Why does the scale weigh so much? For the longest time, this little thing had the power to control my mood, my wardrobe, my plan for the day and sometimes whether I slept or not.
I realize this sounds completely ridiculous—but it is the truth. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Of course, I partially know the reason why the scale has such power over me: I always struggled with my weight, so the lower the number, the better I feel.
But, I also think it can be the only actual number we can look at daily to “judge” ourselves. Sure, I wish the scale knew that I paid for the person behind me in line at Starbucks, or that I just ran a charity event or that my child just told me I’m a good mom… All of those aspects of my life should hold more weight and somehow get worked into the equation, but they don’t.
Instead, I allow that number—which only represents one thing—control way too many parts of my life.
As I look through old pictures of life events, celebrations, good times and bad times, I can tell you pretty much to the exact number what I weighed on that day. Like… Why?!
Not only that, but I can also tell you whether I felt fat or skinny or hated my arm or chin or that I was self-conscious about the way my legs looked all day. My memory not work as well when it comes to remembering a random act of kindness I did that day, or that it was perfect weather, or just the many positive, uplifting details of whatever that day was.
As I am getting older and now that I have children I realize a few things: One, how absolutely absurd this. And, two, all I wish for my children is that when they look at pictures or videos from the past that they remember what they did, how much fun it was, the people they were with or absolutely anything else but their weight.
I wish for them to not allow the scale to carry that much importance in their life.
I want them to worry more about the imaginary scale that tells them how kind they are, how selfless they are, how they try their best in everything they do or perhaps that they need to work on any of those things.
The other thing I realize is that I am not the only one like this. Why do we all have to obsess over our weight to such a ridiculous degree? Why does it matter?
For one, I can completely relate to the quote “I wish I was as fat as the last time I thought I was fat.” In all of the pictures that I remember feeling so fat and so self-conscious, I was at least 10 lbs. lighter than I am now post two kids. But, you know what? I still didn’t appreciate that.
I think for once in my life, I am going to try to be OK with what is. No, that doesn’t mean that I will stop my lifelong diet or obsession with the newest and greatest workout trends. I won’t fool myself. But I wonder if I can just change the focus—or as my past Weight Watchers leader used to say, “Put a new frame around the picture.”
Let’s not look at that number on the scale as a measurement for anything else. Let’s look at that number as simply one measurement of one small part of us.
Instead of waking up each day and running over to that scale—like so many of us do to find out if its a good day or a bad day—let’s just decide before we even step out of bed that it is a good day no matter what.
And, hey, maybe one day someone will figure out how to make that other scale… The one that focuses on the things that really matter.
This story was originally published on Where the Eff is my Handbook?