Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Scale Must Be Wrong
I've been avoiding weighing myself figuring that things are probably going well since I am walking about three or four miles a day. Last night I decided to step on the scale fully clothed just before I went to bed. This was a pretty daring thing considering usually I do it first thing in the morning before I eat sans clothes.
The numbers on the scale blinked back at me 129. What? Not bad I consoled myself mentally trying to calculate how many pounds my clothes weighed.
This morning I woked up, had breakfast, and decided to do the same thing. Hop on the scale to get an idea as to what I truly weighed. Once again the scale blinked back 129. Now I was a bit upset. After all this was the beginning of the day. Of course I was still fully dressed and I had just eaten breakfast but come on 129?
This required me to remove said garments to see exactly how much I should be deducting for my clothes. Now the scale blinked back 128. Oh my, it's still not where I want to be. I look in the mirror and curse the reflection.
Alas this is the internal dialogue most of us women have with our bodies. We want to be model thin and playboy curvy while still eating chocolate cake. I'm past the stage of my life where I even care about how I stack up against other women. Instead I want to look nice without a baby bump belly that hasn't seen a baby in almost thirty years.
Isn't it funny that when the scale shows us the numbers we crave we celebrate and can't help applauding ourselves for our efforts. We celebrate by glancing in the mirror convinced that all the world will notice the pound you lost.
When the scale won't budge we curse it. We blame outside factors like the outfit we were wearing or that maybe there's a some internal mechanism in the scale that's off. We convince ourselves that we are retaining water. For good measure we remind ourselves that scales are not precise.
According to the body weight charts a woman who is 5' 5" like myself should weigh between 112 and 143. While I don't believe I will ever see 112 again I would like to see 125. I hopped over to the Jenny Craig site to calculate my BMI which is 21.3. (18.5-24.9 is a healthy weight for most adults) Neither of these figures console me. It's just a three pound difference between where I am and where I want to be but in my mind it may as well be a three hundred pound difference.
I suppose it sounds petty when one hears stories of women struggling to lose 60 or 100 pounds but trust me the five stubborn pounds can be frustrating. I beat myself up for them just as much as I beat myself up when I weighed 150 pounds.
A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a woman who is about my age but very slender. Conversation got around to weight and she mentioned that I was average weight. Considering that the average woman is carrying too much body fat nd falls above the healthhy BMI range here in America I felt absolutely corpulant.
The truth is that the run-way models I so longed to look like as a teen have the BMI physical criteria for an anorexic. The difference is when I was a young woman, models weighed 8% less than the averaage woman. Today she weighs less than 23%.
So why is it that I continue to beat myself up over unreal standards? Why is it that I can't embrace those three pounds, forgive myself for the carmel apple I had last week, or I allow myself to feel comfortable in my own skin?
Is this the curse of being a woman? Why must so many of us embrace the insecurities of our body image? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to meet some idealized version of beautiful when that standard continues to change?
Today I'm going to embrace those three pounds knowing tomorrow I will step on the scale again hoping the number drops again.