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Weight of my World

Weight of my World

I just did it moments ago. I do it every Friday morning. It’s generally before 7 am and I’m naked. I pee first, then close my eyes and mentally prepare. I tell myself, “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be okay.” Then, cringing with fear, I step on the scale.

No, I’m not going to tell you what it says. I may be confessional, but I have boundaries, people. But honestly, the number doesn’t really matter (except to me of course, where it HUGELY matters), what matters is how my entire mood changes by 7:01am. Depending on that flat glass surface with a digital screen, I’m either fabulous or frumpy. Happy or miserable.

Friday after Friday, I’d cringe, exhale as much breath out of my body and step. Often, the number is happy, smiling up at me. But lately, it’s been two to three pounds up – and when it’s up, I am most certainly down.

Three pounds may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me, or to anyone in my house who has to deal with my cranky, fat ass. Don’t judge me too harshly. I grew up surrounded by the body disorder disease – my mother has it, my aunt has it, my cousins have it. It seemed to affect every female member in my family.  Only my tall, skinny cousin seemed immune, living on a diet of Oreo cookies and chocolate bars, until well after her third child was born. Then, she too, succumbed.

I remember once, as a young girl, noting my mother’s strange skin color. “Carrots.” She explained. “It’s all the carrots.” I don’t want to know how many carrots you have to eat before you start to turn into one, but my mom was well on her way. I think she tried living on broccoli as well, but she always looked better in orange.

So after weeks of seeing a number that used to be reserved for “I had better be pregnant,” I did what anyone would do – I stopped going on the scale.  I know you thought I was going to say I went on a diet. Screw that. I eat basically vegetables and ice cream, and exercise a solid five days a week.  But something had to go, and it was the scale.

I had always been amazed by people who just ate without fear of the scale. Now I was one of them, and for the first few weeks, not having to see the number eased my mind somewhat. I felt a little more carefree, my clothes fit and for the first time in my memory, I wasn’t my scale’s bitch.  It was revelatory. It was enough to make you want to celebrate! With cake!

As you might guess, my celebratory liberation ended as soon I began to feel that subtle tightening around my waist, my favorite jeans no longer my favorite. I knew, but I didn’t want to believe. So I gathered my courage, got naked, exhaled and stepped. It was a big step, and even though I was no longer happy, at least I knew where I stood. 2lbs fatter than the fat that made me shun the scale. Damn.

As I contemplated my next steps – no more peanut butter, two cups of ice cream a day instead of three – a funny thing happened, I got used to the new number. My old fat became my new average. I hated it, but accepted it in the way I accepted another load of laundry, annoyed but resigned. I didn’t know what to make of this development. For a long while I became depressed, not at the number any longer, but that I had given up and accepted a newer version of myself – an older, fatter one.

Twenty odd years at the same weight (give or take those same up and down five pounds), and I will forever teeter on the edge of weight anxiety. I am always afraid Friday morning when I step on that scale, but I’ve learned my lesson. I will not cover my eyes like a two-year old. I will step. Knowing is better than living in denial. My coping skills, if not my body image, have strengthened over the years. I am more okay with who I am than I ever was. Even though my body is a little softer, I’ve got a tougher skin.

Besides, there’s always next Friday.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

134 responses »

  1. dont like the obsession, you are beautiful, celebrate your life, eat good and enjoy

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  2. Right on! Screw the scale! I was always told it’s just, “more of you to love!” 🙂
    Great piece.

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  3. Its a constant battle. very good post.

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  4. Since I’ve known you … you’ve always looked amazing. Let it go and enjoy your ice cream. Or switch to wine. After the first glass or two … you really don’t care what the scale says any more. Actually when we moved, I realized I left the scale at the old house. =)

    Reply
  5. Now that is a miracle if I ever heard one! I love that you’re okay with the new number. I threw out my scale 20 years ago for exactly the same reasons. And yes, I still notice every pound when my clothes feel tight. But my “skin is tougher” and my esteem slightly higher now too.

