5.17.2012

We are more than a number.

For twenty years, I based my self worth around three digits.  I have relied solely on those numbers to tell me if I was going to have a good day or a bad day.  Those numbers told me if I was beautiful and would would catch the eyes of men... or if I was hideous and should hide in bed and stay under the covers all day.  Like many women who are "trying to lose weight" - the scale was my only indication of success or failure.

The obsession started in middle school.  Grew stronger in high school.  And by the time I was in college, I was constantly aware of the daily gains and losses.  I couldn't even tell you how or why the obsession began, but it did.  And not until this year did I finally shake it off.  It wasn't until I really started paying attention to creating a whole healthy ME and less to the numbers staring me in the face that I realized my value was more than just a number.  I started writing goals that were tangible and tied to emotion.  My targets became clothing sizes and not a target weight.  I focused on how I wanted to feel when I went clothes shopping, how I wanted to order online with ease and not worry if things would be too snug in the hips.  I set goals like "I want to be confident poolside this summer."  I'm pretty sure everyone would think I was crazy if I posted a little sign next to my lounge chair and piƱa colada that says: Dania - 160 pounds.  That sign doesn't scream confidence.  It screams weirdo.  My physical self lounging in my favorite bikini?  That screams confidence.  For the record, I do not weigh 160 pounds.  I don't KNOW what I weigh, because I haven't touched my scale since the last day of my Whole30.  The point is... that number really shouldn't and doesn't matter to me.


What I have learned over the past twenty years... more so in the past year, is that if my goal is strictly weight loss, I will eventually fail.  Even if I get to that sacred number on the scale - I can't physically stay there.  Whatever it took for me to get to that number is unsustainable.  Instead - if my goals are based on something different - like increasing my maximum back squat, getting to three workouts a week, eating right 90% of the time... those are goals I can continue to work toward and enjoy working toward.  And usually - my body composition changes in a direction that makes me happy.  I'll notice my face isn't as puffy.  My joints aren't as achy.  My personality is more sprightly.  Most of these other people can see, too.  That is what matters.  Not that three digit number.

Ladies (and men) - you are valuable.  You are special and unique and each of you has qualities that make you wonderful and loveable.  I have friends that are witty and make me laugh so hard I cry.  That is why they are my friends.  I have friends that look out for me and care for me.  That is why they are my friends.  Never once have I asked (or cared) what they weigh.  When I was dating Matt - I realized how much I loved him because of his sense of humor, his kind heart, and his compassion in being a good partner.  When he got down on one knee and looked up at me... he didn't ask "Dania, will you marry me?  By the way, this proposal is contingent on how much you weigh."  And I didn't respond with "YES!  But how much do YOU weigh?"  A little extreme - but I hope you get my point.

I understand that we have become dependent on that number.  And not relying on it to give us feedback on our self-worth is a very difficult habit to break.  But I have confidence that it can be done.  Shift your paradigm.  The only weight that you should be concerned with is how much you are picking up and squatting with each day.  How much is stacked on the ends of the barbell when you do your 1 rep max back squat.  Those are the numbers that matter.  Confidence is what makes you beautiful.  Confidence in your ability and your accomplishments is what makes you so attractive to others.

Want to see  WHY that darn number doesn't really matter?  Read this article at Every Day Paleo:  Attention Scale Addicts, Part 2.

And if you don't trust my words, you might trust the experts at the Whole9:  5 Reasons to Break Up With Your Scale.

I love you all... now go pick up something heavy.  (Babies and dogs count!)




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