A funny thing occurred to me while I was getting ready for work last week.
There’s really only one thing, just one, that I’ve done with any level of consistency since I was a teenager.
Not eat breakfast. Not pray. Not exercise. Not read or write or even have a glass of wine, all things I claim to enjoy. All things that make me happy.
I’ve weighed myself nearly every single day for the last 15 years.
It’s weird how mindless that task has become, while simultaneously being one of the things that most heavily influences my day.
Wake up. Feed the baby. Brush Teeth. Step on scale. Get ready. Go to work.
Step. On. Scale.
The 30 seconds I spend standing on that little square in my bathroom pretty much frames my day. The numbers that appear on that digital display influence my thoughts on my appearance, on what I’m “allowed” to eat that day, and, ultimately, tell me if I’d been “good” the day before.
If I’ve been good the day before.
How absurd is that? I know without stepping on a scale whether or not I’ve eaten good nutritious foods, if I’ve exercised, if I’ve gotten enough rest. (I’ve never gotten enough rest). How my clothes fit are also a pretty good indication of how I’ve treated myself lately. I don’t need a scale to tell me those things.
So really, all that scale can do is make me feel discouraged. If I’ve done all of those things, and that number has ticked up, what good has that done for me? I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and stepped off the healthy-eating train more times than I’d like to admit because the scale didn’t validate my good choices from the day(s) prior.
Here’s the thing: I’m always the first to tell my friends that the number on the scale doesn’t matter. That, ultimately, feeling strong and healthy is far more important than any number on any scale.
I’m lousy at taking my own advice.
But I’m going to start now. I have this little three foot version of myself that runs around and mimics everything I do. When I put on lipstick, she wants lipstick. When I put on a dress, she wants one too. When I curl my hair, she…well. She has curly hair so that bit actually confuses her. In her mind I should just be able to twirl my hair around my finger and have gorgeous ringlets like hers.
The point is, it would break my heart if her days were shaped by a number she sees on the scale. She told me yesterday that she wants to be a superhero doctor when she grows up because she is STRONG and she is SMART.
Superhero doctors aren’t bothered by numbers on a scale. And I’m not going to be, either.