Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dreaded Scale Jessica's Journey...January 24th

The Dreaded Scale.

There was a time in my life when I would walk by the scale and have these feelings:

  • hate for myself
  • complete hate of a certain number that I was trying to beat and just seemed to always tread above that goal line
  • the thought that I, myself, was a failure for not being able to reach this goal
  • thinking that I was worth less because I wasn't a certain number that society said I should be
  • panic when I knew that I was going to the doctor and that a scale would be greeting me (out in the hallway where people are all around...a fear for every woman I think)
  • questions about why I couldn't be built differently.  It always seems like those girls who are a size 0 to size 6 could wear just about anything and yet I didn't have as many options since I wasn't in those single digits
I am sure that I had a lot more but overall...I hate the scale.  

Hate is a very strong word.  I know.  It is true though.  I can guarantee that I am not the only one out there that has the same feelings for this object that sits on the floor.  It feels like it only has one job...to mock us and how we look.

I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way either.  There are a lot of women in this world that are facing many battles with their weight.  I see at the gym some women that weigh themselves on the big, almighty scale before, during AND after their workout.  I see women that look at that object with those numbers on it and I see the disappointment in their faces.  I have seen women at the gym that are fighting a battle with their bodies and mind and some of them are trying to survive but their mental illness of bulimia or anorexia are winning.

When I first started going to the gym there was a woman who was glued to the treadmill every morning.  The incline was up in the 10's (maybe more...I don't go that high so I don't know for sure) and she was just marching along and hanging on to the front of the treadmill for her life.  Little by little you could see the changes in her body.  Her arms were starting to trim down, her legs were slimming and any extra weight that she did have on her body was melting off.  I didn't know why she was exercising the way that she was until I tried it one day.  I put that incline as high as I could go and I went as fast and as far as I could.  The calories that I burned that day...according to the treadmill...was huge!  No wonder she was on this everyday.  There was a point though when this exercise for this woman became more of an addiction.  The last few times that I saw her she was too thin and she kept right on walking at that high incline.

Another woman that I see once in awhile but not often is severely anorexic.  I don't have to ask her anything or even talk to her...I can just see it.  She walks from the scale to the elliptical and then to the scale.  Her bones are sticking through her skin basically and the sight is not attractive, it is sick looking.  This person is the picture of anorexia.  My insides break for her each time that I see her because I truly hope that she is getting the help that she needs for this disease.  You may ask if I have approached her and no, I haven't.  How do you approach a complete stranger about this?  

The scale can hold many women captive and it is time to start looking at this scale differently.  My mind is learning to grasp this and I rarely go on the scale.  I am learning that the number isn't a true picture of me.  The number that flashes doesn't define me.  

The next time you step on the scale think of these things instead:
  • My muscle weighs more than fat and this number is not accurate number of how healthy I am.
  • My family loves me just the way I am.
  • The world has a twisted view of what beautiful is and what is shown in the media and tv is not even real most of the time.
  • If I step on this scale and it is a number that I don't like I can't let this ruin my thoughts or attitude for the day (or the week) and can't use this as a measure of my success.
At the gym this morning there was a sign up above the big Goliath of a scale that is located in the women's locker room.  I had to take a picture of it and share.

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