The Scale Can’t Measure Worth

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.


29 thoughts on “The Scale Can’t Measure Worth

  1. My body is doing some weird ass shit, and I’ve been eating and drinking with reckless abandon and gained 4 lbs in the past few weeks. It’s discouraging and difficult and I’m with you on hoping to learn to accept myself, no matter what. Also: weighed in cuteness? That’s adorable.

  2. What matters is being healthy. Numbers on a scale do not indicate how healthy a person is.

    You are on the right path, and I admire the way you are handling your quest to become more healthy! I get tired and my muscles ache just ‘listening’ to all you do! YOU are my inspiration! Keep up the awesome work, and tell that negative nanny in your mind to just hush up.

    And, yes, “weighed in cuteness” is totally awesome! You have a keeper there!

  3. You do know that when you tone your muscles you gain weight instead of lose right? Because muscle does have weight and this is a very good thing. I can’t even remember where I read a health article a few years back about losing weight, working out, toning up, etc. But the one thing I remember it said was that when you’re trying to lose weight and you’re working out, don’t weigh yourself. It’s useless. You will gain muscle which is a VERY GOOD THING and it makes you a bit heavier.

    Also? Most important is to be healthy. I can’t even stress to you how important that is. You stressing over your weight isn’t worth it because it will give you health problems (stressing over anything really). Take it from someone who gets anxious about a lot of things (it causes stomach problems and ulcers and even breathing problems among many other things).

    I know, I know easier said than done. We love you for you. Because you know what? You are fabulously perfect just the way you are. And who you are makes you a beautiful person inside out. I mean it.

  4. That Mr. Darcy is definitely a keeper 🙂

    I have working out daily for almost two years. I have not really dropped any pounds but I am toned and very healthy. I am 44 and a mom and a grandma. I think I will keep trying to be happy with what I am because I think this is just me. It has taken a lot of years for me to be comfortable in my body, but I think I might be here now. Keep working on it and no negative self talk.

  5. That Mr. Darcy is a keeper. And I LOVE that she pointed out the difference. The numbers on the scale can be a guide, but just that. It’s how you feel and how you’re taking care of your body that matters the most.

  6. First off, I love Mr. Darcy too. He is seriously precious.

    Second, I think weight is like age: just a number. It doesn’t matter what that number is, it matters how you feel. And it sounds like you’re feeling pretty good miss toney tone. 🙂

  7. Had to comment about Mr. Darcy’s “weighed in cuteness”. OMG you must keep him and pop out lots of cute babies with him. He’s definitely a keeper!

  8. Muscle weighs more than fat so best not to get hung up on the #s.

    “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.”

    That’s the ticket, my friend. I’m working on it too.

  9. Ahhh, I love that. Change your words and change your world, right? All that number means is that you used to weigh less than you do today. Not that you were thinner, or healthier. You just weighed less. If you’re happier and healthier, that is what really matters.

    I just rejoined WW yesterday after getting way too close for comfort to my starting point. I feel LIGHTER just doing something about it. 🙂

  10. My guess is your 218 now includes a lot more muscle than it did the last time you saw that number. I place a lot of value on how a person feels about themself, regardless of what the number says. You should feel great about yourself for how much you’ve changed (for the better) over the past year!

  11. I wish you could see you through my eyes. I see a beautiful warm happy fun caring thoughtful friend. You really are beautiful, and your guy is right, weighing in cuteness would be awesome!

  12. Yay for working on being healthy vs being thin! I’m working on that too. I do have a goal weight I want to be when this diet thing is done but Vahid always tells me that when I stop focusing on fat loss and work on building muscle that my weight will probably go up. I have him here to tell me that I look good and that he loves how I look. It helps because I don’t have he best image of myself and knowing that he feels that way makes me feel better.

  13. YES.

    And can I say — it’s hard not to think about the number on the scale BUT you are working out and doing good things for your body which is so, so, SO important. I honestly think that if you’re fit and keep moving, it doesn’t matter so much what your weight is, you know? Being healthy doesn’t always mean weighing less. ps – what a sweet bf!

  14. how cute is that, measured in cuteness!!! See, that gives the rest of us hope!!!

    You’ll accomplish all you want to, when it’s time! Hang in there!! And just even little changes in diet make your workouts so much more effective!!

  15. Funny the numbers eh? I went to the doctors and she weighed me, I was up 10 pounds from the last appt. And I immediately fall to “I’m fat”.But the fact is, I’ve been strength training and I’m still fitting into my clothes… I just weigh more. You know?

  16. Gaining muscle definitely contributes to weight gain – and muscle weighs more than fatty tissue. The best way to judge is how your clothes fit, and since they fit just as well, then it’s all that zumba dancin’ muscle! 😉

    And I’m really liking Mr. Darcy!!

  17. I just want to add on to the muscle=weight gain thing. My doctor told me 3 years ago that I had gained 10 lbs and “You better not come back here weighing 10 more next year.” I took her advice to heart. I started yoga. I didn’t go crazy. I didn’t lose weight. And then the scale went up, despite eating well, feeling good, and exercising. When i went back to the doctor she checked my blood pressure and asked if I was training for a marathon. Me. Training for a marathon. After I got done laughing, she said “I don’t know what you’re doing but just keep doing it.” And I said “But…but…you told me to lose that weight I gained.” And she said “You are healthy now, instead of on the high end of your BMI…. OR just skinny.”

    Woooo! All I’m saying is….it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Ain’t nothing but a number. I read you because I like you, not because you are a magical number when you step on the scale.

  18. I love this post. 🙂 Love it. And I have had that strange phenomenom happen too – I weigh more but “smaller” close fit me because I have more muscle. As long as my body gets me around, I try to be happy with it! 🙂

  19. if you were measured in cuteness my guess is you’d weigh a lot more than you do. 🙂 Congratulations on your health quest – a truly important goal!

  20. Okay. I am really late responding but… Mr. Darcy is so amazing. Definitely do not beat yourself up if you weigh more from all of your exercise. I always gain more when I work out, but I can feel my muscles stronger and bigger. I almost NEVER weigh myself. I only measure by the way my clothes fit. Just keep working out and eating well and focus on how you feel. Those numbers aren’t always an accurate way to assess progress.

  21. sister, i’m still about five lbs from my delivery weight from over 2 yrs ago! i’ll say i’m happier because i’ve lost the 25lbs from GAINING from depression and medication but in truth, i want to be what i weighed before i got pregnant.

    i need to throw away my scale but am totally obsessing because my yearly appointment is in two weeks and i don’t want her yelling at me.

    You are doing great! you are taking care of yourself. exercising and in love. love is the best medicine out there! Mr. Darcy is awesome!

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