Cross-Post: The Scale Is Evil and Must Be Stopped!

(This is a cross-post from my personal blog:

Weight is a curious thing.  I'll talk real numbers, because numbers are irrelevant when it comes to weight. Huh? Yes, really.

Ok, I am 5'7"and I have a medium size frame and large boobs. 130 pounds is an awesome weight for me.  I have a friend who is the same height but has a tiny delicate frame, and 130 pounds on her leaves her with a large ass.  Yet another friend is the same height but has a large frame and a heck of a lot more muscle mass, and 130 makes her look like a skeleton.  

In other words, numbers are personal. There is no universal number for everyone.  My numbers have changed as my body has changed; when I was rollerblading every day I weighed more and had less fat. When I quit rollerblading my weight went down, which gave me a false sense of security as I was actually getting fatter.

Also, there's a point where weight loss makes you look worse.  My stomach sticks out. My stomach has always stuck out.  I got down to 115 pounds, which was lower than my high school weight, and my stomach still stuck out.  It actually was more noticeable because I had no ass or hip fat to fill in around my stomach.  My boobs deflated and did the most unattractive wrinkling prune impression when I lied on my back. Naked, I looked 70 years old.  Skinny is not always best, trust me, and no amount of crunches will tighten your skin.

We all have a target weight.  Here's what it looks like for me:

128 or lower - You get to eat everything you see! 

129 - this number only appears a few times a year on my scale, and it exists only to make me feel bad about myself the rest of the time. It taunts me.

130-135 - This is my target weight. This is where I feel sexy and good about myself.

135-137 - This is where I always am. I was 135 when I got pregnant both times, and after regaining the pounds I lost on the Divorce Diet the weight I returned to. I think it's where my body is most comfortable, but when I weigh 137 I feel spongy and squishy.  The difference between 135.8 and 136 pounds on my scale is roughly 7.3 Self Esteem points.  Ounces and Self Esteem points have a very complicated conversion formula.

138 - Now I look at my thighs and squeeze them, noting their sponginess. I refer to myself as "buxom" or "statuesque" and try to decide that I am ok with being a curvy girl, meaning a plus size girl. Note, my transition to mental plus size resulted from only 3 pounds over my normal weight range.  I imagine other people don't even see the difference when they look at me.

140 - I haven't seen this weight in so long I pray I never see it again. This is the "you are acending too high" number.

OK, before you go commenting on my weight obsession, here's some more numbers from my life:

162 - my highest pre-pregnancy weight. I am thin because I actively work hard at it. It is not my normal state.  My mother likes to believe I am thin because I have a great metabolism, and I should finish whatever leftovers there are when we eat together.  I try very hard to remind her of the years I was fat and how hard I worked to lose the 30 pounds.

185 - the weight I delivered both my children at (I gained 50 pounds with each child, and lost it easily. I have no shame in that at all.)

145 - the weight I was when I married my ex-husband, and I felt incredibly beautiful that day, though I went back up to 150 about a week later.

The reason I am posting numbers here is that we all hide them, deny them (my drivers license still says 120) and let them shape how we see ourself. If I get a "good" result from my scale, I look in the mirror and admire how long and lanky I am. Add just one pound, and I see only the lumps and bulges and I know I am not the only one.

Some people resolve this by never weighing themselves, only determining their weight status by how well their clothes fit.  I choose not to do that, because it has been historically a lot easier for me to manage my weight when I notice small fluctuations.  When I hit 27 years old, I put on 30 pounds in just two months, and it took me years to get it off again. 


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