Recently I stepped on a scale for the first time in several months. As someone who used to weigh myself every single day—and allow the number to determine my mood—weighing myself only every few months is tremendous progress.
I did, in fact, “break up” with my scale long ago, but I still step on it every once in awhile. It’s usually out of curiosity or for a specific purpose, such as at the doctor’s office, or in relation to setting accurate strength to bodyweight goals. The reason I chose to step on the scale at this moment was that I’d just taken up bench pressing and wanted to set some realistic intentions in relation to my bodyweight.
And even though I’ve become accustomed to not weighing myself, this felt like a legitimate reason to do so—a reason that had nothing to do with self worth or acceptance. This is what I have been working towards for so many years: viewing bodyweight as something that doesn’t reflect my worth, but simply a number that can be used (or not used) as needed.
When I stepped on the scale after many months of abstinence, the number that appeared was higher than I’d anticipated; because I don’t weigh myself often, I usually I have a range that I imagine I fluctuate within, and I’m totally fine with that. This time, I was higher than the highest end of that range–and guess what?
I gave absolutely zero fucks about it. Like not even ONE.
In the interest of total transparency, I must tell you that this is the first time along my journey of self love and acceptance that I’ve felt this way. Over the past few years of working towards healing my body image, I’ve learned to care less and less about the number on the scale. I’ve weighed myself less frequently and gradually learned to (mostly) detach from the number.
There have been times when I’ve cared very little about the number, but a small part of me was still inclined to see the number as “good” or “bad.” Even after several years of body image rehab, weighing myself was not something I was completely comfortable with.
And let me tell you what, it really surprised me! Stepping on the scale was once accompanied by a dastardly voice that determined whether or not I was fit for human consumption; although I’d mostly reformed that voice, it’s never been completely annihilated. The truth is that I’d become so accustomed to that mean little voice—however quiet it has become—that I was utterly shocked by its silence.
When our sense of worthiness has been compromised in any way, it will take time to rebuild. None among us is perfect at embracing “imperfection,” and we all have our demons to face. Self-acceptance and healing is a non linear process, to be sure.
I cringe when I hear internet gurus advise you to “just love yourself” or to simply look in the mirror and affirm love. I’m just as angry at those notions as I am at the ones that tell you can love your body only with the help of their secret fat loss formula.
Readjusting the way you regard yourself is hard work, especially when you consider our current social climate and the harmful effects of media messaging. Learning to accept and love yourself is almost an act of defiance in today’s world—and this work takes time. Commitment. Patience. Resilience. And sometimes, a little regression—because again, this is not a linear progression.
The adage to “just love yourself” is total bullshit. These empty platitudes might make you feel good in the moment, but they have no lasting power. The human brain simply doesn’t work that way, and all these sentiments create an inauthentic approach to actual healing.
Healing a wound requires attention, care, and support. At times the wound will open and you’ll have to reassess your approach. But if we diligently tend to the wound it will heal and perhaps scar. True healing comes through committed work and trust in the process.
We need to COMMIT to the practice and the process of loving ourselves. We need to stay the course, despite the world around us trying to convince us of our state of unworthiness.
Wherever you are on your path, please know that you are healing—even if you can’t yet see the fruits of your labor. Overcoming your wounds is not an overnight process, but the work you cultivate daily will help you eventually manifest a state of calm and acceptance.
You may have broken up with your scale a myriad times, only to find yourself back under it’s hold. This is normal. This is part of the process. Every time you break up with your scale, you’ll build a stronger resolve, a more indubitable sense of worth. And every time you go back to your scale, you’ll discover that it’s power over you isn’t as dominant as it was before.
One day, you’ll step on that scale, see a number, and give zero fucks about it. Keep doing the work, and that day will come. xo