Is that a FOUR I see? (or, where you see how messed up my brain is)

I’ve never owned a scale. Ever. Until about a month ago. I’d been kicking around the idea of buying a cheap one just to have around for ‘weighing the baby’ but never could commit to it. I like knowing my weight, but I don’t like the mental stress of seeing a number go up when I think it shouldn’t, or the manipulation of my emotions when it goes down. But one day Jesse came home with one. Today I discovered another reason to really not have one.

I’ve been watching that number drop and drop by tiny increments. Two days last week it read 150.0. And I immediately began thinking about what I needed to do to get it under that number. It’s such a round number. If I were weighing at the gym, I would only have to move the big weight to 100! I haven’t weighed less than 150 in YEARS! If I can get under 150, then surely I can get under 145, and then it’s only FIVE MORE POUNDS to 140! So I better skip breakfast, and maybe I can sneak in another mile before my hip hurts, and definitely do NOT eat a snack tonight. And remember when I wore a size 6 jeans? I was so hot and I weighed like 145 then!

Yes. This is where I went. To the land of “obsessed with the number.”

This is probably my biggest personal struggle. I know I have body image issues. I don’t think I’m alone in that. But I do spend far too much time thinking about how I look and what I eat. I’m not anorexic by any means and my fully-established hatred of throwing up prevents me from being bulimic, but there is something not-quite-right upstairs when it comes to my weight and how I perceive my body. My rational brain knows that at 5′ 10″, I’m completely healthy. My rational brain knows that when my clothes fit, it’s all good in the hood. My rational brain knows that I’m running well because I’m at a good weight and eating well. My rational brain knows that making these sorts of strides five months after giving birth (and eleven months after pelvic rest started) is sort of impressive.

So why doesn’t my emotional brain come along for the ride? Why does my emotional brain think I need to weigh what I did in college? Why does my emotional brain still want to cover up my belly when my husband sees me naked? Why does my emotional brain try to convince my rational brain that it’s not enough until that skin hanging down when I do planks and pushups is gone? Why does my emotional brain think it’s okay to say “ugh, I’m still so flabby!” in front of my daughters, subtly teaching them that their self-worth and self-love is somehow wrapped up in their physical appearance? Why does my emotional brain get such a thrill at seeing that 149.6 this morning?

I suppose the good news is that my rational brain is working. Sometimes I eat jello and I don’t worry about it. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I see change. Maybe my emotional brain will never shut up. Maybe I don’t need it to…I’d just like to be able to take a day off from running or from eating well and not be afraid of what might happen.


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