Wednesday, November 19, 2014

it's only a number

Yesterday, after having my blood pressure the nurse asked me to hop on the scale. 

Immediate reaction: boots or no boots? She said either way. So I gingerly stepped on and watched the black digital numbers quickly increase until they stopped at 145. 


And the spin began. 

I'd left my heavy shearling boots on. Plus my jeans and t shirt and sweater and scarf. That had to equal 5 pounds. 

Thoughts flooded over me. 

I weighed 142 when I started the kidney donor journey. 

137 when it was over. 

133 when I got pregnant with Iz

128 when I got pregnant with Jack. 

165 when I gave birth to both. 

123 when I was in art school desperately trying to be 118. 

106 at my anorexic thinnest. 

These pulsed through my head in mere seconds as the nurse asked questions. And then they stopped. 

Totally stopped. 

What never started, and this was the very first time in my adult life, was: 

you loser you are so fat you eat too much you have to go on a diet you don't exercise enough you pig you are so lame you'll never be thin you should be ashamed of yourself

Those repetitive, negative thoughts that were deeply embedded in me for as long as I can remember. I haven't owned a scale in close to 30 years because every time I stared at a number I didn't want to see that hateful rant would start in my head. I used to weigh myself as soon as I woke up, before and after I went to the bathroom, without clothes and then with. And I berated myself every single time. 

When I was pregnant and gained 9 pounds at the beginning the nurse chided me for gaining too fast. So I by the next visit I lost 3 pounds. We decided to keep my weight a secret from me going forward. I'd face away from the scale and she wouldn't leave my chart where I could see it. 

But yesterday, after that initial spin cycle I thought: 145. Ok. 

And then gratitude swamped me. For my healthy body. For answering no to every question on a very long, intimidating health questionnaire. For practicing yoga the day before. For donating a kidney. For walking to the office on a freezing cold day. For being fine with the clothes I fit into. For being a vegetarian. Even for giving up sugar to take care of myself. 

For appreciating this comfortable home my soul lives in.

It took until 50 to not care about what the number on the scale says. And at this point the number of my age doesn't phase me either. 


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