My confidence has been faltering less and less these days. I have an amazing lover who I am deeply in love with, and who I know is truly loves me back. I have been eating healthy, drinking WAY less, and quit smoking. I haven’t been exercising a lot lately because of my dad’s stroke and needing to care for him, but I know my desire to exercise comes and goes and I ain’t worried. Yet today, when I went to the doctor they weighed me. I didn’t look, and I told the nurse I didn’t want to know. But when the doctor came in she said the number anyway. The number I had been avoiding to see or hear for 3 years now- yes, THREE YEARS since I last weighed myself, was revealed. Until today, I was liberated by not knowing. I knew my body based on how it felt, how my pants fit, how my stomach rolled or didn’t roll. The reason I stopped is because, one, I decided one day that I shouldn’t care I look hot anyway, and two, I didn’t want to live the rest of my life trapped by a number. I was trapped by those numbers for years, held down by the pressures of high school and southern WASP mothering. I have seen all too many amazing, powerful people in my life become slaves to the scale. No thanks dude. So, I shed that shackle and fairly rapidly, I was freed.
The years that followed I held onto the belief that you are as good as you feel. I could give zero fucks what people think of me as a fat/skinny/chubby/whatever person. I care more about whether they laughed at that story I told, enjoyed my company, felt fulfilled by my conversation, or really enjoyed that homemade quiche I baked.
But today, that number put a crack in my blissful, carrot cake, vanilla soy-milk eating world. After the doctors appointment I went to the dog park (of all god-forsaken places) and could feel myself feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. I realized I was feeling something I hadn’t in years- I felt ashamed. Ashamed of my weight (possessive- it belongs to me, not the whole world to speculate) I suddenly looked at the trim women with their golden retrievers, and the yoga pant wearing house wives with their flat stomachs looking at me (this is actually not an over reaction, I think it might have also had to do with my long black pants and black sweater that I was wearing in 80 degree weather), but regardless I had an intrusive ideation. I wondered: do they see that number? Do they see that number and cringe for me?
Someone should slap me. THIS IS NOT HOW I THINK! I am a babe. I have hips and tits and a great ass! And I have a stellar personality (I hope) and I am fucking smart to boot. So why did suddenly knowing my weight transform a once confidant queer chick into a miserable, paranoid, fat-obsessed mess? How was that the thing that tripped the system?
But I do now that I have tail-spinned and I feel obsessed. Ravenously prowling sites to see what my body looks like. What does that number plus my height look like? Could I really possibly be as “overweight” as these charts say I am? Does overweight mean I am really not healthy? No! I know the answers to these questions but it’s as if that number replaces those answers.
I don’t know. I don’t have answers yet. But I feel angry. I feel angry that that number should mean anything in the first place. That I should feel shame or disgust or any other negative, body hating feeling towards how much mass my body incurs as gravity does its work. Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and go for a long bike ride and I will be back to my numberless self, but maybe not. Maybe this incident was actually the dawn of becoming more like my mother (please god no) or maybe it will be the fuel to my fuck-it fire and I will use this as the perfect example of why I will never weigh myself again. Ready to place your bets?