My scales broke.
No, it was not because I finally pigged out on cheesecake. The battery had died; I replaced it and then, they just broke.
And here I was, tapping the corner with my toe, waiting for the zeroes to blink across the window and for me to step on to see the magic number.
The scales had officially gone to be with Jesus.
We had a good run, the HealthMaster scales and I, even though for the most part, it had been a very acrimonious relationship.
Depending on what the number was, if it showed a gain or a loss, determined my attitude for the day.
When Cole was around 3, he stepped on them one morning, yanked his binkie out and muttered a bad word.
“Cole!” I reprimanded him.
“What? You say that when you get on there.”
True, I did. I probably said worse on some days.
I had struggled with my weight all my life, battling eating disorders where my weight went from one extreme to another – first, I was dangerously thin, then I was a chunky monkey.
As I entered my late 30s, I found out I had food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances that made me unable to eat anything without it waging war in my body. One bite of gluten could send me into an inflammatory response that caused a three-pound gain overnight and left me feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck.
Then there were times I just didn’t care and ate cake and cookies knowing the price I would pay, scale and body-wise.
My life revolved around what that evil platform said each morning.
If my weight was up – even when I knew it was possibly just an inflammatory response to some sneaky ingredient I had inadvertently had – I was in the foulest of moods. If it had gone down, even by the smallest of ounces, I was on cloud nine.
“Stop weighing yourself every day,” Lamar would advise me. “That is part of your problem.”
Maybe it was.
“You obsess over those stupid scales,” he said.
Maybe I do.
“I want to have everything loose and jiggly squeezed up to my chest area,” I commented one day.
I am sure if given the right amount of money, a plastic surgeon could make that happen.
My husband is smart though and knows to either tell me he thinks I am perfect as I am, becomes a deaf mute, or swiftly changes the subject by asking if he can draw me a hot bubble bath and get me a glass of malbec.
I am not quite as bad as the lady who has turned herself into a real-life Barbie doll and calls herself a “Breathatarian.” Not by a long shot. I have no interest in being a brunette plastic figure; I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. Is that too much to ask?
What would I do without weighing for a few days? Without knowing what my weight was each morning? Would it make me worry and fear if I had gained an ounce or three? Or would it give me the freedom to just…be?
I thought of all the recent articles, the stories, the ad campaigns I had seen recently about embracing yourself, regardless of your size. The ones that said ‘real women had curves’ kind of irritated me, because I have some natural skinny friends that get tired of the ‘eat a cheeseburger’ comments just like I get tired of comments about how with my hips, I could have been a breed mare. Our weight, waist line, hip width and breast size do not make us more or less a woman.
I thought of women who had confidence, who didn’t seem to care what size was sewn in the back of their jeans and envied them. Even when I weighed 115 pounds for about two minutes, I didn’t feel that way.
“Be like Beyonce,” Cole commented one day. “She’s curvy and she owns it.”
“You, my child, watch too much ‘Big Bang Theory,'” I told him, knowing where he heard that.
So I decided to try to keep images of confident women in my view of all sizes – women who embraced the sisterhood in my real life, women who celebrated their size and their beauty no matter what, and women who were honored and respected for their contributions regardless of their appearance.
I haven’t bought the new scales – yet. I know I will. Even though it will be nice to have a temporary break from it. I know that yes, my routine will fall back into weighing every morning and seeing what that evil platform tells me.
Just this time, I will choose to not let it dictate quite so much of my life.