Monday, July 13, 2009

The Numbers Game, part 2

Roller coaster weight. That has been my life. Maybe the numbers don't fluctuate as much as my anxiety over them. I can map out my entire life by numbers on a scale. Every major event, every major day, I can tell you exactly what I weighed. I could probably list to you every comment ever made to me regarding my weight. Well, certainly I could do that with the negative ones.

I thought this was a normal pattern for all women until I spoke honestly with a friend. She said I might have a problem, because no, she really had no idea what she weighed at various points in her life. Therefore, my newly discovered number obsession has been swirling around in my brain lately. What is my fixation on these number? Why have I allowed them to linger and taint the most important memories I have? The battle of the scale.

Sure, I could lie and say it was really a matter of my health. I desired to be "healthy." Nope. I can blame it on society and its ridiculous images of emaciation and perfection. Sure, that played a part. But if I am going to be completely honest, I allowed it to dictate my perception of self. It is how I chose to filter what the world said, what my peers said and most importantly what that blasted scale said. I allowed that bathroom appliance to dictate to me whether I felt good about who was. I allowed a set of numbers to determine whether my memories are positive or negative at any point in time. I allowed the numbers to control me.

I believe that if you bring strongholds into the light, they just don't have the strength they had before. I want to let go of the need to "step up on the scale" every morning. And, so, for exposing myself to the is my life's weight map, and all of its absurd, skewed, mentally warped perceptions:


9.75 Sales lady at the old Tobias clothing store told me that if I didn't watch what I ate, I would have to start shopping in the "pretty plus" department. I was in 5th grade. She should have been fired.

14.110 High school football game. A guy physically picked me up and stated oh, you must be 110 pounds. He was correct, but I was NOT going to admit to what I considered to be a heavy weight. I lied and said, no, and looked shocked.

17.118 High school graduation, beginning of college. Very insecure and described myself as "chunky." Never walked around in a bathing suit, covering myself the minute I stood up from a chair.

19.128 Sophomore year of college. A dorm mate told my friends she was "worried about my health." Went of ridiculous crash diets including the rice diet and the cabbage diet. None were successful. Roommate was bulimic with some serious image issues and I was constantly exposed to her fears and choices.

21.123 College graduation. Heading out to the Netherlands to work. Wishing I had dieted and lost some weight.

22.132 Returned from the Netherlands and although very in shape from all that biking, realized that I was heavier than when I left. A comment made to me after I returned revolved around the "fullness" of my face. It was devastating to me.

26.140 Wedding. Absolutely hated myself for not dieting, not losing weight and being my "best" for my wedding. At the same time decided that enough was enough. I would just have to enjoy this day.

27.146 Weight at first pregnancy appointment with my doctor who informed me that I was already borderline for my weight and I would need to be a little careful about what I ate. I gained 40 pounds during this pregnancy.

29. 198 At birth of second child. Serious weight gain. Painful days prior to delivery as a body that is 5'2" tall is not meant to carry nearly 200 pounds. Yes, 200 pounds.

31.120 Determined to get it off, LA Weightloss brought me back to my high school weight. I ran a 5k. Instead of anxiety and stress about being heavy, I was panicky about gaining the weight back. I discovered that I was pregnant with my third child. I was depressed as I saw all my hard work go down the drain. But, I didn't gain as much during this pregnancy and with Ansley's cancer diagnosis, it was easier to lose the baby weight.

35.113 Ansley's death. Very thin. Many people thought I had "lost too much weight." It was the only thing I could control in the months prior to her death. I just didn't eat often. It was the only thing I felt good about. Over the next three months, I packed on 10 pounds of solid chocolate binging weight.

37.120 Today. Where I am. Always in the back of my mind is the fear that I will begin to gain weight uncontrollably. When the rest of my life is spinning out of control, this is the one area I grasp to control. It seems I am always thinking...I am always happiest when I am just 3 pounds lighter.

There is a lifetime of number addiction here. Mostly it is spurred on by that square, glass digital scale on my bathroom floor. And like an addict, I will need to purge my surroundings of its existence and its temptations. Goodbye daily number check. Goodbye.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I'm blog hopping today through the Laced with Grace blog list and found your sight. I could swear that you've been reading my journals! Ages and weights match pretty good except the 198 at my 1st preg. never left and I added more with the 2nd preg. I have almost lost back down to 200, but those last 10 lbs drive me crazy. I'm with you...I've got to stop getting on the scales every morning. I enjoyed my visit today.