Friday, January 6, 2017

Why I Don’t Make Resolutions, Keep a Television, or Own a Scale

I used to weigh myself every day. Naked, first thing in the morning, and always before I had eaten. The number that popped up on the scale would determine my worth for the day. If it were up even half a pound from the morning before, I would berate myself for the brownie I enjoyed after the last night’s dinner. I was pathetic, frumpy, and not worth a second look. If the number was down, I was a beautiful, sexy, sassy woman full of life and love and worthy of turning heads. This may sound extreme. But I know I am not alone in this.

About a year ago, I moved from my old home into my new home. As part of the process of separating from my then-husband, I determined what furniture I would take and which I would leave. I sat in each room and asked myself, “What would I be sad to never see again?” I was moving into a much smaller home, a significantly smaller home. I took only those things that were necessities or that had deep sentimental value. I am not the sentimental sort and am a minimalist by nature, so I took very little. When I came to the bedroom and master bath, I gave a good hard look at that scale.

This is why I also don’t set resolutions or own a television. I am prone to judging myself against unrealistic expectations. Again, I know I am not alone in this. Set resolutions in January, break them the next month. Decide you are a fat loser and doomed to be a failure. Can’t you follow through with anything? What’s the matter with you? Other people can do this. Your coworker dropped sugar from her diet, started working out at the gym, and gets eight hours of sleep every night. Your best friend wakes at five o’clock every morning to go for a run. Your neighbor no longer touches any food containing wheat or any other grain. You, on the other hand, binge on cupcakes, would rather shoot yourself in the foot than spend an hour looking at a wall while walking on a treadmill, and couldn’t wake up at five o’clock if you tried.

But look at you. You love long walks in the woods with your dog, turning your face to the sunshine to soak in the abundant goodness of the universe. You spend afternoons dancing around the kitchen while whipping up beautiful, delicious, nutritious meals you later will post to social media sites to share with your friends. You sleep until you feel rested and rise to welcome the day with hopefulness in your head and gratitude in your heart. You laugh and love and do things every day that make your heart sing. And cupcakes? Yeah, you enjoy a cupcake now and then but it’s a treat, something you partake in with touch and sight as much as taste, a sensual delight set aside for a special time. You have no need to measure up to any other standards. You are your own beautiful, whacky, adorable self. And that’s okay.

I have been thinner, much thinner. I didn’t like it. My face was drawn, I had no shape, I lost my curves. Look. I’m a short woman with plenty of backend and very little up front. Too much weight and I can hardly move myself around. Too little and I lose my boobs. I like an in-between. I like to feel I have plenty of energy to do the things I love. I like to not have to breathe heavy when I climb a set of stairs. On the other hand, I like a little cush in the breasts to fill out that push up bra, a little jiggle in the rear to give the boys something to look at as I walk on by. It’s who I am. It’s who I like to be. That may not suit the Photoshop-crazy media. It may not sell a lot of diet books or any for that matter. But it makes me happy. And being happy is better than any feeling I ever got from any number on that scale.

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