When I go to the doctor’s office, I have stopped looking at the number on the scale. The last time I looked, I was thrown into a depressive tizzy that lasted for months. Definitely not helpful and I gained more weight during that time. It’s better to ignore the numbers and move forward with changing my life through exercise and diet (as well as discovering my relationship to food).
At a recent doctor’s appointment, the nurse told me I lost 5 pounds at the big weigh-in. Go me! As a matter of fact, my clothes do seem a little looser. I made it through my dreaded one-on-one with my family doctor, who urged me to make an appointment at the weight management center…now that I’ve got an exercise routine worked out. Sigh, this whole changing your life thing is hard work.
Because there was goofy insurance junk going on with the weight management center, I made an appointment with the area’s ONLY baritrician. No, this isn’t weight loss surgery; she’s a doctor who helps with weight-loss and really gets to the bottom of what’s going on physically. During the course of my appointment-making, the lady on the phone asked me how much I weigh. Instead of offering a guesstimate, I asked Sarah (who went to my appointment with me due to my doctor-anxiety), who looks at the scale for me. She told me the number, and it was a good 20 pounds higher than I expected (and that’s with losing 5 pounds).
I could scarcely repeat the number as all the excitement drained from my voice. Appointment complete, I just sat in stunned silence. Shrug it off, I told myself, you are doing what you need to do. It doesn’t matter because you will lose the extra 20, too. You are finally taking control of this area of your life. You have more energy, strength, and your sleep cycle is finally normal. You are doing great!
All I could think about was that number.
By the next day, I was drained of positive energy, and that number was pressing on me. As I drove home from the pool, tears flooded my eyes. How could you do this to yourself? I was literally screaming and shrieking. I wanted to crash my car because I was filled with hopelessness. Instead, I just pulled over and cried until I was weary. Then I drove home, collapsed on my bed, and decided that I would never leave my apartment again so that world would not be subjected to my hideousness. I felt sorry for all the people who had to see me and my extra 20 pounds that day.
Sometime while wallowing in self-pity, I realized that I was late for my acting class. Oh, crap, I thought, not only do the extra 20 and I have to leave the apartment, we have to perform in front of people. I was half an hour late, and not in my usual jovial mood. Everyone noticed it. For the first 20 minutes, I did everything I could to hold myself together until I was eased into the rhythm of my class. We began to perform our monologues, and a sick sense of dread came into my stomach. I didn’t want to do mine, please, give me a reprieve. But this was our second to last class and it was monologue night.
My turn came and I shuffled up to the front of the class and arranged the “stage” just so. I offered some sort of apology about not being myself tonight, and the class smiled supportively. Then I fumbled through my monologue. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but this is acting class, not Broadway. Everyone clapped appreciatively, and the instructor repeated to me how much she liked my monologue. Instead of choosing a monologue from a movie or play, I had written my own, which I adapted from my blog post, “I Wish I Was Beautiful”. Boy, did those words right true! I felt like the most hideous woman in all the world.
I grabbed my evaluations and forgot about them until I was home. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of excellent’s due to my distracted mental state, but I didn’t think I would receive this comment, “Who says your not?” I stared at the paper trying to figure out what the question meant, then I realized it meant to say, “Who says you’re not beautiful?” Uh, me. Then it floored me, someone in my acting class thinks I am beautiful, even with the extra 20. I’m beautiful to someone.
That number is starting to lose its grip on my mind, on my psyche, on my emotions. I am the same person I was the day before I learned about that number, and my friends and family and most importantly, my God, still love me in spite of that number. I’ve let that number sum up the worth of my entire personhood.
I am so much more than that number.