My most ambitious goal on my 30×30 list is the last, being comfortable in my own skin. I struggle between two versions of myself. A feeling I’ve known since I was 12, maybe even earlier. It surprises people when I tell them this. Generally, I am confident, smart and carry a “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. Yet, I don’t carry that through to me. I undervalue, undermine and sabotage because that little voice. The words and motivation I give friends and family are not the same messages I give myself. Rather it is a mix depending on what the scale tells me.
The scale is a cruel instrument. It can be very necessary when you are first losing weight, have a medical condition or if goes well with your bathroom decor. The progress it shows motivates. The number on the scale provides you with how to know if your weight is healthy for your age and height. Yet, it also becomes a vanity measurement. The scale is not a cheerleader. If the scale isn’t what you want or expect, that number leads to a lot of self doubt. That conversation in your head isn’t pretty. It will tell you all the things you could have done differently, and yes, sometimes you need to have that conversation. But when it just becomes a soundtrack, it leads to old habits coming back rather than new patterns taking over.
As I get older, it isn’t just that I’ve grown tired of the voice, but I am tired of it ruling me. I don’t want it to influence how I treat or talk to my friends. I don’t want to engage it in my own goals. I don’t want my nieces to learn the power of it. The hardest part is changing the conversation, removing its power. Vanity and fear are powerful, but they are not lasting motivators. They are temporary, then comfort sets back in, or you stop not because it is hard, because it will always be hard, but because the voice says “this isn’t who you are, what do you think you are doing”. The points where you should be celebrating the progress of your goal becomes a stopping point. The conversation starts again, it derails you and you know it’s wrong.
I’ve made progress since I first wrote my list back in 2011. The journey has started and I’m still progressing. The next step is to throw away the scale. I don’t need it. I’m a healthy weight for my height and age. At this point in my body image journey, the scale is not going to provide me with positive feedback or motivation. It becomes just another fixation and upsetting point. The number sets me back, it tells me there was failure. It’s not really true. Instead I’m going to listen to my body, not a inanimate objects measurement of who I am.
Peace out scale, you and your trash talking are not welcome here anymore. Because guess what, this girl can do 25 real push ups and you will never measure that success.