I’ve never been afraid of long-term relationships. I had a boyfriend in high school for two years, one in college for five, and I’ve been happily driving my husband crazy (or vise versa) for almost seven years. I’ve hung on to jeans for over a decade and still have some prized mixed CD’s from my teenage days.
But one relationship I had been missing out was with the scale.
Yup, a health and fitness nut that doesn’t own a scale. Is that some sort of oxymoron? Or maybe a stroke of brilliance? One thing is true – numbers make a person competitive. Not in an I-love-myself kind of way either.
Numbers are points that win (or lose) a game. Numbers are grades that let you pass or summon you to fail. Numbers keep track and they don’t lie, being your best friend or worst enemy – constantly telling you to do better and driving your motivations for the digit you seemingly NEED to feel satisfaction.
So that’s why I never felt like I was missing out on owning that numbered square platform. It was a relationship that seemed to offer more negatives that positives. Lots of drama, maybe even a few tears…uncertainty that never really got me jazzed for the stability I liked in a relationship.
It did seem enticing – just to know. Knowledge is power, right? Women are curious creatures, we like just KNOWING. When are you going to be home? How long did the kids nap? How much have I spent at Target this month? (How much MORE can I spend at Target this month?)
Knowing our weight is sort of a rite of passage. You go in for a physical – WEIGHT. You pass your drivers test and get a license – WEIGHT. You fill out insurance paperwork – WEIGHT. So occasionally I’d weigh myself at the gym to ‘sort of’ know. So I had a general idea of course. And that was good enough for most of my adult life.
The First Meeting
Until my neighbor was moving and needed to purge belongings (on other poor souls that thought they needed more ‘stuff’ until they inevitably move again…life of a military family).
“Oooo a digital scale! Does it work?” I asked her.
“Yeah, it works. I just don’t need two.”
TWO scales? Wait, is this like a thing now? I must have been missing something important if having multiple household scales is now the norm. I have two food processors. And I thought that was a bit irrational.
I took the scale. I mean, why not? It might be good to know how much I weighed – having a scale under the bathroom sink, just in case. For emergencies and stuff. To weigh luggage when we travel – yeah, totally to weigh luggage!
Moment of Truth
So when my curiosity got the best of me and I first stepped on the black square of soul-lessness, I wasn’t shocked or ecstatic. It was roughly what I’d thought. I prided myself on not really dwelling on a certain number or letting my weight define my body acceptance. Fist pumping girl power if I do say so myself.
Then I got pregnant with my second child. Let me rephrase, I’m still pregnant with my second child…
My first pregnancy was textbook. No sickness, I stayed active, felt great, and gained 25 pounds total, on.the.dot (according to the doctor. You know, since I didn’t own a scale).
The first trimester with this second pregnancy was MUCH different. I couldn’t even stand the thought of a kale smoothie for breakfast or salmon with roasted vegetables for dinner like I ate with my first. Cue Jimmy Fallon – “EWH”.
“Bread, bread, bread. Just give me some freaking sourdough bread!”
“All I ate the entire day was cereal”
“MUST SMOTHER CHOCOLATE ALL OVER CHEESY PASTA SHELLS!”
Every healthy food I pledged my never-ending love to was out. Soooo out. Just the thought of greens and lean protein made me sick to my stomach. So I did the unthinkable. *GASP! I ate junk. A lot of junk. For three solid months.
Then one day (it was actually a pretty decent day up until that point), I hopped on that scale.
“OMG. WHAT?! No. This stupid thing is broken.” Step off. Step back on. “Ok is this a joke? Ashton? Is this me being punk’d?”
For the first time in my life, the scale won. It got me – threw me into panic mode. I had gained well over half of the amount of weight in that short first trimester that I had in my entire first pregnancy.
Don’t you just want to smack me and tell me to shut up? Totally silly right? It’s really not THAT much weight. But it threw me. Dammit that scale – that ‘supposed to be my friend’ scale. We are NOT friends. We are done. Sayonara.
Ashamed to admit this, I fretted for a few days over that number. And why? For what? Because I gave myself a hall pass to eat what I needed to? Because I was growing a baby that clearly only liked sugar and carbs? The baby MADE me eat it. And ice cream is good, so the end.
My underwear doesn’t fit anymore. Yeah, my butt has gotten a little bigger. But I’m kind of digging it. And I know I’m going to gain more weight this pregnancy than with my first. But I’m cookin’ up a kid in there, that’s even measuring bigger than my almost 9-pound first baby did. AND why the hell do I really care about some number when I look and feel good in my skin anyway?!
That scale no longer has the privilege of supporting my 5-months-ago pedicured toes. Or even collecting dust in my bathroom cabinet.
We broke up. It was the shortest relationship I’ve ever been in. But one that didn’t take months or years to try and mend. It just wasn’t working out. And I sometimes wonder…”what could have been?”
What could have been if thousands of other women broke up with their scale too? Less heartache? Less anxiety? Less obsessive and pointless numbers game?
Can you join me and ditch the scale, once and for all? I have a better idea for a long-lasting relationship. One of self love – all for you and only for you. Pregnant or not. Skinny, flabby, round, or rock solid. Because being healthy and fit on the inside and outside is NOT a number that can ever be found on a scale….