Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The 4 Pound Dilemma

Last week, I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office, wishing I’d worn lighter (weight-wise) clothing. I’d forgotten that I’d be weighed. (That attests to the fact that my life had been so busy, my mind had not always engaged with the details of upcoming activities.) What women doesn’t choose her clothing carefully when she knows she will be stepping on a scale? Okay, maybe Paris Hilton, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The numbers flickered, a digital frenzy, and stopped at 4 pounds less than I expected. Wait, did I read that right? Is that really what I saw? Were my eyes giving out? After all, I’m 60 now. I asked the nurse to confirm the number. She did.
Suddenly, I felt better! I stood taller. My step was lighter. I was floating over the loss of 4 pounds. I couldn’t believe how good I felt about myself. What changed in that flutter-of-an-eyelash moment when the numbers popped up? 
I thought I had a handle on my relationship with my body when I tossed out my at-home scale a couple years ago. No more would a number dictate how I felt about myself. I would love my body with all its sags, rolls and wrinkles. I’d eat as right as I could, do yoga, walk and not fret about weight. While the walking had been sporadic, apparently that plan worked for me. But, I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t stepped on that scale. 
Over the next couple days, I kept asking myself why the number on a scale held so much power in my life? Had I kept my old scale and weighed in once a week, would I have felt this good for the last year, year-and-a-half? Probably not. Most likely, I would have decided that I needed to lose an additional 4 pounds. 
As I continued to think about it, I found myself saying things like --
 “I could lose 5 more pounds. Then I’d look and feel even better.” 
“The weight loss is probably because I’m not walking as often as I used to. I lost muscle weight. The fat is still there.” 
“Oh s***, now that I know my weight is in a good range, I’ll probably relax and overeat.” 
I am still obsessing over weight!
During this process, I managed to kill my high from the doctor’s office. Bummer.

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