    Reply
  6. Screw the scale!! Your bag of goodies will always make you (and others) feel good….

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  7. I hate weigh day. Unless its a good one.

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  8. hehe you r like me . enjoy what you eat . 🙂 sweet one

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  9. Food is good, scales are bad!

    I honestly do love this post as it is very unbelievably relatable! We’re all there and we all think the scale judges the rest of our forever. That it defines how beautiful or ugly we are. But at some point we have to learn to accept and be happy with what’s going on!

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  10. Very relatable. But, hey, resigning for two lbs more is not resigning, it’s just giving you the chance to enjoy the lifestyle you’re carrying, because exercising 5 times a week is considered admirable by a couch potato like me haha.

    Don’t give up your ice cream! Real beauty is not measured in a scale, anyways 🙂 Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  11. The goal of the company I work for is to use innovative educational tools to keep kids playing sports through their adult years. It is really difficult to lose weight without being really active, a stringent diet is not nearly enough.

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  12. I hate the scale, and when I am working out I know I am building muscles which weigh more than fat. So getting on the scale does nothing for me really. I might weigh myself once a month or when I go to the doctors. I refuse to even own a scale. It’s bad enough a lot of us humans are hung up on weight and then to torture ourselves with it….nah I’ll do something else.

    And YAY for ice cream! 🙂

    And I’m a new reader, just saying hi.

    Reply
    • I know ! I so admire that! I’m like a slave to it! Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it!! Yay! Ice cream! We can never give up the good things! 🙂 So glad to meet you!!

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  13. Life’s to short to be a size 0

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  14. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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    Reply
  16. Who knows what the number on the scale really means? I’ve recently hit a weight I haven’t since high school (8 years ago), but my body feels different. I have different muscles, my posture reflects the last few years of study, my clothes size has changed (I feel like clothes sizes have changed in general), I wear different styles, I carry myself differently. I have made peace with certain aspects of myself (my “meaty” behind and substantial thighs) and recognized other aspects (i.e.: a distended abdomen) to signify health-relevant things (like a food sensitivity). The relationship I have with my body is ever-evolving and, really, it’s impossible to gauge the entirety of that relationship by a lousy number on a scale. Excellent post!

    Reply
    • So true!! On my good days, i feel exactly the same and on my bad days, i’m like – man!!!
      And it’s true, at my thinnest, now that i’ve had kids and all, it just doesn’t look the same. so, i’m like, wait – the right number, the wrong body – so you can’t win. that’s why i’ll never give up the ice cream. thank you!!

      Reply
  17. I was relieved to read “there’s always next Friday.” … and will be hopeful that one day Friday won’t matter. By the way, I just ordered my first ice cream maker because I like it so much, but no longer want to eat ice cream with ingredients I can’t read, or come from a farm I don’t know … I guess we all have our obsessions 🙂

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  18. omg, getting on the scale every morning? that sounds like chinese water torture…no worse..american waterboarding. I say find an activity that makes u sweat atleast 3 -4 days a week for 20-30 minutes…find a fun group of people or a friend to do this with. There must be some enjoyment of ur food. Forget the scale. Leave it for the doctors office. I too like to keep fitting in my clothes so I understand the mindset. Just remember we are all worthy and will be loved regardless. I send u kudos for being so open with your post.

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  19. I got rid of the scales years ago. Not worth it. I have a daughter so I try very hard not to obsess about weight and pass on to her my weight hang-ups. Us women are way too hard on ourselves!

