Wednesday, February 27, 2008

gains and losses

I knew better, but I did it anyway. At some point this morning the voice of reason was drowned out by the voice of immediate gratification, and I went ahead and did it. For the third time this week. And the outcome hasn’t gotten any better.

The reassurance I sought as my feet met cold metal was replaced with despair. A beep, a whir, and a blinking number. 144.0 … 144.0 … 144.0 … 144.0 I slunk down off the scale, my thoughts racing, and began to prepare for the morning ahead.

Crap, I thought, digging through my fat clothes yet another time. What the heck? I’ve been on this diet almost two weeks now—the scale is supposed to be going DOWN, not up! I tried to quiet the tirade, to no avail. Why won’t my body do what it’s supposed to? I’m following the diet perfectly—how the heck did I GAIN two pounds over the last few days? The food itself couldn’t have even weighed that much! MAN I hate this…

I laid the clothes on the bed, remembering it was a work-out morning. Hearing the kids playing peacefully below, I decided to boot up the computer and email one of my “talk me down off the ledge” friends. “Tell me I can do this,” I pleaded with her. “Tell me this is going to work. And tell me to stop getting on this stupid scale!”

Of course, she’s told me all of this before, many a time. But listening is not my forté. Being impulsive and neurotic is. Fortunately, she is not put off by my neuroticism, though I would not blame her, after seven years of listening to the same ol’ same ol’, if she finally told me to just shut the heck up and get over it. But, of course, I wouldn’t listen to that, either.

These last ten pounds have been the bane of my existence for, oh, I dunno, about two or three years now. But the weight itself, well, that has been a lifelong preoccupation. Another of my “talk me down off the ledge” friends reminds me with great regularity that it’s all about perspective. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for several years now—who cares about the last ten pounds?

I care about the last ten pounds. Despite my best efforts, I care very much. Not because of the number on the scale, but because of how my clothes fit. Because of how my body feels when it gets there. Because of how my body looks when it gets there. And ultimately because of what that number represents.

The moment I first became aware of my body a life-long tug-of-war began internally and hasn’t let up since. I have cursed my body. I have hated my body. I have tortured, tricked, treated, and tormented my body. But I have never once, in 37 years, come to trust my body. That is, perhaps, the greatest loss of all.

I have gained strength, I have lost weight. I have lost self-control, I have gained muscle. I have gained confidence, I have lost hope. I have lost flab, I have gained perspective. My husband has weighed a steady 118 lbs since the day we met. His attitude toward his weight remains likewise unchanged. I am not as fortunate. For me, life with my body is a constant roller coaster of gains and losses. Perhaps one day I will be at peace with this fact.

Perhaps one day.


Julie Morrison said...

Lori My scale and I are arch enemies at this point rarely visiting therefore keeping my self esteem out of the roller coaster.I've been watching the Biggest Loser every now and again and think about this weight issue relatively constantly. I had to make peace with my body. Especially since when I don't work out my back may spasm (again) and take my breath away. If all your parts work, you feel good, you have clothes to wear have decent health, thank the Lord. So many thin people are sick. He calls us to be good stewards, not necessarily weigh less...I do sympathize and wish I weighed what you weigh. :)

cj said...

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.."


lorie said...

Thanks for the reminder, Julie! It's all about perspective...

I'm swimming, CJ! I'm swimming! (Love that quote, btw!)