I haven’t owned a scale in almost a year. I felt it was better for my mental health to not have it staring at me every time I went into the bathroom. And besides, it broke. But yesterday curiosity got the better of me when I was at my doctor’s appointment and the nurse was weighing me. She turned to write down the number in my file and I asked, “How much is it?”
She, this waif of a woman with badly dyed black hair and cool tattoos, briefly looked me in the eyes then turned back to her file saying, “218.”
“Ah,” I thought, “I’m right back to where I started.”
January of last year I was at my lowest weight in quite some time- 189lbs. This was right around when I met Mr. Darcy. The clothes I wore then still fit me today and yet I am 29lbs bigger. In the past few months, I have been working out more steadily than I have in years and subsequently I have more energy and my body is a lot more toned. I feel muscle building in my legs, my stomach, my arms. And yet, I weigh more. And yet, I like my body shape more. And yet knowing I had gained weight made me feel ashamed.
During my doctor’s appointment, we discussed risk factors to pregnancy for older women. (NO! I am not pregnant nor am I attempting to become so! I just like to be informed and well, I did just turn 38 and the way life is going, we’ll probably not be married for a couple years or have a baby which means my 40’s will be my baby-making years.) I talked about being overweight as a factor and when I said, “I used to be much thinner” she countered with, “You used to be LIGHTER.” I can’t tell you how that simple word change from her softened me. I was going directly back to judging myself for not being thin as a measure of my worthiness. Because despite the distraction of a pap smear (ha!) I had been mentally spiraling down from the fact that I was over 200lbs again.
I texted Mr. Darcy after my appointment, “I know what I weigh now.” To which he responded, “You are weighed in cuteness. Just keep that in mind.” Is it any wonder that I love him so? To have someone adore me for who I am, just as I am, without requiring me to change is so freeing. It’s hard for me to accept it but I am really working on it.
My ultimate goal used to be TO BE THIN and now it’s just TO ACCEPT MYSELF. Please don’t misconstrue what that means to me. It means that I do not spend countless minutes/hours/days/(my lifetime!) berating myself for my body’s shape and size. It means I focus on health- moving my body, working up a sweat, eating well, getting enough sleep, everything in moderation, and for fuck’s sake enjoying the hell out of what my body can do. If I happen to become
thinner lighter in the process, so be it.