Weight is ONLY a Number. Really.
Ever wanted to take a sledgehammer to your bathroom scale? I know I have! It’s always seemed like the most ridiculous measurement of “fitness” or “beauty” in my opinion. I’ve never fit the mold when it comes to weight. Not even close. Let me just warn you that this post is my most revealing, TMI, embarrassing, shame-filled, humiliating post EVER. Why? Because for the first time in my life I reveal my true weight, a number I’ve never been able to come to terms with regardless of what that number was, it’s never made any sense to me. So what you’re about to read is stuff I’ve never told my closest friends… until now.
I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, ever since my dad told me I was getting “chubby” at the age of nine. My mother followed it up with “you shouldn’t ever cut your hair, because you want people to focus on it rather than your face.” She constantly told me I was just covered in “baby fat” and that eventually it would magically disappear. It never did. So at the age of sixteen I was hospitalized with bulimia and spent most of my high school years either puking or starving myself (like most teen girls I’m guessing). It was my normal. Even in my early twenties when I was on Atkins like the rest of the country, and dropped about twenty pounds, I was still a size 8-10, and weighed 149 lbs (my lowest adult weight). I ran five miles a day, lifted weights at the gym, eat the strictest diet imaginable, yet still could not get the scale to drop below the dreaded 149 lbs. When I got married I was a “thin” at a size 8, and for the first time felt really good about myself, though I still thought I was fat.
But then when I got pregnant with my son and gained the recommend 35 lbs, I was shocked to discover that even though I was nursing him, I had basically not dropped a pound after having him, and this kid arrived weighing almost 9 lbs! I left the hospital in the maturity pants I’d worn in and they were tighter when I left then when I got there. That was the beginning of the destructive hate-based relationship I had with my body for years after. No mater what I did that 35 lbs I’d gained during pregnancy refused to budge. So when I was pregnant with our second child I was starting from that new base weight, and when I lost that baby at 20 weeks, I again couldn’t lose the weight before getting pregnant with my twins.
Which brings me to the mear 28 lbs I gained with my twins. Each child weighed in at six lbs each, and I’d made it to full-term (which never happens with twins). My stomach was so large that I couldn’t drive my car the last month, I couldn’t get behind the wheel. I was a whale, yet had only put on 28 lbs. My doctor assured me that the babies had basically eaten all my fat, and when I had them I’d be magically skinny, since I’d gained so little. But alas when I went in to have them I weighed 229 lbs. One year later I weighed 225, wearing a size 14-16. Nothing I tried made the scale even consider budging. I tried Weight Watchers, trainers, kick boxing, every infomercial product on the market, even thought about liposuction side effects and that great result I could get if I tried it.
Until my husband left. Then I didn’t eat for four months, and for the first time in my life 40 lbs melted away. I was 185 and delighted to be wearing a size 12, and feeling like a million bucks. Yet, I’d never heard of a size 12 weighing 185 lbs, and actually looking fit. I’d exercised regularly my entire life, and I felt fit, and for the first time ever started to feel beautiful. I began changing my mindset and killed the negative voices that were always trying to depress the shit out of me, and began telling myself little white lies, until I began to believe them and find confidence and even start feeling sexy.
Then in 2011 I started working with a trainer, who against my wishes had me lifting massive weights. I told him I was already denser and more muscular than most girls and that if he wasn’t careful I’d get bigger, not smaller. He assured me I was wrong, and three months later after busting my ass and eating clean I’d gained fifteen pounds. I’d gone from 185 to just under 200 pounds when my goal had been to lose. He scratched his head, he just couldn’t understand it. Needless to say when I moved to Seattle shortly after I basically gave up. It was the first time I’d ever actually put on weight without a pregnancy and I was beyond depressed.
So at the beginning of this year I found myself at a shocking place… on a scale at my doctors office weighing 209. Yet I was STILL a size 12, sometimes 14.. but for the most part that 24 lbs hadn’t required me to buy new clothes. Like how is this possible? I talked to my doctor, she was baffled. I hired a new trainer, he scratched his head. I talked to my friends, they didn’t believe me.. “no way are you 200 lbs!” ohhhh but I was! I starved myself, eating 500-700 calories a day for months on end while working out, I eat small healthy meals, I tried Advocare, and diet pills. The number didn’t budge by a single pound. “It’s impossible” everyone said. Yet it’s true. It’s my reality. No idea if I’m alone in this or not, but it’s what I’ve been dealing with my whole life.
