and that is all. Seriously, that’s it.
A scale can’t tell me how smart, funny, awesome, loved or loving I am….it can’t tell me if I am a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter or aunt….it can’t tell me what I value, what my personality traits are, if I have good morals….it only can tell me one of many measurements about my physical body.
Now lets rewind the clock 20 years ago (or so) shall we, and ask the same question….
The answer to that question would be daily (if not more).
I would secretly sneak the scale out of my parents bathroom and weigh myself, often more than once a day, obsessing over the number. It would literally play like a film reel in my head all day (what a boring movie hey?) If it was anything more than what I wanted it to be (which it ALWAYS, ALWAYS was, which is just outrageous because I was anorexic, literally), it would ruin my day. That’s it, my day would be over and I would be done. A grouch. Grumpy pants Mc Gee, miserable. At that time the scale didn’t just tell me a small part of who I was, I let it tell me exactly who I was…..worthless, no good, untrusting, fat (again, i was absolutely not these things, but I let the scale tell me that I was), insignificant.
Looking back, I cannot believe the sadness I let creep into my life because of a freaking scale….I mean honestly, I felt a scale told me that much about myself. That is ludicrous! What if I put that much emphasis on another number that measured something about my physical body, what if one day instead of the usual 37.0 degrees, it said 37.1 and I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror because of that 0.1 degree difference? Or what if my blood pressure was 70 beats per minute on Tuesday when on Monday it had been 71 – would that have been the end of me, would that 1 extra beat trump all other positive thoughts I may have had about myself, disabling me from carrying on as a contributing member of the human race?
I know, you think I am blowing this WAY out of proportion….but am I? Why have we allowed a simple electronic device rule our world in such a major way? Who chose the scale instead of the blood pressure machine or the glucose testing kit? Each one of these contraptions can tell you something about your health, but for some reason the world has said (and we, for the most part have willingly obliged) that the scale has the first and last word on exactly who we are….when did we get so scale crazed?
Are you scale crazy? Perhaps it’s time to throw yours out with the trash? Perhaps its time to limit stepping on the scale to doctors visits? Perhaps it’s time to put a post it note on the screen reminding yourself who you REALLY are and what the scale CAN’T tell you. Where ever you are at, I hope that you know you are so much more than a silly number.