Reading Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott about dealing with her fluctuating weight got me thinking about my uneasy relationship with my bathroom scale.
I haven’t weighed myself in four years, give or take. Truly before that, I was living with a muddled mind that I have to monitor diligently my weight to be fit and healthy. Turns out I was wrong.
Over these past four years, I was certainly weighed every time I went to my Prime Care Physician; after, I didn’t ask and they didn’t tell me what I weighed.
The opposite of love is the bathroom scale. – Anne Lamott
You know, that by avoiding my bathroom scale, I haven’t ballooned to 185 or more. I’ve been 170-ish throughout the four years.
During our Arizona years, I have been north of 185. You see, to hydrate in the desert heat (that being my rationalization), I would have a two-liter Mountain Dew every day. Who knew I was asking for trouble!
Oh, did I ever diet. I was a headcase about it. I’d pick some arbitrary number, like 155, and weigh in every Monday morning. Weekends were not pretty knowing the weigh-in loomed. Sunday I would basically fast hoping to hit the number.
Joy knew no bounds if I was 155 or lower! Bummed and depressed doesn’t begin to describe if I was over! And then it gets worse if I didn’t make weight. I’d semi-fast and then weigh in on Tuesday. If I still didn’t make weight, I’d hemi-demi-semi fast for a Wednesday weigh in.
Truth be told, I looked like hell being so skinny. I never really could see myself how scrawny I was.
It was a never ending cycle focusing on making weight. I was living the dreary life of a wrestler or MMA fighter. And it was all so arbitrary. When shooting for 155 became such a battle, I relaxed to make 160 my goal. Nothing changed in my compulsive need to be affirmed by my weight.
To again quote Anne Lamott,
Science proves again and again that all diets work briefly, and pretty much all work the same, with initial and exhilarating weight loss, then plateau, then weight gain and shame. The weight we lose almost always finds its way back home and it invariable brings friends.
And then, I decided – this is crazy. No mas. I figured that if I’ll eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and be social, then I’ll be okay. I won’t deny myself dessert or an evening glass of wine. I am not spending my many last days in a culinary quasi-monastery. So far, so good.
I was surprised a month ago at my annual physical, Dr. Coppins of Kittery Family Practice noted that I had lost five pounds during the past Covid year. I had no idea.
Five less than what? I have no idea.