For as long as I remember I have been obsessed with the scale. It’s a morning and evening ritual and I am hard wired to respond to the number of the scale. Most times it’s not necessary for me to check because I can usually look at my waist and know exactly what the number will be. On the rare occasion I am surprised by the number I have been known to throw my arms up in the air in jubilation or drop to my knees with chagrin.
They say never to look at the scale and that you should know how you feel and judge by how her clothes fit. That always terrified me because I never wanted to gain so much weight that my clothes were no longer comfortable. To me it was like going a full semester in school with only one final. No do-overs.
All of this said, something happened to change how I look at the scale. For the VERY first time in my entire life I did not see a number and think of how my daily strategy would be. I saw life. I felt alive. I was aware that the scale reflected a healthy human being that was taking up space in the world causing a response from the scale. I was grateful I registered presence on the scale. I am alive.
The reason for this new perspective was the passing of a wonderful person. Someone who lived a great life – a kind-hearted soul, lover of the outdoors and epitome of a family man. The passing came after what I consider a brief illness. It makes you shake your head in bewilderment and you can’t accept it. Often with the passing of someone you pause and appreciate life and how quickly things can change. What changed in me was how small and embarrassed I felt worrying about weight. Worrying about how I looked. Worrying about clothes I was wearing. Letting my thoughts be consumed with what was in my cabinets that I could eat.
The morning of the funeral I did what was rote for me and got on the scale. I didn’t deliberately tell myself to appreciate life and not be concerned with the scale. But that morning I didn’t go into strategy motion, or celebrate, or beat myself up. Because the scale moved, I felt alive. I felt healthy. I felt strength.
I will continue to exercise and eat healthy, and yes, weigh myself. But I will be grateful, and I will be motivated to do those actions that help me to have energy to keep living life. The scale is my reassurance that I am alive and have choices and have been granted one more day.
Thank you for reading.