I gave away my scale this week. Unceremoniously taking it to Goodwill and saying goodbye. Big deal you might be saying. I get that. Let me give you a little backstory.
I’ve always looked at other women who I think are thin with envy. For the last probably 35+ years of my life, every…single…morning the first thing I had to check on was my weight. Was it ‘good’? If it was good, then so was my day. If it wasn’t, that’s how my day started, frustrated, annoyed with myself. My internal voice was on overdrive. I ate too much. I didn’t exercise enough. Today I would do better. On what I considered to be a good day, I was elated, quickly replaced by trying to replicate everything I did the day before so I could be good again tomorrow.
During the day, every time I ate was an opportunity to determine if I was doing good, if I was making the right choices. If I ate a cookie, I’d pray that I wouldn’t see the impact the next morning. Nothing was eaten without having weighed out the consequence in my mind. I had my ‘approved’ list of foods, ones that in some convoluted way I’d determined would not have a negative impact on the next day’s weigh in. Eating was largely a source of anxiety, judgement, by myself or others (in my mind).
And I was exhausted.
I started working with a coach because I wanted a solution to why my nearly 50 year old body felt like a magnet to weight. In reality, I’d probably been too thin and my body was getting back to where it should have been, I see that now. But then, I was frustrated and wanted the magic bullet.
So boy was I surprised when she told me to stop stepping on the scale, stop counting calories, stop weighing and measuring my food. But how would I know how I was doing? How would I know if my weight was acceptable? The answer? My body. Look in the mirror. My body would tell me by how I felt. Uhhhhhh…that’s what my scale did. But not anymore.
In the beginning, I struggled. But it got easier. And the more time passed, the more I started to feel in touch with my body. I noticed when things I ate made me feel strong, and what I ate that didn’t. I started appreciating the way other women looked, at all shapes and sizes and really noticed when they appeared to be comfortable in their own skin. Whether they were or not, I don’t know, but they appeared that way. And I appreciated them. As I did, I started to get more comfortable with myself.
Last week, my husband’s scale called to me one morning and I listened. And stepped on. My reaction was, huh. I didn’t get too tied up in it, but as the day went on, I found myself thinking about it, over and over, and the same mental game started again.
That did it.
Later that day, I took my scale to Goodwill and said goodbye. Forever. It was freeing and scary all at the same time, but I did it. The thing about the scale is that it was telling me what to think about myself instead of trusting my own body, my own intuition about myself.
The unfortunate part is, I know I’m not alone. The scale may not be your thing, but you may have one. That external thing that tells you how to feel about yourself, about your body, about the kind of mother, or wife, or friend you are. I’d suggest that you already know those answers. If you listen to yourself, to your intuition, you know. And you can trust that. No other person, or magazine, or scale, or whatever that thing is, knows your story, lived your story, been through your life and all that has brought you to where you are today. Only you. You are unique. And you are amazing. But you don’t have to listen to me, you already know that.
My coach launched me on my journey. If you’d like to talk to a coach about taking the journey for yourself, I’d love to work with you, that’s what the Be Brave part is all about. Helping you find your amazing self, because sometimes, you have to be brave to get there.