Look, I know it probably means I’m unevolved as a 2022 woman, but I still weigh myself. And never more so in January when I’ve decided I’m a new me and am finally going to get myself in check. So, lately, my late morning routine involves taking a few deep breaths and facing the music.
I have a temperamental relationship with the scale. Upon approach, I treat it with the utmost respect, sometimes even tiptoeing toward it, hoping to maintain its good mood. I step on it gingerly, like a lady, placing my feet perfectly parallel apart. Then I pray. “Please,” I say. “Please be kind.”
At this point, I will do just about anything for a nice, low number, one that will release me from the jail that is my diet so I can resume my happy life.
But the scale, I’ve learned, is not open to being cajoled. The Grinch is not the only mean one out there, it turns out. Which means my emotions run high.
If the news on the scale is good and I’ve made some progress, I twirl off that thing like I’m a dancer getting ready to rejoin her partner across the ballroom.
If it’s not, I swear so vigorously that sometimes I think sailors would be embarrassed for me.
This morning was a swear word morning. After eating a terrible but time-consuming-to-make vegetable and tofu stir-fry last night, I weighed in at exactly the same weight as yesterday. To the ounce.
Ounces on a digital scale certainly have changed the weighing game, haven’t they? At least with the old analog scales you could kind of convince yourself you were a certain number, plus or minus. Not so anymore. Now you know what you weigh within two ounces of your life. And what’s more? Sometimes the scale changes its mind.
For example, this morning, my scale said TOOBIGNUMBER.6. And then, just at the last minute, it changed it to TOOBIGNUMBER.8. I hoped it would return to .6, that it was just weighing its options, but nope, it settled on .8 like it was nice and cozy there.
My scale also has the tendency to briefly display a range of numbers before it arrives at where it mostly wants to be. So that means my heart will race with hope when I see a small number and then drop in despair when the scale rushes to a big number. Usually, it lands back on a number somewhat in between. The problem is I don’t focus on the fact that I’m not the big number, all I think about is what my life would be like if I were the smaller number.
Do you ever weigh yourself and then get back on and weigh yourself again hoping for a different result? I do. I tell myself that maybe if I arrange my feet differently or if I take my glasses off, then it will be less. For a while, I was doing that way too much and, several times a day, was stripping until I was naked as a jaybird and blind as a bat in our chilly bathroom. Except then a few times, I weighed myself the second time and the number was higher. That put an end to that game pretty quickly.
I know admitting that makes me sound a little crazy, but there is no telling how obsessed I can get when I’m dieting.
Of course, the latest approach to health and wellness is not to diet at all and, really, not to weigh yourself at all. The goal is simply to know and love your body and be thankful for what it gives you every day. I sincerely hope this works well for younger generations of women. I want to believe they have evolved into something more whole, been able to shed the leash of the scale, been able to embrace their everything and their loveliness.
The problem for me is I am not of the generation where you celebrate your body, I’m of the generation where you beat it into submission. Because you know what, fellow GenXers? I’ve been wearing sweatpants for two years. And it’s easy enough to love your body when you’re comfortable in sweats. It’s a whole other ballgame when you have it stuffed into your jeans. That’s when I say eff wellness, hello reality, I want my clothes to fit again.
And so here I am. In a pretty bad mood, really. Definitely not looking forward to my old-fashioned Quaker Oats breakfast and yet too hungry to skip it. But what is the alternative? Sometimes in life you have to pay the piper. And for the next few months I’ll be doing just that.