Archive for April 2019

The Numbers Game

April 15th, 2019 — 1:06pm

Someone asked me recently how much weight I lost. Enough, I said. She wasn’t satisfied. She wanted a number. I didn’t give it.

I’m not being coy or modest. Playing the numbers game doesn’t work for me. It’s a way of measuring success, or beauty, or worthiness that depends entirely on an outside source of validation. This feels like a prison cell to me. Why would I give that power to anyone, or anything?

First, a disclaimer: I don’t talk about weight much anymore. Having gone on my journey, I am grateful for the freedom that living in a less weighty body gives. I’m grateful for my body’s strength and grace. I’m grateful NOT to think about it that much. But I notice how people get stuck on numbers, and how fixating on numbers can cause pain. When is enough enough? What happens if you gain weight? Will you be any less happy because of it? Perfection is the enemy of the good, or good enough.

I get that stepping on the scale can be useful, and I’m not immune to checking in occasionally. It can be a source of information, but it’s not the answer to bodily happiness or health. The scale can never takes the place of developing your internal barometer of hunger and satiety, and that can be an interesting and rich journey. Learning to listen, and learning to pay attention is a powerful gift you can give yourself. Your happiness is not based on a number, it’s based on your relationship to your own body.

I’ve lost enough weight now that I can move more freely and lightly through the world. I’ve lost enough weight that my blood sugar and cholesterol levels have dropped considerably. I’ve lost enough weight that I can joyfully practice and teach Pilates.

We’re all embodied in a certain way. I’m curvy, even still, with my weight loss. Hallelujah!

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