Ditching The Scales Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Body
It’s been nearly five years since I last weighed myself.
I wish I could pinpoint an exact moment that rainy Thursday morning when something in my life changed forever.
But like most experiences in the real world, it wasn’t a lightbulb moment but rather, a realisation over time.
I grew up with my mum and sister and I was the largest. I remember them both looking in mirrors and calling themselves fat (and to them, ‘fat’ was bad – a judgement, not a description). Yet when I pointed out I was larger, the reply was always “I didn’t mean you.” At the time it made no sense at all — I was bigger than them, and they felt fat, therefore I was fatter and they did actually mean me. In hindsight, I understand they were being truthful and really didn’t mean me, because the judgement we put on ourselves can far outweigh our judgement on others. But at the time, I hated my weight and thought myself fat.
I was always going to lose 5 kilos, or 10% of my body weight — because losing weight in smaller amounts was ‘more achievable’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘healthier’ (pfft!). The number on the scale defined me. If that number was smaller, I would be a better person, somehow. I would be more popular and celebrated for reducing it, no matter how unhealthy the path to do so was. I was even told I ‘held’ my weight well. Aka. you don’t look as crap as you could considering how much you weigh. The quest for happiness included reaching a magic number on the scales, with zero regard for my physical or mental health. And I was constantly failing, this numeric shadow haunting me, draining me, all of the time.
Then, I found roller derby: a magical unicorn activity which had me exercising without feeling I was exercising. And although the weight on the scale didn’t change, my body did. Although the number on the scales was the same as it was at the heaviest I’d ever been, my body shape became totally different. How I felt and what I could do became so much more important. Being able to skate many laps of the rink fast quickly more important. Being able to stay upright when I received a solid hit was more important. Sending the opposition flying was (WAY) more important.
I promise the number on the scales doesn’t actually define anything important. It doesn’t define how many laps I can do, how fast I can skate, how hard I can give and take hits. It doesn’t specify my willpower to walk past a block of chocolate or stop eating a ice cream before the bottom of the tub is visible. It doesn’t define my intelligence, nor dictate if I’m a good friend, wife and mother, nor determine my earning potential. It can’t even accurately predict what size clothing I wear. All it does is gives me another way to beat myself up that is so darn arbitrary to meaningful outcomes in my life.
So I stopped weighing myself. Really stopped. Like the ‘obstetrician let me stand on the scales backwards so I wouldn’t know the number during my pregnancy’ kinda stopped. Now, it’s been nearly 5 years since I last weighed myself. And let me tell you, not knowing and not wanting to know my weight is incredibly liberating!
My body isn’t perfect, but its capable. I’ve always had chunky thighs, and still do — but now, I care about the amazing things they can do, not what size pants they fit into. I recommend you ditch the scale, too, because your worth cannot be measured in pounds or kilograms.
Image via tumblr.com.
If you liked this story, read more like it on A Girl In Progress:
5 Reasons You Should Stop Comparing Yourself To Strangers On Instagram
Here’s Why Losing Weight May Not Necessarily Make You Happy
Robyn Lawley On Living Below The Line, Ditching The ‘Plus Size’ Label And Being A Girl In Progress