A little over a year ago I trashed my scale. Not literally, but I did hide it for a month and when I finally re-discovered it I kept it in a place that wasn’t super convenient for using. I wanted to leave that cycle behind me and it only took about a month to kick the habit.
I made a very conscious decision and I stuck to it stubbornly: I didn’t want to make judgments about my life based on what the scale said. BOOM. That’s all. Scary, but also simple. And I was determined to succeed. I had my body composition tested, which was AMAZING and gave me a whole new perspective on the idea of “goal weight” and it helped me realize that I really didn’t give a shit about what some random pamphlet that didn’t know me at all said I should weigh. It was freeing. REALLY FREEING! Plus:
*I felt great
*My clothes fit better than they ever had
*I was really proud of what my body was doing
The Look/Feel/Perform trifecta that Robb Wolf always talks about was completely in alignment. I was kicking ass and taking names and doing it all without the secret judgment of some electronic appliance. Garrett took this random photo of me at a CrossFit competition last summer and when I saw it I remember thinking, “Holy shit, is that actually me? You just look like a regular, normal, healthy person.”
I had literally never had that reaction to a photograph of myself…EVER. Is it crazy that it was sort of a defining moment? I wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t fitting an “ideal.” I was just The Best Version of Myself, and I was able to fully appreciate it in the moment precisely because I wasn’t caught up with how much I weighed or how close I was to my goal weight or any of that nonsense. I bet you are smart enough to see where this is going because all of those verbs I just used are past tense.
I am not even close to that place anymore. I actually saw a candid picture of myself recently and had that momentary feeling of sadness and embarrassment. My closet is full of awesome spring and summer clothes that I pulled out recently when I cleaned out my closet and sadly the bulk of them are too tight. I was so excited to see this skirt again and OMG…the zipper practically screamed when I tried to zip it up. Slowly over the past month I have had this slow bubble of panic and insecurity and of course my thoughts have led back to “Damn, I bet I never should have chucked my scale.”
But here’s the thing: last summer my priorities were my workouts. My life looked very different, and I was far less stressed. And the other night when I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep and fretting about these few pounds that I initially though were showing up for a short jaunt, but who now appear to be having an extended stay, I thought to myself: YOU ARE NOT COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES. This isn’t because you threw out your scale, this is because you let your priorities change. The things you are focusing on are not yielding the desired results. Don’t go running back to the scale — re-evaluate your goals.
I almost didn’t share any of this because I wondered if it would sound stupid or dramatic or mental or whatever. But this space is my real life, not a shined up version, and so is this struggle right now. I don’t have a plan to share that is all mapped out, but rest assured it is coming. How I look, how I feel, and how my body is performing is a very manageable trinity, and right now I’m feeling sub par on all levels. A lot of it has to do with my stress level, and I remember so clearly the advice from the Everyday Paleo Seminar – if you aren’t managing stress and sleep, it doesn’t matter how well you are managing the rest. That spoke to me and it’s where I’m starting. This is my Spring State of the Union, and as I acknowledge where I am without judgment, it makes it easier to get ready to move to where I want to be.
This weekend I prioritized my rest and relaxation over productivity. I took a nap on Sunday afternoon instead of crossing some things off my list. Man, you guys, IT WAS HARD. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but it is true. I am very good at ignoring my body’s requests, but this weekend I listened. It wanted sleep. It wanted to flip through magazines. Surprisingly it still wanted to menu plan and cook good dinners. It wanted a fun night out with great folks, but it didn’t really feel like drinking. It wanted a long morning walk with the dog and a conversation with a fun friend.
The bottom line is I need to be a better listener, and I need to make sure that the actions I’m taking are getting me where I want to go instead of keeping me where I currently am. Only time will tell, but if I was a betting woman I’d put my money on the idea that taking the time to learn to listen to myself will be more helpful that running back to a dysfunctional relationship with a scale. And I’m willing to take that chance and let you know how it goes.