Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The bathroom scale and I don’t get along too well.

Standing in line at the BMV, I looked at my old license picture.  The photo wasn’t taken that long ago, because I had to get a new one after I got married.  Not much has changed with my appearance; I still wear my hair the same way, I still don’t wear my glasses because I have contacts, and I still love to wear dangling earrings.

Unfortunately, after looking at my picture, I had to notice the big “W”.  The standard physical identifiers on a driver’s license are hair color, eye color, height, and weight.  I know I am not that “number” anymore.  And as much as I tried to pretend it didn’t matter, it did.

A few weeks ago, while visiting a friend, I found out what I weigh currently.  The bathroom scale was out in the open.  It would have been a great drama had the internal workings of my brain been visible.  “To weigh or not to weigh” was the question.

The good angel lost the battle and I gave in to the temptation.  I had to know how much I weighed.  Having a scale available to me without anyone else seeing me step on it was too much of a lure to resist.

Of course, I didn’t like what I saw on the digital screen.  I never like what I see there.  No matter how small the number is, it is not good enough for me.

I know can’t handle knowing my weight.  After I found out the first time, I wanted to know every second of every day: wondering after every meal if I had gained or lost weight, wondering every morning if my pants would be a little loser, wondering if my actions were contributing to a smaller waistline.

When I step on a scale, my life becomes focused on a number. My goals change and my accomplishments have to do with losing weight.  I have a bad day if I eat and a good day if I don’t eat.  Nothing else matters expect what that number says, everything else about me fads away from my consciousness.  I am no longer a woman, a wife, a painter, a teacher, a helper, a friend, a sister, a daughter…no…I am just a number.

It is safe to say that me and scales don’t get along.

I have a love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale.  I hate seeing them.  But, I cannot resist its demands.  Yet, after I know my weight I want to burn all the scales in the world.  I know it’s bad for me, yet I keep doing it.  I don’t have a scale in my house, but I encounter them from time to time, like at the gym, the doctor’s office, or a friend’s house.

I don’t go to the gym that often, so that’s not a huge issue.  At the doctor, I ask the nurse not to tell me my weight and I stand on the scale backward.

If you want to help me and other girl’s struggling to break-up with the scale, put your weighing machine away someplace where we can’t see it: in a cupboard, under the sink, in a closet, in the trash.  (You can do it!  I believe in you!)

If you can’t throw away your scale yet, put a posted note on it that says “I am more than this number”.  This reminder will help you keep things in perspective.

You are so much more than a number.  That number means nothing.  You are a beautiful, worthy, deserving child of God.  It doesn’t matter how much you weigh or what you look like, God still loves you.


  1. If you put so much weight in a number, All youll ever be is a number..

  2. I think a lot of people have love/hate relationship with bathroom scales. I certainly do. I know someone, very close to me, who had suffered a lot from eating disorder in college and I've seen her struggle with body image and food. Since leaving college, getting married and having children, and with a lot of support from friends and family, she now has a healthier relationship with food and her body image. You have to take baby steps and go at your onw pace, but you will get there.

    1. That is a wonderful story of recovery! Thank you for sharing that with me. It was so encouraging!

  3. i have mine hidden under my dresser and i, like you, must force myself not to reckon with that thing. honestly, it never makes any sense anyway and then the scale at the doctor office always weighs me at more than i think i weigh or feel. so, i have given up on those numbers and i simply go by how i feel in my clothes.

    1. That's great! Try getting rid of your scale for good. It is so liberating. I think the act of freeing yourself from your scale is more of a powerful statement for women's rights then the experience of voting! Is that too dramatic? :)