When 2014 started I wrote my resolutions like I always do, and I put that this would be the year I started training for the Portland Marathon again, and this time I vowed to run it. I wanted to do it for three reasons:
1. Because I trained before but didn’t actually run it. Therefore anytime I told my son to finish what he starts, he promptly reminded me I never ran the marathon.
2. Because I’m a chick on a mission to prove anything is possible for anyone. And since I’m NOT a runner I figured who better to prove my teaching method Hustle.Believe.Receive. works with any dream.
3. Because I’ve had a “26.2” sticker on my vision board for 6 years and I desperately want to put it on my car!
I did NOT chose to run the marathon to lose weight. Believe me when I say that would not have remotely provided the motivation needed to torture my body in this way. So since March 22, 2014 I’ve been running with Portland Fit, doing a piss-pour job of training. But I do it. I show up and I do it, documenting my weekly progress in my blog series Marathon Life. And I’ve kept my routine of 3-5 Barre3 workout classes a week (the only group exercise I’ve ever totally fallen in love with), and I started doing it all with a waist trainer.
And today 3 notable things happened.
- I took my weekly bathroom progress selfie and had to examine it for a few minutes before I realized for the first time that I could really see results. Not only that for the first time in almost three years I was back feeling like my old self again. Energy, confidence, happy, sexy. I felt like I’d easily lost 20 lbs.
- I was back at the doctors today standing on the scale, and after killing myself for the past 11 weeks, running like a maniac and killing myself in Barre3, and eating right…. I weighed in at 202. Yep that’s right… all this work, and I’ve ONLY lost 5 lbs!! A normal person would have easily lost 15-20. And yes I’m still a size 12.
- I immediately began to downward spiral! Thank God for my girlfriends.
So let me recap here… Since March I have been torturing my body, putting my physical and mental through hell, working out five days a week and pushing past every barrier I have (look for Marathon Life tags). I’ve been eating healthy, drinking water… doing everything I’m supposed to do, and I’ve only lost five pounds. Do you see why I’m not doing it to lose weight? Losing weight is not something my body does. If that had been my motivation I’d of quit today for sure. Because let’s be honest, why would I do all this when I can eat whatever I want and not exercise and not really put on weight? It makes no sense. I was a size 12 when I weighed 160 (my “standard” weight/size in my 20’s), a 12 when I was 185 fit and feeling great, and today am a 12 at 209. So if that’s not proof that weight is NOTHING more than a number on a scale, I don’t know what is. I’ve felt beautiful, “skinny” and sexy as a 12, and I’ve felt like I was a beached whale in a 12.
But this is the reason I am FINALLY convinced that weight is ONLY A NUMBER ON A SCALE….. (be sure to read the caption below)
Note: my size 12’s are a little big on me now, and my XL shirts are way to big, yet I weight 20 lbs more than when these clothes fit me…. go figure.
So I’ve decided to never look at another scale for as long as I live. It’s a pointless battle, that has gotten me exactly nowhere in the 38 years of my life. The only indicator to me of how I look, is how I feel. If I feel energized, happy, beautiful and sexy than who the hell cares what the scale says? I’ve never in my life had a guy say; “get on a scale, I want to see the number before we can date.” And if I ever do meet a dbag like that, you better believe I”m gonna laugh out loud and tell him to go kick rocks! No, people are attracted to you by your presence. Not the number on your bathroom scale. They believe you if you present yourself as beautiful and confident, they don’t question it. And every now and then when I run into a dbag who is into skinny chicks, I let him know that he’s barking up the wrong tree… that will never be me. I finally love my body just the way it is. I’d love a tummy tuck to remove the skin from twins, (please god let a very generous plastic surgeon be reading this right now) but hey, that will come some day. Until then the work I put in I can feel and see and that is good enough for me.
So if you have struggled with loving your body the way I have, do me a favor and take a sledge-hammer to your scale. Vow to never get on it again. Know your body, know when it doesn’t feel great, and then do the work it takes to make it feel that way. Know a size that works for you and when your there, do what you need to do to stay fit and healthy and feeling good in that size. Because the scale is an evil bitch and it’s only purpose is to enable people to judge you and for you to judge yourself. Be kind to yourself, and your body and start loving all it does for you instead of tearing it down for what it doesn’t. How sad is it that shame, humiliation, embarrassment and mortification have to be attached to this number? I say who cares what the number is, it’s irrelevant if you are living a healthy lifestyle and feel good about your body.
Here’s to beauty at any age and at any size. Dare to love the skin you’re in.
Facebook Feedback: Join the conversation… what do you think? Is weight just a number? Leave your comments below and let me know…