Beyond Numerical Measure
It's a Monday night, I'm on a silent commuter bus back to my little corner of NYC, typing away while listening to the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. (Really, why am I single? I don't get it……..)
So in my quiet, nerdy reflection, I just thought I'd share a little bit of what happened to me over the course of the past few days.
This weekend, I completed the 21 Day Fix. I was the happiest girl alive when I weighed myself on Friday. After years of letting my weight be the end-all/be-all, you guys know that I no longer advocate for scale victories alone. Run faster, measure inches, lift heavier, wear smaller pants - all are just as credible as seeing a lower number on an electronic square. That being said, it is still quite liberating to see that I had lost 5 lbs doing the program. 5 lbs in 21 days? That kind of success is unheard of for me. Not only that, but at this weight, I am only 4 lbs away from my lowest number ever. (Which, I promise, is still a healthy one… strong is the new skinny.) I was practically walking on air on Friday.
But this morning, my doctor's office said otherwise. I stepped on the scale, saw that I was allegedly 5 lbs heavier than Friday, and immediately felt defensive and enraged. I wanted to scream, "NO! THAT'S WRONG! I'M WEARING JEANS AND SNEAKERS AND I JUST ATE BREAKFAST AND I FEEL SKINNIER AND THIS IS A PLATFORM FULL OF LIES!" But, despite my inner temper tantrum, the nurse jotted down the awful 3 digit number in front of her. A number that didn't matter to her at all, but pissed me off greatly.
After I waited what seemed like forever for my doctor to emerge, I spent some time dissecting my feelings.
"Self, why does it matter? What will that tiny bit of a weight difference prove to the 2 people that will see your medical file? Why are you going to accomplish great things, motivate others to do the same… and still feel discouraged by a number?"
Well, the truth is, I've been discouraged by a number since I was about 8 years old. In gym class, the teacher would put us through physical fitness tests and we'd each get these little index cards saying our name, our height, our eye color…. and, of course, our weight. Somehow, little Davina's card was read aloud among her classmates. Somehow, the whole class knew that her weight was significantly higher than everyone else's. And, from that point on, she would avoid the topic altogether & privately sulk in that number humiliation. This humiliation would last for years.
Fast forward almost 20 years…. that little girl has turned pity into power. That little girl grew up ferociously, deciding that maybe she shouldn't feel ashamed of herself any more; maybe there was a better way to live. And, with time and effort, she realized that it's not about the number after all. It's about loving yourself so much that you're willing to take care of yourself, regardless of pants size or BMI. And yet, there is still a tiny part of her that is mortified by that number.
I guess I just wanted to share this little anecdote to relate myself to all of you, while also reminding myself: we all feel this way sometimes. We all feel too fat one day and we all feel super strong the next. What matters the most is the permission that you give to one feeling over another. Are you going to waste a day in sulking, or are you going to try to turn your day around? It's doubtful that you wake up feeling good, continue having a good day, and later look for ways to pollute it. When your mind is in the right place, when you take the time to rejoice in your abilities & speak to yourself as if you're someone to be cherished… that's where the difference lies.
My goals for the rest of the year are to keep motivating others, to continue training for my Half Marathon… and to not bother weighing myself unless my intuition tells me to. That's usually when I see a pleasant result, anyway.
Don't discourage yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Work hard, trust the process, and be brave. And, remember:
You are not a number.
You are unlimited.
QUOTE OF THE DAY “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” - Henry David Thoreau