I will preface this entry as saying I know I’ve come a long way in accepting my body and what it has done for me. Having a health scare and completing in endurance events have had an incredible way of making me be thankful for what I have, no matter the size or shape of my body. However, I’m not perfect – in body image acceptance and the thoughts that creep up from time to time – and last week I found myself in a bit of a body image set back.
I was digging in my basement this week and I noticed my scale sitting dust-covered in the corner. I’m not sure what made me jump on it 3 days after Christmas and the best stuffing feed of my life, but part of me was feeling quite confident about my exercise habits over the past few months and curiosity got the best of me.
What I saw on the scale shocked me. I was my heaviest weight. Ever. My motto for weighing myself is this: Scales are for fish. They really are. But why am I (and so many others) drawn to that number that stares back up at us? I stopped to analyze my negative thoughts to try and understand my disappointment. Here’s my thought process. Right or wrong:
(1) What number would make me happy? My weight has fluctuated 35 pounds over my adult life and I have always felt there was this certain weight that I feel I should be. It was not the number flashing back at me. Linked to this number is a particular clothing size that is (what I consider) my happy place. I have a pair of skinny jeans in the bottom of my dresser that have not fit in an embarrassingly long length of time. Someday – I tell myself – I will wear these again, as if happiness is linked to me fitting into those jeans.
(2) There was a reason I moved the stupid scale to the basement. I should have moved it to the curb. Muscle is heavier than fat. I haven’t spent a year of working out to be happy with my weight – it has nothing to do with that.
(3) The reality: I am the fittest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve worked hard this year and sweated my a$$ off in order to reach some pretty amazing goals. These thighs may be bigger, but man can they ever take me so much further than I could ever dream about a few years ago.
(4) Body image is such a personal issue. I have a feeling every person struggles with it at some point of their lives, even if it doesn’t always make sense to the people around them. I mentioned my run in with basement scale to Tim and he scoffed and told me I look amazing. Why is it so hard to accept these compliments? Do the number get in the way?
(5) The skinny jeans and the scale are going. They taint my hard work and positive thoughts. This year is going to be about gaining strength and speed. Weight won’t have a say in the way I feel about my body.