Why I'll Never Weigh Myself Again
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“The weight of an object is the gravitational force between the object and the Earth. The more mass the object has the greater its weight will be. Weight is a force, so it's measured in newtons. On the surface of the Earth an object with a mass of 1 kg has a weight of about 10 N.”
-BBC UK, “Weight, mass, and gravity”
Every morning, as you enter the locker room at your school's recreation department, you make a beeline for the scale that lives in the back corner. Other girls drift in with water bottles, red faces, headphones half out of their ears, sweaty clothes, and messy buns on top of their heads. Some head for the showers, and others take the same path that you took.
You've achieved your goal from the night before to get up and go to the gym first thing in the morning. You pushed yourself during your workout, you became out of breath, your heart was working its hardest, and even though you are super sweaty now, you feel amazing. Alive. Proud. Awake. However, depending on the number that will flash in front of you on the gray, cold machine in two seconds, your entire day will be altered. You'll either feel good (but not where we want to be just yet), or instantly upset. All it takes is one number. One indication of your gravitational pull to the Earth.
I used to be this girl. After an incredible workout where my body was able to sweat, do plenty of pushups, and lift heavier than the week before, I used to head to that back corner of the locker room and feel disappointed. My mood, my outlook on food for that day, and my self-perception all was drastically changed after each of those weighing experiences that I chose put myself through. I felt upset with myself. I hated it.
I recently had my yearly physical at the doctor's office. After the nurse wrote down my measurements on the record sheet, I glanced at it to see where I was. I immediately started to go into my standard shutdown mode -- all normal positive thoughts that I had had that day immediately ceased, my self-confidence, which is typically pretty high, began to diminish, and negative thoughts started rapid-firing in my head -- it doesn’t matter...but it does!...it definitely does...I wish I was a lower weight...what will the doctor say?...why did this even happen?”
And that’s when I stopped cold.
Why did this even happen?
I did not used to get my period, that’s what used to happen. I lost my fertility. I used to suffer from bad skin, mood swings, high stress levels, and the inability to fall asleep at night. Yes, I used to be a lower weight on the scale, but I was unhealthy in terms of my digestion and reproductivity. When I was in Greece in my freshman year of college, the only thing that I would do at the gym was the elliptical, and when it came time for bed, I would be hungry because most of the foods in our dining room were slathered with tomatoes and feta cheese, both of which I am allergic to. (They also served extremely questionable, hazardous meats, which I was definitely not going to try.)
Why did this even happen?
I started eating when I wanted to and nourishing my body with plenty of foods every day. That's what happened and continues to happen now. I got my period back, I feel accepting of my body, regardless of its size, and I have the happiest skin that I’ve experienced in a long time.
At 20 years old, I do not weigh the same as I did when I was eighteen or nineteen. Hell no. My life is completely different now, so why should my weight be the same?
The answer is that it should not.
I will not weigh myself ever again in the women’s locker room at the gym at my college. No matter what that number is from now on, it will not make me happy, sad, defeated, or upset. I am choosing to love myself and honor my body’s ability to move, sweat, digest food, lift heavy weights, run, do jumping jacks, walk, do way too many Downward Dogs, dance, sleep, and have babies one day. To hell with a three-digit number on a scale that determines the gravitational force between my body and the planet that we all reside on.
I no longer will give a damn about the number that indicates my gravitational pull to the Earth.
And I encourage you all, every single one of you, to do the same.
Here are a few reasons why:
1.) Your weight is not a direct indication of your health. Simply because you are a not a desired number on the scale does not, in any way, mean that you are unhealthy. In many cases, weighing more can mean that you’re happier, healthier, fulfilled, stronger, and less stressed and tired than you were in your past.
“Why is it such a stretch of the imagination,” he said, “to consider that someone overweight or obese might actually be healthy and fit?” -Stephen Blair, Arnold School of Public Health at USC (via The New York Times)
2.) Anything that leads to self-hate, self-criticism, and a decreased self-esteem is a waste of your precious time. Your miraculous life will be better spent cooking, catching up with friends & family, meditating, swimming for fun, playing with dogs, volunteering at a food shelter or in a hospital, dancing, taking a walk in your neighborhood, reading a book, and singing along to the live musicians at a concert.
3.) Remember that your body is doing the best that it can under the circumstances that it has been given. If it's recovering from a lot of stress (whether that be the physical, mental, or emotional kind), it's going to have to learn to trust you again. Offer your body time, and love it unconditionally all the while. It's the only home that you have been given to inhabit during this life.
4.) Your mentality, diet, living situation, emotions, and stress levels fluctuate in each new season of life; thus, it is completely normal for your weight to shift as well. You will never be one weight for your entire life. It is 100% natural for your gravitational pull to change as YOU do.
5.) Eat the damn brownie and feel no shame. There is no "wagon" to fall off and get back on. You eat food. You move. You’re a human freaking being. So, enjoy the treat and proceed on with your day. There never has been, and there never will be, a wagon.
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