Yesterday, I went to the doctor to have my blood pressure checked. All day long I considered canceling my appointment because I didn’t want to get on the scale and face the truth. How crazy is that??
When I got there and stepped up, it showed my highest weight EVER. I could no longer say “at least I didn’t gain it all back.” I wanted to cry, I wanted to run and hide. I was ashamed and embarrassed. How could I let it get to this point? I felt like a failure. The only thing that kept me from having a complete breakdown was the nurse who wouldn’t understand what happened if I ran down the hall screaming with tears. Once I was in the exam room, I figured the doctor might try to put me on some kind of depression meds if I was sobbing uncontrollably when she came in the room. So, I pulled myself together, my day was fine up until this point. Then it started to hit me. Why would I allow a number to do this to me? I knew I was at my heaviest weight before I got there. That’s why I didn’t want to come, because then, someone else would know my secret. Why do I allow this number to have so much power?
When I was sitting in the waiting room reading “Made to Crave: Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not Food,” there was a paragraph about the dreaded scale. The author said not to buy into what the scale says, and trust the effort you’re putting into getting healthy. She only lost 1 pound her first month. Not only are changes going on in my body, but there are changes going on in my spirit with my discipline, courage, and will power.
I have to remember that the scale only tells how much I weigh. It does not determine my self-worth as a person. I have an unhealthy relationship with my home scale and I’m somewhat obsessed with it. I weigh myself nearly every morning. But, I realized that I’m not doing it to see how many pounds I weigh. I’m stepping on the scale to see how I should feel about myself. I allow it to tell me if I should feel good, or if I should feel bad. But, realistically, I’ve lost and gained weight so much over the years, that I can almost predict it my weight within a pound or two. Rarely is it a surprise that I’ve lost or gained. I’m determined to make this a spiritual journey, and figure out the stuff on the inside first. The scale will not reflect my progress in this area. My home scale does not show that I’ve gone to church consistently for nearly 3 months, it doesn’t show that I’ve drastically changed my morning routine to include a healthy breakfast and prayer and inspirational words and music, it doesn’t show that I’ve started back tithing and ALL of my tenants paid rent, it doesn’t show that I’m reading and studying and understanding my weight struggles like never before, it doesn’t show that my family and friends love me, nor does it remind me that my breakthrough is right around the corner. Whew! That stupid scale doesn’t tell me any of that. But, when I get on the scale each morning, all of that logic goes out the window, right along with my self-esteem.
So, I’m putting my home scale away. (Like at the top of my closet far from easy access, where I’ll be too lazy to get a chair and pull it back out.) All of the things I’m working on will have a much greater impact on my life than seeing the half pound difference in the morning. You might be saying, but wait Carli, you can’t banish the scale! What if you keep gaining? Don’t worry, I’m not ignoring the fact that my weight is an important number that provides information. My clothes will certainly tell me if I’m gaining or losing weight. But I’ll get the scale information once a week at the Weight Watchers meeting. I will no longer torture myself each morning, hoping that losing a pound or two will make me a better person that day… “They” say you should focus on Non-scale victories, which has always been a challenge for me. Non-scale victories always seemed less important than actually weighing less on the scale. Should I really celebrate that I got the side salad instead of the fries? But, when you really think about it, those non-scale victories are the choices that ultimately make the number on the scale go down. Without the scale constantly telling me, that I should feel fat/ugly/happy/sad/sexy/dumb/worthless/etc today, hopefully I will focus more on the positive changes I’m making. I’m trying to be patient with myself as I learn to love myself from the inside out…