I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a lot of posts in the blog world this week related to scales. And just for clarification, I mean the thing you weigh yourself on. It’s ironic that some of my favorite bloggers broached the subject this week because I had an experience yesterday that mirrored what they were addressing. Let me back up and start from the beginning.
Every year, my company offers optional health screenings to its employees. These screenings are administered by nurses and health coaches, but they aren’t diagnostic. The information is strictly for screening purposes only. Nevertheless, I decided to participate this year. I’m good about getting my annual checkup done, but I thought it would be fun to see what my numbers are currently. And yes, I said fun!
The tests they ran gave me my total cholesterol level (VERY low ), HDL cholesterol level (a little low but I’m going to look into that), total cholesterol/HDL ratio (in the desirable range), non-fasting glucose (VERY low), and blood pressure (normal). I got a clean bill of health!
The other part of the screening involved either a BMI and waist circumference check or a flexibility test. As you all know, I’m notoriously inflexible, so I opted for the first choice.
The health coach checked my height and weight and also measured my waist circumference. Again, everything is in the normal range…woot!
You may be wondering where this is going…I’m getting there…keep reading!
When I got back to my desk after the screening, I smiled because the old Parita would NEVER have opted for a BMI and waist check…NEVER. Why? Because up until a little over a year ago, the scale owned me. And when I say owned, I mean it scared me and caused me to behave in strange ways.
Here’s some history to help paint a picture…
I would wake up every morning, workout, use the restroom (sorry if that’s TMI), and weigh myself. Then I would go to work and input the number from the scale into a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet would be linked to a graph…you can probably tell where I’m going with this. I was so obsessed with tracking my weight and analyzing trends. This would probably only be semi-strange behavior if I wasn’t already so self-conscious. I let the number on the scale take over my thoughts, my mood, my food choices, my ability to take compliments, my relationship with Vishnu/friends/family…that scale owned me. I did everything in my power to be at the low end of the healthy weight range for my height.
I am happy to say that I ended my daily visits with the scale a little over a year ago. I was so sick of everything being tied to that one number. I now only check my weight once or twice a week. I’m not going to lie to y’all and say that the number never bothers me or upsets me because sometimes it does. But, I’m slowly realizing that weight fluctuation is normal. I am also starting to realize that for me there is such a thing as a “happy weight.” I define “happy weight” as the range that my body prefers to remain in when I engage in healthy eating and regular exercise. And if I’m going to be completely honest with you, my happy weight is NOT in the low end of the range, it’s actually much higher, and I am 100% ok with that.
The new Parita doesn’t strive to be skinny, she strives to be strong. She doesn’t do cardio for the sake of exercising, she runs because she loves it and she strength trains because she likes building muscles. The new Parita is not just concerned with what she sees, she focuses on how she feels. She doesn’t strive for perfection, she strives to be happy. And she finally realizes that the number on the scale is only one piece of the puzzle.
I hope y’all have a great night! I thought I’d end this super wordy post with more words…ha! Here are two beautiful quotes that inspire me and remind me of how far I’ve come in the past year or so…
“The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself, and the most significant things you say all day are those things you say to yourself.” – Unknown Author
“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” – Anna Freud