Let me share a short anecdote: this morning, I was in my kitchen with my sister, who is in town visiting before her wedding this weekend (woo hoo – so proud!). We were discussing her recent interest in running and the resultant weight loss. (She looks amazing!) We touched upon her dissatisfaction with her pre-running figure, and she loudly proclaimed, “Meg, I was up to XXX; I was disgusting!” (The number doesn’t matter – that’s my point!) I mean, how sad is that? It was the number that defined ‘disgusting’ to her and truly bothered her.
What really smarts about this conversation though? Her ‘disgusting’ number is lower than my current number. And don’t you think I didn’t know that and feel it in my gut as I heard the words come out of her mouth. I silently winced to myself, so embarrassed that if she knew my number, she might think I was disgusting, too. In a sisterhood with no secrets, weight is off limits for me. It’s a personal thing I keep only for myself, because I struggle with it constantly and I’m so ashamed of my number – no matter what it might be, if I’m being honest. My number is never good enough for me. And hearing “well, you just had a baby” – meant kindly, I’m sure – just isn’t a comfort.
And then I wonder why. Why am I hurt by this conversation? I know that everyone wears their weight differently. And we know that the number on scale shouldn’t matter; it should only matter how you feel about yourself. Shouldn’t I be proud to have recovered nearly to pre pregnancy weight already? I’d love to be proud, but I’m not. I’m quick to qualify that statement with: “Not that I was happy with my number before pregnancy, either!” When I hit the mom blogs for some comfort of new moms in similar situations, it seems like I’m the only one still struggling; so many seem just all to happy to report that they were at pre pregnancy weight just 2 months after baby, or less! And I look at the rich and famous in our favorite glossies, posing in bikinis mere weeks post-baby and think, wow, I’m really a slacker. Where are our realistic – and honest – role models in weight loss and in particular, post partum weight loss? I truly don’t know. But that’s a subject for another day; I’m sure we could talk for days about that subject.
So, why does that number rule our lives so much? Why does that little number become a daily black mark on my day and my weight weigh on my mind all day?
Is it just me or are you haunted by the number on the scale, too?