It’s something I never do. For several reasons. I could have a relapse at any moment. I know it. But, because I am so “hands on” and will do anything to drive a point home, I did it anyway. And, boy, did I pay for it.
Thursday night, I was having a conversation with a client about “numbers.” You know, those things we hold on to in order to define how “well” we are doing on our journey. I am surrounded by engineers, mathematicians, upper level managers and people who are prime examples of what we would call the typical “type A” personality. As far as they are concerned, the proof is in the numbers. If you can’t show it on paper then it doesn’t count. Anyway, I really wanted to explain how much “sizes” can vary and how weight, BMI (body mass index) and body fat percentages (depending on the measuring tool) can be deceiving. I tried my to use my best coaching techniques but we just weren’t meeting half way. I just decided to pull out the heavy artillery….
I pulled out the scale. And got on it. With my shoes and clothes on. At 6:00 in the evening. Without using the bathroom first. After having lunch with a friend. All no-no’s for me. But I wanted her to know that, even though she outweighed me, we still wore the same size jeans. I wanted her to see the number. But when I got on that scale and saw THAT number, knowing all of the factors that contributed to it being higher than normal, I FROZE. And then I got sick. I went RIGHT back to that girl. I went right back to the moment of standing in the mall and hearing that scale say out loud, “195.” Or hearing the doctor say, “232” or “218.” I felt myself sink into a painful funk that made my head cloudy. My entire life of being the “chunky girl” flashed before my eyes. We moved on to the body fat tester. I knew I was not hydrated but I did it anyway because, well, I was already in the middle of this “demonstration” and had to prove my point. I saw the number and almost fell backwards. I started thinking about all of the workouts I had missed because I was working, all of the guacamole I had eaten over the past two years, all of the Izze’s I had drank, all of the times I said I was going to do Pilates and fell asleep……you know, all of those creative ways we torture ourselves with the number one thing that sends us (well, I don’t know about you so I will speak for myself) headed for the cupcakes: GUILT and SHAME. Because I wanted one….really bad. And off to Earth Fare I went.
But I didn’t eat it.
I knew why I felt like crap but I felt like I could not climb from up under the fog. Why was I so bothered by the very thing I was trying to convince her wasn’t important? What was happening to me? Why can I not permanently bring my new mind into my new body and leave that old thinking inside that old body? UGH! The guilt came again. Now I wanted two cupcakes.
The truth is, well, I am my journey. All parts of it. And I needed to have that moment to remind myself of how far I have come. I needed to have that moment to write this blog because someone reading this DID have the cupcake after they saw those numbers. You have been working super hard, doing everything “right”, walking the straight and narrow and the stupid scale won’t cooperate. You feel cheated, frustrated and possibly mad as hell. And your way of getting back at that piece of tin is to hurt yourself with something that is going to set you back even farther. Where do we learn that behavior? Who are we trying to prove something to? Would I have felt as bad if she had not seen those numbers, if I had been in the privacy of my own bathroom? Did I feel the pressure of having certain numbers because I am the “trainer” or because I am the one always doing the “preaching?” The truth of the matter is I feel great, I look great, I have quite a bit of strength and endurance (if it’s Zumba, a little bit of speed), I have my flexibility and I still get mistaken for my son’s sister. I eat really well without counting calories or starving myself. I know what my body likes and doesn’t like and I honor that about 95% of the time. I exercise regularly. My blood work and numbers (blood pressure/cholesterol, etc.) are phenomenal. WHY DO I CARE ABOUT THAT TIN?
Honestly, reflecting on it….I don’t. I cared about what she thought about me. At the time. And caring about another’s opinion when I am the one living inside of my skin can be traced back as being the culprit of why I was a chunky girl to begin with so many years ago. So, today, I have pledged not to touch any scale or body fat monitor for at least the next 60 days. Would you like to join me?
The truth is, you don’t need them to hold you “accountable.” You need YOU to hold yourself accountable. You know if your jeans are not fitting right. You know if you are eating chocolate bars every morning for breakfast. We don’t need to be defined by any digits. We need to be defined by our truths. What are yours?