08 October, 2011

DAY 8 - Weighing Myself

The 24 Things Clearing Challenge 
encourages you to make room in your home, heart, and mind to create an inspired future

For several years now, I have had mixed feelings about my body. I go through periods of loving it, then hating it, then remembering I need to appreciate it, then feeling uncomfortable in it, then having my husband tell me it's beautiful, then sort of believing him, then sort of not...

I honestly have a hard time remembering an age when I wasn't aware of body image. I can vaguely recall playing outside on our swing set in the backyard when I was maybe 10-ish and not having any worries except whether or not I could flip myself upside-down on the rings. I remember the whole puberty age, developing more quickly than some of my friends and starting to become very aware of my physical image. I think I remember being pretty confident with it for most of high school. At my performing arts college, I have clear memories of wanting to be thinner and thinner - to match the body types of the beautiful dancers. After graduation and moving to New York, I went through ups and downs (in mood and weight) depending on what was happening with my career and my love life. When things were good, I ran and exercised and ate better. When things were less good, I was less good about those things, too. A ridiculous spiral, because running and exercising and eating well are things that can turn my bad mood around... but it's hard to remember that and act on it when you're already in the bad mood.

It wasn't until I got pregnant, though, that I started paying attention to my weight, the actual number of pounds, mostly thanks to the wonderful practitioners who weighed me twice a month at our check-ups. Gaining around one pound per week was celebrated. What a great feeling! Never once did I believe that I was gaining too much weight and I felt more beautiful when I was pregnant than I'd felt for most of my 20's.

But there's a constant awareness of numbers during a pregnancy and birth: the date of your last period, how much you weighed at your first check-up, how many inches you're dilated, how many hours you were in labor, how many pounds and ounces your baby weighs, how long your baby is, the exact date and hour and minute of her glorious birth. And then, after a few lucky months of living in yoga pants and big t-shirts, cuddling with your beautiful newborn and sleeping on and off all hours of the day and night... you go back to work. And back to your work clothes. It's as if you have to somehow re-claim your previous life. But you can't quite. Because not only is there a tiny human that you'd rather snuggle with than do anything else in the world, but it's also hard to fit into your previous clothes and your previous bras and your previous shoes.

In the first trimester of my pregnancy, I remember reading something I thought was really comforting and reassuring: "It takes 9 months to put on the weight, so don't be surprised if it takes 9 months to take it off." But as those post-birth 9 months are more than doubled now and I've still 10-15 pounds to go before getting back to that pre-pregnancy weight - I bought a scale.

I've never owned a scale. And now I know why. Turns out, I'm a bit of an obsessive weigher. I've stepped on every scale I've ever come across in any number of bathrooms... and now that there's one in my very own bathroom, I have weighed myself every day without fail. And no matter what that number is on the scale, or how I feel about that number, I realize it's totally unproductive to be reminded of that number first thing each morning. Especially when you're trying to lose weight the healthy way, (in other words: at a snail's pace).

All of this is a long-winded way of saying, for the rest of this month I'm giving up the scale. I did not weigh myself this morning, and I will not weigh myself until November 1st at the earliest. Maybe even longer. Who knows where this crazy plan will lead me?!

The results of this day's letting go: hopefully more freedom from my ever-judging inner voice; a chance to keep feeling good when I wake up (without giving a number the power to change my mood).

1 comment:

  1. My favorite part of writing this post was when I stumbled upon EverydayPeopleCartoons.com. Their slogan: "Cartoons about women, and the people who love and annoy them." I have bookmarked it and will visit it often. :)