Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Throw out the scale...

I can't tell you how many times someone has said this to me.  This tends to come from really fit women advising that scale numbers don't tell the whole story.  And of course, they don't.  But as someone who was once morbidly obese I don't think I'll ever quite get away from weighing myself and evaluating how I am doing by that number.  

A psychiatrist that I used to work with told me that he never weighed himself he just went by how his pants fit.  If he found them getting tight he would cut back on food and up his exercise.  Of course, he was morbidly obese so his words didn't have a lot of "cred" behind them if you know what I mean.

That being said, numbers, or even size, can't tell you how healthy a person is, can it?  My sophomore year of college I had a sociology professor who weighed close to 400 pounds.  He was in his 40's - a flaming liberal hippie sort and was a vegetarian.  I remember halfway though the semester he told us that he had gone to the doctor's and gotten his blood drawn.  A few days later the doctor called and said that there was a problem and he needed to come in.  This professor went in and found out that the doctor wanted him to have his blood drawn and re-tested because everything was normal.  

Yup - cholesterol, insulin, kidney fuction - all within normal limits.  But the doctor couldn't accept that the numbers were right because of his weight.

Yesterday I was running and passed this couple.  The female was probably in her early 30's and was smoking a cigarette.  And she was positively scrawny.  She was a couple of inches taller then me and I would guesstimate her weight at around 100 pounds.  And I thought to myself - would you want to look like that?  Of course the answer was no way.  And even with the issues that I have, I can't believe that she is healthier then I am.

This weekend I had to stop at Kohl's and make a payment and I decided to look around on their clearance racks.  I grabbed a bunch of stuff to try on and when I went into the dressing room I pulled on these adorable capris - originally $44, marked down to $6.50 and I had a 20% off coupon.  Hell yes I thought.  

I stepped on the scale today and it was above 120.  You know how I feel about that!  I had laid out these new capris and went to rip off the tags to get dressed and realized they were a size 0 petite.  And I laughed at myself for being mad about the scale this morning.  It made me feel a little ridiculous.

People are RIGHT.  The scale is NOT the be all and end all determiner of someone's health or fitness.  And neither is pants size.  So PLEASE try not to be like me, I'm begging you.  Look at your overall health and wellness.  You can be incredibly fit and healthy at many, many sizes.  Getting caught up completely in a scale number is STUPID.  I know that intellectually and am working on getting there emotionally.  

Even if you "need" to lose some more weight, look at where you came from.  Respect yourself.  Honor your achievements.  Give yourself a break!

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