Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weight weight...don't tell me!

"So, go ahead and step on the scale."

"Should I take off my boots?"

"You can if you want. It doesn't really matter."

Doesn't really matter? Seriously, does any woman you know leave her boots on to get weighed?

So I stepped on the scale, and the nurse adjusted it. And the number kept going up. Holy crap! This is not what I expected. I do not suddenly weigh that much!

Now, we're not actually talking a lot of weight. Like five pounds. But still. I mentally wondered how much my clothes weigh. I considered asking if I could strip down to my skivvies, but it was in a hallway. How much can you attribute to clothing? To lunch? To the weight of your earrings? Your glasses? The Kleenex in your pocket?

I know that a few pounds do not make or break my life. Rationally, I know this.

I know this in my head. And I walk around saying it. The number on the scale is not what matters. What matters is how your clothes fit. What matters is how you feel.

I say this to people all the time. And I honest-to-god believe it when I say it.

And then I get weighed. And that takes me right back to high school.

Now, I don't weigh myself. Not regularly, not ever. I don't want to fixate on a number. Because I have been that person who weighed herself twice a day. Who watched the numbers drop. And the smaller the number, the prettier I was. The better I was. The more lovable I was. The more perfect I was. Right?

Except that I wasn't. I didn't even like myself.

You're miserable when you have a list a mile long of things you don't eat. And even more miles you have to run before you do eat. When, if someone tells you that you look too skinny, you point out how enormous your thighs are. Because they are all you can see. When, if you haven't done your requisite amount of exercise for the day, you are immediately convinced that your body will double in size. By next morning.

The not eating enough? The exercising too much? The constant self-assessment and self-doubt? It takes a hell of a lot of time and energy.

I'm not that person anymore. I like myself now, at least most of the time. I have enough grip on the rest of my life to not feel like I need to control my body quite so much. And I can look down and say that dropping 20 pounds would be crazy. It would not make me more attractive. It would not make me happier.

That said, I freaked out. I called my mom to ask if it looked like I'd gained weight. Have I suddenly and inexplicably gotten fat?

I don't always have the best sense of my body. I need an outside opinion.

I am considering, the next time I get weighed, asking them just not to tell me. Because though it doesn't rule my life anymore, it sure can derail me.


  1. I threw out my scale 3 years ago. I have a doctor's appointment coming up in a month, and will ask them not to tell me.

    Because I know exactly what you mean.

    And, you're gorgeous. So there.

  2. Thank you, Dag! YOU are gorgeous! And I'm glad/sorry you can relate.

  3. Dagny, Lisa: You are both gorgeous. You're welcome to stand next to me any time you feel the need to feel skinny. ;-P

  4. I would like to take this opportunity to re-iterate my comment from yesterday's post about you and bikinis.


  5. VVK - You're a big, tall guy! In fact, you're one of the tallest guys I know.

    Matt - Thanks! :)

  6. Um, those doctors scales add about 5-10 pounds. Don't trust them. I know this from experience. Every bathroom scale I step on (and I've tried several) gives me the same number, I go on a doc's scale and I'm suddenly 5-10lbs heavier.

  7. "The human head weighs 8 pounds". When I feel icky on the scale (most of the time), I choose to subtract jewelry and my head. Yeah. It's weird. But it makes me feel better.

  8. "I don't always have the best sense of my body. I need an outside opinion."

    Damn, your readers must all be gentlemen if nobody took THIS easy opportunity for lewd-ish humor.

  9. It's a twisted logic that leads to believe that you must take your boots off in order to weigh less so that you may then feel prettier.

    Skip a few steps by leaving the boots on. Trust me.

  10. you know it's funny, i am very very very committed to the idea that one has infinite better things in life to worry about than weight. and i live by that as best i can, being a woman in a Glamour and Cosmo laden world.

    but when i go to the doctors, i get on the scale backwards. i just don't want to know. i figure if it's something freakish - they'll tell me! :)

  11. i just found your blog and read the putting out entry. you are such a great writer, you say what i feel and cant articulate! you are so right! i added u to my bookmarks and will be back to read everything and stay updated! thanks for the insight!

  12. It was probably just the shoes.

  13. Jo - I am very glad to hear that! I always take those as god's truth!

    HKW - This seriously made me laugh out loud. I considered weighing my head and my jewelry. If only I had a scale.

    Rich - Goodness. That didn't even occur to me!

    Anon - Certainly - it's twisted logic all around.

    kate.d. - I believe that as well, even though I'm not so great at the not worrying. And I try very hard not to read those mags and get sucked in.

    Anon - Wow! Thank you so much!

    2x4 - The shoes were off, my friend. Hell no on the shoes.

  14. When I go to my doctor, I tell the nurse I prefer not to be weighed. I know for a fact that for my health conditions, the reasons that I see a doctor, my weight isn't a relevant concern. And only once have I had a nurse push back about it, at which point I told her I was recovering from an eating disorder, and wouldn't be getting on the scale. Never had a problem since.

  15. I don't have a scale here at my current place, and I know I'm better off for it. I went through my own issues with weight in the past, and although I'm not entirely free of it, I'm doing a lot better. I wrote about my thoughts here:


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