I would apologize to my bathroom scale for exiling it from my household, but I’m not sorry.
I come from a line of tall, leggy women of Czechoslovakian descent with fair skin, freckles and light eyes. We are not willowy by any means, but nor are we Amazonian. In my years on this earth, my body has been both heavy and scarily thin. I reside currently between the two extremes. The genetically slow metabolism that I once cursed, I now accept as much as I do my freckles. But always, always, I’ve known “my number”.
Since I started my stubborn “dammit I’m getting healthy” journey just over a year ago, I’ve come a long way and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life. By settling into a mostly-Paleo, clean eating lifestyle (notice I did NOT say diet) in which I am both comfortable and happy, I’ve not only become accustomed to cooking myself healthy meals, I crave them. But I’ve also found there is wiggle room for indulgences in moderation without berating myself for every Oreo or Shock Top beer I consume. Because let’s be honest, tracking every calorie burned vs every bite of food consumed is not only a drag, it’s borderline obsessive compulsive. I enjoy food. I don’t want to hate it.
Changing the way I eat is one thing. Unfortunately, it takes longer than one year to undo decades of self-destructive thoughts.
So I’ve decided my bathroom scale has to go, because it is lying to me. My current number does not mean I’m out of control. And frankly, it pisses me off that it’s ingrained in my mind that this number is innately wrong. I’m baffled as to why my brain simply will not accept that this number isn’t “bad” (fat) weight – it is muscle weight. I’ve tried to tell it. It won’t listen! Instead, I’m stuck trying (and clearly failing) to warp and morph and mold this number I’ve never been okay with into suddenly being perfectly normal and la la la nothing to see here. Luckily, I’ve moved past the point where I went shopping and tried to fit my noticeably larger
muscular! I DO SQUATS! ass into the same size skinny jeans that I wore a year ago and had an ugly cry right there in the dressing room. Let’s forget that even happened.
I consistently read and am inspired by the blogs of fellow CrossFit women, all of whom look incredibly fit and swear they never step foot on a scale. I’ve spoken with girlfriends from my gym who also staunchly refuse to weigh themselves unless they are forced to – like in the doctor’s office. For the record, a doctor did a double-take at my friend’s weight and then gave her 5’2″ frame the up-and-down as if to say, “Where is all this hiding???”. Yeah. The girl can deadlift 295 pounds. She’s tiny, but mighty. And listening to them convey their acceptance of “the number”, I want to be like them. Confident in my hard work and how it’s changed me for the better. I don’t want to be possessed by this ridiculousness any longer.
In speaking with the trainer at my new CrossFit gym last night, he guided me to try a new approach. Stop weighing myself, yes. But also: stop counting calories. Stop wearing the Polar heart rate monitor to track how many calories burned. Instead, he gave me a formula for determining the right amounts of protein/carbs/fat grams to consume. He reinforced the importance of the clean eats lifestyle I already follow (mostly) – it’s essentially Paleo, but has moderate allowances for good dairy and the occasional grains.
I’m pumped to try it out, because I’ve reached the point that something’s got to give. Instead of staying chained to the kinds of destructive thoughts that I flog myself with on a daily basis, it’s time to let go. I hereby declare that I’m not going to step on the scale, starting today. It’s time to free myself and rely on my own body and my clothes to tell me what I need. Not a calorie-counting app. Or a heart rate monitor.
And you, Mr. Bathroom Scale, sir? Enjoy living in the garage with the spiders.
Has anyone else chucked theirs out the window? Literally or figuratively? I’d love to know that I’m not the only one out there. And wish me luck!!