Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Freedom from the Scale

I know it may be late, but it struck me today as I was preparing food for the week. (Side note: I am constantly in a time battle against my bulging refrigerator. My meals are determined by how sensitive the food is to mold, not what I actually feel like eating. I have to strategize the order in which to eat my food.) Anyway, I haven't weighed myself for over a month, which is a lifetime for me, and I told myself I'll just quit and maybe limit it to once every 2 or 3 months at the most.

I'm tired of having that little number determine how I live my life. Weight, by itself, is a poor indicator of health. Fat content, by itself, is a poor indicator of health. See, I think that's where I got tripped up, a long, long time ago. I decided at one point that I no longer trusted my eyes, that absolute truth lied in those little numbers. Mirrors and pictures may lie and clothes may stretch, but the scale never lies. Within the scale is the harsh reality and I must always be aware of what that number is.

Sure, there were brief periods, maybe months, where I decided that thinness was an overrated ideal. Thinness didn't make factory made clothes any easier to find or life much more satisfying. But these moments inevitably ended with a triggering event---sometimes an unflattering picture or fluorescent lighting in a dressing room stall. Then I would be back to scribbling little calorie counts in the margins of my books or on the back of receipts. I would run, run, run from the phantom number on the scale until my whole body reluctantly gave up bits of its fat reserves.

Anyone who has successfully dieted can tell you that the relationship between health and weight is bullshit. Exercise stimulates your appetite. You often lose more weight when you cut calories and do minimal exercise. You may gain weight as you build muscle, which scares many women from building muscle in fear of looking bulky or gaining weight. Sometimes fat doesn't go away. Even when I was pounding the pavement or treadmill 5 to 6 times a week, I didn't look lean. My legs didn't gain those muscle lines.

For me, health had little to do with thinness or weight, or even body composition. So I decided that I will stop reading these false signals. I was interpreting the numbers all backwards. They are merely indicators of poor diet and health, but only I know for sure what my diet and health is. Changing those numbers doesn't necessarily mean that I am changing my health and diet in the right direction. Only I can control that. All these notions of "fitness" are based on attaining a certain image and I can't worry about that anymore.

So, to end my long rant, which is mostly to myself, but who knows, maybe it's fun for other people to read, I am going to stop reading that stupid scale. This year, I am going to make colorful meals and eat well for me. I'm going to run because it clears my mind. I am going to play sports, because I miss catching up with friends. I am going to snowboard, because I want to beat my bf down the mountain. Who cares about the scale. I may throw away the mirror next. Ha. (Probably not.)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Anhycakes

    thanks for the info. i will correct in text above

    danny in taiwan
    danbloom AT gmail DOT com
    if need more info or got more info for me. thanks

    see CAPS FOR MY COMMENTS. and again THANKS!

    I've never heard of ''do to'' either. It's definitely ''bác sĩ''. OKAY

    I also don't know what "phac to" is referring to. You may have heard the word phát thơ which means literally "distribute letters." It certainly did not come from the word "facteur."

    because a mailman in France is caled un or une facteur, the man or woman who distributes letters

    Also, a white dude who was in Vietnam in the 1963 is probably not an accurate source when there are Vietnamese-American scholars in the U.S. today. YOU ARE RIGHT. I HOPE TO HEAR FROM THEM SOON! SO FAR NO RESPONSES. YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT THANKS

    It should also be cà phê and cà rem, not cá. - THANKS WILL CORRECT. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ACCENTS.....danny

    8:25 PM

    February 11, 2011 8:26 PM
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