The scale. My nemesis. The thing that rules my life? Apparently. If you insist on meeting someone early each morning and basing your entire day upon that meeting, I guess you could safely say that your life is being ruled by that "person". My scale is very much a "person", one with enough of a brain to know that if I visit, I will come away with some form of emotional response. So, like any other person who craves attention, it beckons me to get on for a ride, to pay attention to it and to consider it to be the most important part of my life. That's what's been happening and it isn't a new story.
My mother was on a perpetual diet. I grew up with the knowledge that food wasn't a very good thing, that it was okay for some people, but not for me and certainly not for my mother. To this day, a whole array of diet books line the shelves in my father's den, almost five years after her death. Together, we attended one of the earliest groups of Weight Watchers in our area. Good God, I could not have been more than 12 years old. The "numbers" were so important to both of us. To me, because I was learning, to her, just because she had spent a lifetime up to that point, using the scale as a measure of her happiness or a reason to feel depressed. She allowed that depression to become part of a viscous cycle. Weight loss, happy and reason to continue eating plan. Weight gain, a signal for depression and reason to eat as a way of compensating. The scale, an emotional trigger. I knew the whole drill by heart by the time I was a teenager.
What is this total pre-occupation with numbers? Why is the amount that we weigh so much of an issue that it causes us to weigh more? I understand the importance in the morbidly obese (but maybe they got there by scale-sabotage too), but why, why, why is it the be all and end all? It's just a number, isn't it? Does it make us more valuable if we weigh less? How about self-esteem? Aren't we happier when we are not burdened by what others consider "normal" or "acceptable"? How many of us resort to food as a result of feeling burdened? And tell, me, why is it that the first thing that happens during a doctor visit is the weigh-in? Can we simply refuse? Yes, we can. And maybe more of us should. Maybe we should start asking, "why is this important?". Getting weighed is the number-one reason women avoid seeing the doctor. Think of how many lives could be saved through early diagnosis and prevention if the scale were never used in the office?
I turned to my wise Muse this morning after I stupidly stepped on that damned scale in my bathroom and saw a gain. Despite what the dietitian at the
Bariatric Center professed, yes, it is entirely possible to gain weight at this stage of my recovery from surgery. I know what I saw. My Muse texted me this sage advice:
THROW YOUR SCALE AWAY! YOU ARE DOING ALL YOU CAN. SO LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM THE SCALE. THROW IT AWAY AND DON'T EVER STEP ON IT AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
And if that wasn't enough:
WEIGHT IS THE GRAVITATIONAL FORCE BETWEEN THE OBJECT AND THE EARTH. THAT IS ALL.
So, I'm taking a well-needed break from that nasty scale. I'm focusing on better things. Spring is here and the weather is sure to improve. I'm going to take walks, not for "weight loss" but for the opportunity to be out, observing the beauty of my surroundings. I'm going to use that time to listen to podcasts, maybe some lively music. But I'm not focusing on how much I might lose when stepping on the scale the next day. I won't, because I won't be able to. That scale is being permanently removed from any place I can access. I should have done that a very long time ago.