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I Love Food

When I was little and thought my body was fine, people told me: You're too skinny. You're too bony. Your legs are too long. Your feet are too big. You have no butt.

When I got older and thought my body was not okay, people told me: You're not skinny. You're curvy. Your legs are not long. Your feet are very small. You're butt's huge. 

Over the course of 44 years of mixed external messages and an inability to hear the still small voice above the LOUD OBNOXIOUS INNER CRITIC, I lost all sense of my physical body. I thought I was bigger, smaller, taller, shorter, thinner, fatter, you name it than I actually was. 

One thing told the truth, without judgement or condemnation: The scale.

Today, if my husband sees me getting off the scale fretful and sad, he says, "Baby, you're beautiful. Stop getting on the scale." My friends say, "Throw the scale away." I don't even really care about losing weight, but I've attached some sort of power to the scale that it didn't ask for and doesn't merit. I've made the scale a truth teller and labeled everyone else a liar. 

Why? Why do I give that power to an inanimate object? Why do I give that value to a number? Because I value the truth? Because I still hear the voice in my head (and the back of my house) that says, "You should not weigh more than ____?" The scale hasn't shown me 112 in at least 10 years. 112 pounds. That's the number my mom threw out years ago as being "fat." It stuck in my head because--at the time--that was what I weighed. 

But why...why am I (we, because I know I'm not alone) so obsessed with that number? Because people, society, mothers, coaches, mentors, doctors, ex-boyfriends, who-the-fuck-ever impressed upon us that we needed to be a certain number on the scale in order to be acceptable? I call bullshit.

I read a blog the other day that said when you really decide enough is enough, that is when you can change. This morning, I got on the scale and said out loud to myself and the cats, "Well, is that enough?"

I felt sad and discouraged that that number was more than what I thought it should be. That number would be enough to make me do what? Starve myself? Stop drinking beer? Stop enjoying food? You guys, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. My mom was right years ago when she said, "You don't have the eating habits of a thin person." I. Fucking. Love. Food. But you know what it was enough of? Holding myself to some crazy external standard of weight.

My weight has not changed significantly for the last 4 years. A few times I lost a few pounds and gained them back, but for the most part I've been consistently the same weight. For the last 4 years, I saw that as a failure. I couldn't lose weight. Today, I'm reframing it. I eat what I want. I drink what I want. I'm healthy, happy, loved, and roughly the same size all the time. I wanted bigger boobs my whole life and now I have them!

The scale only tells one truth: how much your physical body weighs. It can't tell how full of love you are. It can't tell how many people cherish you. It can't tell how much good you bring to the world every day. And despite what you may have been told, it can't tell you how beautiful you are.

I know I write about this all the time. Truth is: I've been way too obsessed with my weight for way too long because I never measured up to the standard that was set for me. I'll probably write about it again. But today, I'm going to go eat delicious food with a dear friend I haven't seen in years, and I'm not going to have any thoughts at all about what the scale, my inner critic or anyone else thinks about it.

xoxo

Comments

  1. Mary,
    You are stunning and you deserve to know that. However, thank you for having the courage to say how you feel as SO many of us can relate to what you have shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Heidy :) I appreciate your words and YOU!

      Delete
  2. My sweet inner critic love. Brave and unbridled. As I️ set in my car with tears falling! Thank you for the truth.

    ReplyDelete

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