Just a Number


I did a thing the other day. Something I had no business doing. After tossing my gym shoes in my closet and ripping the velcro of my sweaty training gloves from my palms, I did a thing. I didn’t plan on it happening. It was an instant of spontaneity and curiosity that I figured I was strong enough to handle. One foot, then the other and there I was. On top of that device resting on the bathroom tiles, anticipating the little blinking number that would soon appear between my toes. And boy what a number it was. I just stared at it for a moment, bringing my thumbnail between my front teeth. As I peeled my feet from the flat surface, I felt the panic rising in my stomach. “It’s OK! It’s just a number!” I assured myself. But walking back to my bedroom it didn’t feel like just a number. It was more like someone just told me that I had failed. That I’d gained 15 pounds and therefore should be scolded for what I had let happen. I tried to pray it off. I tried to be thankful for the softness that surrounded me, but I ended up just feeling defeated and willing the tears into submission. The whole entire day I was angry at myself. I wore lose clothes and vowed to up my cardio and locked myself in the bathroom just to pinch at my midsection and make sure that it wasn’t sticking out too much.

And then I remembered something: the promise I made to myself. It is simply this- “I will fuel my body properly, and I will treat it with respect”. I made this my mantra on the very day I decided to stop torturing myself over food and exercise. I reminded myself that it is not necessary to freak out over my weight. Weight gain does not equal unhealthy. I know for a fact that I am fitter, stronger, and healthier than I ever was when I was 15 pounds lighter. And it’s NOT because of the extra pounds, but because of the dedication to working out and eating intuitively that I am able to say that.

I do not plan on getting back on the scale any time soon. I really should have stayed off of it in the first place because I give it too much power over my mental and spiritual well being when I desire to know that number. Some people can know their number and not think much of it, or they use it to track weight loss for health purposes, but for the rest of us we might as well throw that darn scale in the trash because it can’t tell us much. Our bodies are infinitely more complex and wonderful than a single number that blinks between our toes.

So, to all the girls whose day has been ruined by a bathroom scale at one time or another: You are a person, you are not pounds. You can’t even be measured in pounds because who even knows what a soul is made of? But one thing that helps me when I have those days is I straight up ask God to help me respect the body that He has given me. Anything given by God has to be good!

Psalm 139:14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

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