I only remember one time feeling confident going to the doctor’s office and stepping on the scale. It was still intimidating but of all the other times I had put myself on that scale I had something to be proud of that day. Having been through a divorce and rebuilding my life I had also decided to take on losing weight. It seems that is my mode of operation to begin new things in the middle of everything being in ruins. It is exactly what I did that time too and today a shiny new number was going in my patient file. That was the only time though.
Having someone see what you actually weigh is so messed up. It is the ultimate in embarrassment of feeling inadequate. At the end of the day all that matters and what I will be forever judged by through that number. It sticks with you too long after you’ve gone off to do other things. That feeling of failure, not being what you should be and beating yourself up over it can last for weeks afterwards. Maybe that’s just me though. I know the number won’t be what I consider good and now someone else has seen it too and then the doctor sees it and tsk tsks at you. As if this was a choice!
The weight struggle is real and many of us deal with it every day. There may not have ever been a time you felt confident getting on any scale either. In so many areas of my life I feel strong and have to be to get through life but this one little thing stands out as the beast I cannot conquer. Even before my doctor’s appointment I will start thinking about having to step on that scale. Mentally preparing myself for what I know will be disappointment and shame. It seems so much bigger than a number.
In a time where I could say just use that experience as an encouragement to do better or set a goal to make it better next time it will fall on deaf ears. Most of the time we feel so deflated after seeing that number and having others see it we don’t want to talk about it at all. We need to sulk some and figure out how to control the negative self-talk that is like a loud rock concert in our heads right now. At times I have been so distracted by that number I don’t even remember what I came to the doctor’s office to talk about!
As I approach an upcoming doctor’s appointment for a check-up, I am already thinking of that scale. I know the number is going to suck. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been working out more or trying to eat better, it will still just suck when whatever that number is in front of me and the nurse. I’m already beating myself up and I haven’t even had the appointment yet. The scale wins like casino in Vegas more often than not. Any work I did to improve myself will pale in comparison to what I see as the ultimate measure of who I am through a digital number of a machine I’m standing on.
In all the ways I seek to live more naturally, this remains a battleground for me. I know what it means to be wholly healthy mentally, physically and spiritually and that it can look entirely apart from any standard measurement. I am on my own journey of pursuing that too and have made significant progress. However, overcoming the measurement that says how well I’m actually doing by standards of height and weight I know is my kryptonite. There is still room for my own growth in making peace with this process of accepting a number as just a number and not a representation of my entire being.
What I have found is often I will dread something because I haven’t put in the work to make it better. I will dread it because it wasn’t important to me or I didn’t have time and now I’m being forced to face it in a moment of checking in. Now it is is front and center and the shame I feel is at myself for not investing in the effort to make it a priority. So many things besides weighing in, can fall into that category where I do the same thing. Friends I said I would text back and try to schedule time together. Books I wanted to read but didn’t have time. Meal prepping I said I would do each week and just didn’t. Workouts I promised to do after work but was too tired by the time the day ended. They were wishes of things I wanted to do and intended to do but would fall by the wayside for other things that came up.
Until we actively work on things they are likely to not change for the positive. Until we give ourselves the time, attention and support we need to physically feel better, emotionally heal and spiritually reconnect we will not change and grow. We will not achieve goals, accomplish resolutions, meet milestones and will beat ourselves up in those moments they pop up in our day. We will be reminded in stark ways of the things we are letting ourselves down