I weigh myself every day. I have done so for years. It's a habit I developed not so much because I am super healthy, but mostly to avoid becoming super unhealthy. I find facing the music every day helps me to keep from sliding too far off the mark. So, every morning I step barefoot onto that scale while clinging to the doorknob and to the wall. I slowly release the wall, then the doorknob... and look down with one eye to the number below.
What does that number mean to me?
I'll tell you what it isn't. That number is not an indication in any way of my worth as a person, as a mother, as a wife, or as a woman. Bathroom scales measure a quality of bodies-- not souls-- and in that sense, the number isn't all that important to me. I've made that scale spin when I've been pregnant and brought it amazingly low amazingly quickly after babies have been born. My husband loved me the same wherever I measured and we hope to have the chance to make it spin again.
I've carried extra weight when I wasn't expecting as well and I've managed at other times recently enough to weigh less than when I was in high school. I like to be thin--I think we all do-- and most of us aim for a certain ideal number on that scale, but I think it's important to ask ourselves why. Why do we want to be thin? Who are we aiming to please? I think most husbands feel their wives obsess too much about their weight, so if it isn't for the husbands, who is it for? Ourselves? Other women? Strangers? Who? And why?
I've learned over the years to view that number as indicator and not so much a measure. It indicates for me a direction I'm heading in. If its on the rise, it indicates what I already knew: that I haven't been getting the exercise I need and the healthy foods that strengthen my body and balance my mind. I've slipped off the track toward good health and am heading toward a weaker body, lower energy levels, and a less peaceful mind. I have other indicators that warn me long before the scale registers-- but that number-- that observable and climbing number is an objective confirmation and if I make myself look at it every morning, I'm more likely to try to find the causes of the problem and remedy them.
I recently considered replacing the scale I've had since we were married--the edges have rust marks and the face is scratched up a bit. But as I stood on scale after scale at the store and realized how each one told me a different weight, I was hesitant to part with my scale. I know what the numbers on that scale indicate. I remember what I weighed on that scale the first morning in our new apartment together as a married couple and I remember what it read the first week of my first pregnancy ( a pregnancy we lost). I remember the outrageous number that scale hit in the eighth month of my pregnancy with Simeon...and where it was at six weeks after he was born. Those numbers mean a certain level of health or state of life to me and they only have meaning on this scale. That new scale or that one wouldn't be the same. They wouldn't know anything about me.
I don't mean to say, exactly, that all weight measures are purely relative, there are objective standards, but to place the focus on state of life and good health as opposed to fat or thin/bad or good seems a healthier way to consider weight, our bodies, and ourselves. I did not part with my scale. I actually touched it up a bit with some white paint. I love that scale-- as funny as it may seem-- it holds my history and guides me into a healthy, happy, and hope filled future.