I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office the other day—something I rarely do, as I’ve learned through years of healing not to define myself by the number on a scale. There was a period of time when I would remove every article of clothing, take a deep, anxious breath, and wait for the number on the scale to determine my mood for the day.
On this day, however, I stepped on the scale fully clothed, shoes and all, without an inkling of dread.
Turns out I’m 20 pounds heavier than when I was at my “leanest,” which I put in quotations because although I was quite lean, I was also emotionally unhealthy & spiritually disconnected. I was 12% body fat and I THOUGHT I WAS FAT. That is a sickness, friends, and it’s dangerously pervasive in our society. People in all types of bodies struggle with their image due to impossible societal standards—and those in marginalized bodies experience this in ways that are harmful and unjust.
So what does it say about me that I’m 20 pounds heavier? THAT I’M 20 POUNDS HEAVIER. That’s it. That’s all. “Weight” is the force exerted on a body by gravity. It’s not a marker of health, wealth, or worth. It’s not a defining characteristic of our value, our right to take up space, or whether or not we are worthy of love and belonging.
Do I want to be as fit as my 35 year old body will allow? Of course. I absolutely love fitness and I don’t feel like myself if I’m not moving. But I also love wine. And chocolate peanut butter cups. And breakfast burritos. And sometimes I get accidentally too baked on the herb and munch like a 20-something stoner.
More importantly, I love the idea of NOT being so distracted by my weight—by the physical appearance of my body—that I forget to channel my energy into stuff that ACTUALLY MATTERS.
To me, writing matters. Magic matters. Intersectional feminism matters. Issues of race and queer equality matter. Being a kickass mom matters. Cultivating deep, meaningful relationships matters. Nature matters. The number on the scale?
Not something that matters. Not one bit.