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    • i can’t get rid of it!! i tried. it made me more crazy! so true – way too hard on ourselves. but i guess it’s good i have boys. 😉

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      • I am a mother of four, married to a workaholic. My daughter and eldest son have both already adopted my weight issues, so sometimes its not even gender specific. I feel bad that I have behaved in a way about my blown out weight that has set a bad example for my kids…..however I’m just a self confessed sugar addict who’s now a very cuddly mummy! I’m thinking I might start diet number one billion next week……or there is always Lap Band Surgery…….
        Love your writing, congrats on being freshly pressed 🙂

        Peace, Love and Happiness

      • thank you!! and never give up, but never give up the sugar all together either. 🙂

  20. I hate weight day myself and yes Friday always comes too quickly!

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  21. everyone my age is obsessed with their weight and is ‘constantly on a diet’ but to be honest, i eat what i want to! screw the scales
    my blog about a 14 year old British girl- http://uniquelysophie.wordpress.com

    Reply
  22. This is such an awesome and well-written post. Up or down five pounds, that’s normal. Throw that stinking scale out the window! You’ll know when you’re in trouble. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    Reply
  23. Reblogged this on little lost girl. and commented:
    It takes courage to post something like this.

    Reply
  24. Don’t be so conscious on your weight. Live life to the fullest.

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  25. I don’t get it why people would say live life to it’s fullest and regard the scale – or weight anxiety for this matter – as something not to look at. Living life at it’s fullest start by the love of ourselves – but of course, with our own scales of satisfaction. It is a constant battle with our measures. But it’s a healthy battle.

    I can’t imagine them to live their life in it’s fullest and not worry about getting two sizes up. If living life to it’s fullest would mean just having all you want, I would have been in jail by now. The fattest excon you’d ever know – if I were still alive.

    So for you miss icecreammama, I salute you! 🙂

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  26. no worry dear..you’re still beautiful inside..:-D and you’re a great mama!!! congrats on being FP 🙂

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  27. living under the fear and obsession of the scale is something that all women have experienced i believe at some point in their lifetime.. But you have to live your life to the fullest, not worrying about every single pound you gain. You are beautiful as you are.. 🙂

    Reply
  28. Pingback: Weight of my World « One day,

  29. I don’t have a scale in my house, we have a love hate thing. So, I go to WW once a week. However, I do very much share your pain of allowing that one 3 second view of a number completely vailidate you or demolish you depending on what it says!

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  30. Living without the scale is the best way to go! You look great and I’m always super impressed when I see you running down Mackey! Love the post!

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  31. My ultimate weak spot is bagels with cream cheese *drool* or any kind of bread. I gained a decent amount of weight in college and this article really speaks to me. I didn’t notice it at first because I might only gain 2 pounds a month. It’s taking so much just to stop the weight gain; I completely changed my diet, work out 7 times a week, quit smoking, and nothing comes off. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone.

    Reply
    • I know!! it’s so hard to lose and so easy to gain!! that’s why i actually can’t get rid of the scale like so many do – i’d rather catch at 2lb or so, the let it escalate. keep going – don’t let ruin your happy, but we all feel better at our happy weight. it’ll happen. i know it’s hard!! 🙂

      Reply
  32. Pingback: Lessons Learned (Vol. Deux) | ateachablemom

  33. Loved your post.
    But true, don’t obsess about your body. Enjoy yourself 🙂

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  34. Nicely written! I’ve taped a child-like happy face across the screen of my digital scale! lol I know by the fit of things what those numbers are. And I don’t like them having the power to determine my mood. So I’m embracing myself as I am, although I need to grow longer arms to get them around this big tummy of mine! ha ha! Love this post! Great job! Love and blessings to you, Mamma!

