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Where I remind myself, time & time again, that weight is just a number

by John on November 6th, 2012

I stepped on the scale today. And I didn’t like the number that looked back at me.

The number is a bigger number than it’s been in a very long time. The number is a bigger number than it was the day that Leila was born.

I need to stop focusing on this number.

Here’s the thing, I’m in better shape now. I’m no longer ashamed of my arms. I’m wearing clothes that wouldn’t have fit me in college. If I’ve had a couple of drinks and then look cross-eyed in a mirror, I can almost sense what a six pack might look like on me.

While I haven’t been running as much as I’d like, my recovery from any run is a fraction of what it was a few years ago.

I can do pushups with two toddlers clinging onto my back.

My dimples, which disappeared in middle school, are back.

I do the 30-minute circuit at Planet Fitness, and the only exercises that I haven’t, at least, doubled the weight I’m pulling are on machines where I’m pulling the entire stack.

I’m far fitter than I give myself credit for.

Now, I won’t deny that if I could just lay off the cheese, and the wine, and french fries, I’d be happier with the overall product . . . but I need to tell myself that my health does not equate to my weight.

Somewhere, in the back of my head, I know this, but I need to remind myself of the same every now & then.

15 Comments
  1. It IS just a number, but I’m so beholden to it. It sucks. Maybe we should throw out the scales?

    • I’m all for throwing out the scales . . . but, when push comes to shove, I do actually put more into “how I’m feeling” than “what the scale is reading.”

      I think.

  2. Oh, don’t we all need to remind ourselves! And I find it so hard to deny myself the little indulgences like cheese and wine after the hard labor of taking care of kids. I think it’s fine to indulge a bit and even fine to be aware of where you are (weight-wise) and where you want to be. And keep trekking there. One slice of gouda at a time. 🙂

    • Mmmmmmm, gouda.

      The problem I have with the scale, at the moment, is that I actually have no idea what I want it to read. I’ve been in “onederland” . . . but, at my height, well, I looked anorexic. So, I look at the number and realize that a number is all that it is.

  3. As soon as we can fully understand that it IS just a number meals will be enjoyed more and the tags in the back of my clothing won’t make me cringe. (although I have taken Duffy’s advice and have torn out/removed those tags. Especially since the size of clothes in my closet range from 8 to 14.)

    • I’ll never, ever understand women’s sizing. Though I’m tempted to open a store that just sells “size 4” stuff . . . anywhere from a size zero to size 44 will be labeled as “size 4.”

      I’ve actually heard that clothiers for mensware have actually been fudging the numbers lower a little bit, as well, which mystifies me. But then I think that “holy shit, I fit into a size 32 waist!” might actually lead me to buy a “maybe” set of pants.

  4. Strength is so much more important.

    And health. Happiness.
    Longevity.

    Still, it’s hard to remember that when the number doesn’t seem to correlate.

    Therefore allow me to fall back on an old standby:
    Muscle weighs more than fat.

    And joy is immeasurable.
    So.

    • Yes, muscle weighs more than fat. I know this – in fact, I’m seeing this, on a daily basis . . . but it doesn’t do any good when you’re looking a number, wanting it to go down, and seeing the opposite.

      But, I’m really taking a step back – because I don’t have a goal weight. I’ve been under 200 pounds in my adult life, and, at my height, it didn’t really work for me. So, the only number I’m concerning myself with is my waist size — if I can get that below my inseam (it’s right around my inseam right now), I think I’ll just put all of the number gugu away.

  5. This is such a tough one to remember.

    So we keep saying it and repeating it and writing it down.

    {I love all of the positive that you put in this post.}

    • So difficult to remember — I’m just reminding myself that I don’t have a goal weight, so looking at my weight is kind of like weighing the random stuff on my desk . . . it, simply, doesn’t matter what my telephone weighs – I certainly don’t care. I need to convince myself that I, truly, don’t care what the me weighs.

  6. I no longer own a scale and it’s a fight not to jump on it when I’m at the gym. There is so much negative ancillary shit happening in my life right now and the scale reflects that. I don’t need the visual reminder.

    • Of all of my readers, you may be the least-deserving person of negative ancillary shit in their life — but I know that the scale has been reflecting my thoughts about work, because my general attitude toward work has been “you need more wine and pie in your life.”

  7. Laura permalink

    It is just a number. I didn’t like the number I saw on my scale this morning either. It’s just one of the many things we use to track ourselves and our progress. You’ve done amazing things with your body over the last few years and you should continue to be proud of the accomplishments. Embrace the number–it is you. It may grow, it may shrink. You’re in control. The number is a priority to me, but not a top priority. Never a top priority!

    • Yeah – I keep telling myself that “ok, you’ve run three marathons, each one quicker than the last, and biked thousands of miles,” but it still sucks to ever see the scale number rise.

      That said, though – I’m really getting close to the point where the scale number isn’t even a priority — just a thing in my life, with no more importance than “what’s the temperature outside?”

  8. Ugh.

    2 more weeks of school and I swear I will get it together, right? I keep telling myself as soon as school is over, Ima work out. For reals. And I finally bought some batteries for my scale. Oh crap. It’s just a number…right?

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