Before I delve into the heavy (oooo...punny, you'll see why) post below, I want to throw out a huge GOOD LUCK to my training buddy and friend Kristina, who will be completing her first triathlon on Sunday. I'm going to get my spectathlete on and head out to watch her and hopefully get some pics for her blog. I know she's going to kick that course's arse!
Last year about this time, I was only about 4 months into the fitness thing and had lost about 20ish pounds. I was counting calories, running several times a week and using DVDs at home on a fairly regular basis. I was losing weight but not as quickly as I thought I should be. I quickly became OBSESSED with the scale--noting tenths of pounds lost or gained, fretting if I was above a certain number, celebrating if I was under. I was weighing myself daily, and often multiple times daily. I was the poster child for how not to have a healthy relationship with the scale.
Luckily I have good friends--great friends, in fact--who gave me a virtual "Snap out of it!" and suggested I hide my scale. While it's likely that their motivation behind the suggestion was because they were sick of me fussing about it all day, every day, they were able help me realize that my behavior wasn't doing me any good. I did end up hiding the scale--for a while anyway--and got back to weighing myself on a "normal" basis.
But I still weigh myself frequently. Sometimes only a few times a week, but sometimes a few days in a row. Usually in the morning, right after a shower, before I've eaten, when I feel like I'm at my lightest. And while I'm no longer trying to lose weight, it's reassuring to see the number more or less stay at the same spot day to day. (I don't obsess over the tenths as I used to, thank goodness.) Unfortunately, I've fallen back into the trap of letting the scale run my brain. There are times when I'm feeling light and lean, step on the scale and see a number slightly higher (we're talking maybe 1-2 pounds) than my "magic" number and I'm crushed. Other times I'm feeling pudgy and flabby and know I'm heavier than I should be, only to see a number well within my "normal" range and suddenly I feel better about myself. It's wrong to let that thing dictate so much of my self-acceptance and yet I still allow it to happen. But hey, as long as it's just me and I KNOW I'm being silly about it, no harm, no foul. Right?
But it's not just me. It's my sweet, beautiful, 4-year-old daughter.
The other day, after a healthy dinner together, she told me she wanted to go "weigh." Somehow my innocent little peach has connected "health" with "scale," and there's only one way she could've made that connection. By watching me.
We talk a lot about health. She knows I exercise and why I exercise and she's even participated in her own kid's run and bike race. (Cutest runner ever, btw.) She knows about good foods and the importance of exercise and why both are so important for our bodies. We don't talk about weight as a indicator of health and we certainly don't talk about HER weight as such. And yet, somehow, she's under the impression that when we eat a nutritious meal, we step on the scale and it tells us that we're healthy.
Bad, momma. Bad.
So the scale is going bye-bye. It's going on a high shelf in the closet or in the scary, spidery shed or maybe even in the trash. I'll let my husband decide. I don't need it and my beautiful daughter certainly doesn't need it either. No more letting the numbers tell me how I feel about myself. No more allowing some digits to tell me if I've worked hard enough today. No more weight=health.
No more. For me. For her.