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    • I love the happy face!! it’s so true – i hate that a number on a piece of glass can change me from happy to sad!! I am trying to be more forgiving – i think i am. I’m going to try to follow your advice. maybe i’ll get me a happy face – or an ice cream cone! to cover the number. 🙂

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      • Ha ha ha! Then post a pic of it on your blog for everyone to enjoy! Also, just take comfort in not being alone in this. I told a girlfriend that my muffin top is getting so big that I should name it! Maybe even get it its own fb page! ha ha! Take good care of your precious self! I’m sure that every single pound of you is fabulously beautiful! xoxo

  35. I put the scale in the basement many moons ago…much happier, tho still fat. O, the freedom! Love your posts!

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  36. I had anorexia, only one day I realized how boring and self-obsessed it was. So I started eating what I wanted and putting my energy into other things. I’m not life-threateningly skinny any more, but I do have a life 🙂

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    • so much better!!!! i so glad for you! i get it – it’s enough energy i exert just maintaining normal! that’s way too much work. So much better to live and enjoy instead of being obsessed. Good for you!!! 🙂

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  37. FREEDOM complete freedom is impossible food is a dream the scale in the bathroom floor and those old pair of shorts that no longer fit becuase your thighs are too fat represent the devil………

    Loved your post 🙂

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  38. optimisticgladness

    I love your vulnerability. I can so relate! I have done the same thing with my scale. I just tuck it away for awhile. Then I get mad at myself when I step on it months later. It’s a daily struggle, huh? (sigh) Thank you for posting.

    Reply
    • it’s a life long struggle – but at different stages we have different perspectives. sometimes it’s very important, sometimes, not so much and often, way more important than it should be. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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  39. I love your moxie – and there is something HUGE to be said for gaining coping skills in the past 20 years. I need to throw out my scale too. It’s always “5 pounds” no matter what I weigh.

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  40. I could totally relate it’s just that we’re totally opposites. I’m too skinny I wanna gain weight. I used to do the weighing scale once or twice a week and yes it kinda dictated how I would feel and the activities I would do for the rest of the day until I just got used to it and finally realized I can’t let it ruin a great day. I realized I can focus on a lot of things other than just focusing on my weight which was crazier than how the stock market would go up and down. 🙂 Cheers on being Freshly pressed! 🙂

    Reply
  41. Great post! I love how you expressed every word–kept intrigued and wanting more! I’m with you on “screwing the scale!” Who needs it anyway??? Life is about being happy with who you are and if a little instrument such as the dreaded scale can dictate your life. . . then get rid of it like you would a boyfriend who isn’t making you happy! 🙂

    Reply
  42. Tales of Braške

    Don’t know if I like your battle or hate it. I go through it, yet I want to be hypocritical to others and say they shouldn’t care about that number. So I guess, I just feel you on this one!:)

    Reply
  43. I got here through Freshly Pressed, which I recently discovered (congratulations on that by the way).
    I’ve given up the scale some time ago and am much happier when not constantly putting energy in fearing the numbers. Just a little thought: if you can’t go without a scale, you can consider the Yay! Scale (by Marilyn Wann)? I think anybody would much rather see “Ravishing” or “Perfect” than any number!

    There is a great blog post about an experiment with it.
    http://healthateverysizeblog.org/tag/yay-scale/

    I hope you like it…

    Reply
  44. I love this post! I’m not going to give you any platitudinal fluff that though, well meaning, is always rather insulting… Your honesty about the ins and outs is refreshing. I’m fighting and losing the battle as we speak…. *sigh*

    Reply
    • we all do the best we can. one week i’m walking on sunshine the next i’m in the clouds… but still i eat my ice cream. can’t let it completely take over – there’s too much good stuff to appreciate. and remember.. .there’s always next friday! 🙂

      Reply
  45. My scale never “works”……….we always doubt that it is actually giving you the right number……

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  46. As someone who has struggled with my weight for my entire life, I know exactly how you feel. I have a love hate relationship with my scale. Granted, it’s more often hate, but I have found that I really tend to pack on the pounds when I walk away from it for a month or two. Knowing is half the battle, and learning to love oneself is the other half. 🙂

    Reply
  47. This is my life. And I love how you weigh yourself on Friday; is it because you’re good all week and then have off days on weekend? It sure is for me. And I have to be totally nude, except when I weigh in a weight watchers where I’m stripped down to a sports bra and bike pants (put hey, I’m not the only one). Great post!

    Becca

    Reply

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