Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scaling Back, Part Two

In case you were wondering, here’s what might happen if you toss out your scale after spending about 36 years weighing yourself every day, sometimes more than once:

You may become a little unhinged.

You may, in fact, spend the first two days in the throes of a panic attack. Not a big one, mind you, but one that is bad enough that you are uncomfortable and feel like you are going to jump out of your skin at any moment.

You may suddenly feel very far away from your body, as though the thing that tethered you to it – a series of numbers appearing in a window every day – has vanished, and so has the string that connected your soul to your own physicality.

You may spend one day not eating, out of the fear that you will gain weight and not know it.

You may spend another day eating EVERYTHING, because you can gain weight and not know it.

You may suddenly become obsessed with how your pants fit. Are they tighter than they were yesterday? Not as tight? WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THESE PANTS?

Your morning ritual may seem incomplete, as though you are forgetting to do something. You may keep thinking, “Oh, but I need to weigh in” before you realize that you can’t weigh in. No matter how much you want to.

You may consider purchasing another bathroom scale. You know, “just to have”.

You may have moments of joy  --“WOOOHOOO I’M FREE AT LAST!”  -- followed by moments of despair --“DEAR GOD, I WANT BACK IN MY CAGE!” – followed by indifference: “SO WHAT? NO ONE CARES.”


You may start to listen to your body and judge its worth by how it feels, and what it’s doing, rather than by a number. You may look at yourself in the morning – bleary eyed and sleepy – and discover that you are, in fact, just you. No more and no less. You are you right now and you will be you two minutes from now and thirty minutes after that and none of that has anything to do with a number on a scale. You don’t need the number to tell you who you are.

You may occasionally wish you knew what you weighed. But mostly, you may be happy that you don’t. You may find that it doesn’t matter at all. You will still have the ability to dance and sing and laugh, and you may find yourself doing it more often.


If you tossed your scale.

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