At the end of summer, I decided (by way of promising my husband) that I wasn’t going to weigh myself anymore.
What good does it do?
I (honestly and truly) don’t believe that “Healthy Weight Ranges” and “BMI” are accurate or healthy portrayals of human bodies. I am lean, short and dense. And have been pretty much my whole life. I am on the upper end of my healthy weight range (due to muscle mass which is never accounted for) and in a mid-to-high BMI range.
I also have extremely defined legs, a lean and (mostly) flat stomach, and a decent amount of muscle on my upper body.
What I’m saying is that I’m lean. And neither of those two calculators tell me that I am. They tell me that lighter is better. End of story.
There was never a scale in my house growing up. And I thank my mother for that. So scales and weight and really even my pants size meant nothing to me. Because I was healthy and confident and active my entire life. And then I got pregnant and had a baby.
The first time, I gained a ton of weight. I don’t know exactly how much because I was under midwife care and (God bless them), they realized that each half pound really didn’t need to be documented. And then, due to the lack of scale in my own house, after I had the baby, I ran and ate well and lost a lot of weight. I headed back to Weight Watchers for a couple months just before my wedding and dropped 10lbs fast, but there wasn’t an obsession. I had lost close to 60 lbs in less than a year! Go me! I felt great!
After my second daughter was born, I decided to join Weight Watchers immediately (well, when she was five weeks old). I lost all the weight I had gained during pregnancy in five months. Go me!
But something had taken hold. This obsessed little voice wanted 140lbs. And then it wanted 135lbs. And then it wanted to lose more because it feels so good when you step on a scale and the lady congratulates you because you are lighter.
Fast forward three years and two marathons and a lot more muscle mass and I think right now I probably weigh more than I did at my lightest during my WW stint. I like my body better, it’s stronger and leaner, but’s it’s heavier.
The scale is a beshitted mistress. You lose two pounds and all you can think about is the next two. You gain five pounds and you feel like crap. It’s a horrible cycle that means nothing and does nothing to increase or promote your self-esteem long term.
So I quit it.
And then I didn’t.
I’ve been hiking with weights and running and doing core exercises at night and I have been feeling really good and strong and lean. I was in the gym a month ago and looked up from tying my laces and the scale whispered to me: Hey! Kaitlyn! You are looking *good* girl! I see a shimmer of definition on that stomach. You have been working hard…. you know? I bet you’ve lost weight. You are going to feel even *better* when see you that you’ve lost at least, like…. 5lbs? Maybe even 7. Wouldn’t that be something? Come here, just for a sec…
So I did. I gulped down the feeling of guilt (because I promised that I wouldn’t) and stepped on the scale. I excitedly adjusted the weight and…. I was one pound heavier than last time.
Tell me it’s muscle, tell me it’s water bloat, tell me I was stupid to do it in the first place. It doesn’t matter because it made me feel like crap. For three freaking weeks. Because I hadn’t lost weight. Because out of everything awesome that has been going on in my life, all I could see was that an irrelevant number hadn’t changed. How messed up is that?
I realized, of course, that it was the number that made me feel that way, that erased my hard work in the blink of an eye. But it took a long time for that crappy feeling to lift, to be honest.
It lifted and I feel great again. I feel strong and competent and happy. I’m not saying that I’ll never again be tempted to weight myself, but I am saying this: I am 100% happier without a scale in my life. Because the number. Doesn’t. Matter. It does not define you as a person. You are not your weight or your BMI or pants size.
You are YOU. Strong and wonderful and beautiful and funny!
And so am I.