I used to be a bit obsessed with the scales.
And by a bit, I mean very.
I would wake up every morning and run to the scales, heart beating.
This is how that would go down:
Me: Dear Scales, I think I’ve lost weight, yay! Will you please show me how worthy and beautiful and clever I am by showing numbers that are lower than they were yesterday?
Scales: Hi again. I regret to inform you that you’re not smarter, more beautiful, more worthy or indeed, even thinner. In fact, it seems I must portray digits, which are essentially higher than they were yesterday. You have failed again. Please try again in 24 hours.
At this stage, absolute panic would set in, alongside a deep, dark, heavy drawing-down feeling in my gut. As the scales said… I had failed again.
Me: OK, thanks Scales. I’ll just go and feel depressed all day. I’ll be snappy and hungry and think I am worthless and useless, but thank you very much for your help. I am so grateful you think I’m a worthless failure … because now I get to try harder, eat less, exercise more and feel incredibly (but secretly) upset for the next 24 hours … and then I can prove myself to you all over again. I hope.
One day, I tired of this routine so.I left the scales where they sat on the bathroom floor. But this time… I would wake up, and step over them.
At first this felt scary — but what will happen to me if I don’t weigh myself? How will I know how worthy I am? How will measure my happiness? Who will I be? What if I ‘let myself go’? And then slowly it stopped being scary. And it started to feel empowering.
I could choose how I felt each morning instead of being told how to feel by a little electronic gadget. I could decide I was worthy on my own terms. I could release guilt and fear and shame around not feeling aligned with a number. A number that would change so frequently, depending on my hormones, my fluid intake, how much salad I had eaten.
A number that really didn’t mean anything.
AND NOW? The scales still sit on the bathroom floor. I don’t weigh myself now. I weigh my apples at the grocery store.
I weigh up right and wrong. Good and bad. Black and white. I weigh my ingredients when I’m following a recipe. But I don’t weigh myself.
I learnt that I don’t need scales to tell me I’m good enough, and neither do you. I’m already good enough.
And so are you.