Why I Don't Weigh Myself
The subject of weight and body image is a tough one, so warning: I’m going to be getting a little personal today…
There are only two times in my life that I’ve ever been concerned with the number associated with my weight: (1) in high school when I struggled with a borderline eating disorder, and (2) in 2015 when I was pregnant with my son Ezra.
It’s just a number that shows up on a little piece of metal that you can buy at Walmart for $10. However, it took several years before I got to a point in my life where I realized it was just that: a simple number.
In high school I remember being obsessed with this old book my mom had called the Zone Diet when I was 16 or 17 years old. I was 5’4” and weighed 120lbs, but I wanted to weigh 118lbs, because I had overheard another girl in my class bragging about it. I had no business being concerned with losing weight and yet I was. I kept my “diet” up for almost a year until one day I fainted due to lack of nutrition.
My weight had dropped well below my goal to a meager 108lbs. I was eating only about 1100 calories a day and exercising before and after school. That’s not healthy – physically or mentally. After my fainting experience I decided I needed to make some changes. I had been a captain on my school’s dance team, but I quit because I needed a break from mirrors. I stopped reading diet books and focused instead on the Food Guide Pyramid as guidance for what I should be eating. But most importantly, I stopped making weight a focus in my life and instead replaced it with a goal to be healthy.
If you asked me what my weight is now, I could only give you a guess. The only time I ever check is when I go to the doctor’s office. When I found out I was pregnant with Ezra, it was a real struggle for me to go back to the way I was before. I wasn’t dieting, or obsessing over how I looked, but it was still hard because I was visiting a midwife and checking my weight every month and then every week during the final month. I would find myself making the calculations in my head and then looking up on pregnancy apps to compare my weight against the recommended guidelines.
Honestly, I was so relieved when I gave birth and no longer had to track my weight. I know that’s sad and not how it should be during such a happy time. I will say this though, I never felt more secure in my weight and in who I was than when I was pregnant and that feeling has carried on even now. I used to feel awkward when people would comment on my weight. Now, I take it in stride. I’ve made peace with my past struggles and I’ve learned how to distance myself from the negative thoughts that used to plague me.
Everyone’s relationship with the scale and how they view their weight is personal. This post is not meant to pass judgement or divvy out advice on the matter. Rather, my words are mainly a reflection of my unique experiences and what I’ve learned as a result. I only share, because I feel like this is a topic rarely talked about in a raw form during the course of conversation and there may be others out there who have felt the way I have at some point or another. If so, I think it can be comforting to read other people’s stories on overcoming personal struggles. I hope that that is the case here.