Scales

“How much do you weigh,” asked my friend MB as she worked on the form to secure my COVID shot.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

Truth be told, I have not known for years.

I used to weigh myself weekly, sometimes more. I would live and die with the number. Mostly I just berated myself for the number. One day I realize that there was not a realistic number that would make me happy, so I tossed my scales.

I was born big. I’m not talking about weight, but physical size. I am tall, have broad shoulders, big bones and an ample chest all supported on size 11 feet. I will not blow over in a strong wind and I have never been limited in activity due to a lack of strength.

When I was younger comments from classmates, coaches, assorted others and family about my size convinced me that there was something wrong with me. That I should be ashamed of my body. I interpreted the often painful comments as a directive to shrink and I was a failure because I couldn’t. 

There were times I sought solace in food, which compounded the problem because I would gain weight. I would diet. I would lose weight, but then I would still be “big”. I would feel like a failure and therefore, I would think why bother trying to watch what I ate. An ugly cycle indeed.

One day adult me realized that having this body was a gift. I never have to ask someone to get something down for me from a tall shelf. I can wear large jewelry, men’s Navajo bracelets and squash blossoms.  I can bring in hay with the guys though I can’t pitch a bale over my head. I can climb out of the Grand Canyon with a loaded pack on my back.  My bones, shoulders, breasts, height and feet are not going to shrink.  It was time to stop fighting was is.

I learned how to eat for my body by noticing how I felt after I ate. I learned that milk and cheese are not my friends.  Too much sugar triggers itchy rashes. Beef makes me feel heavy for several day. 

I can truly say that I eat what I want.  Usually my body will tell me if I’m gaining weight before my clothes feel tight. I have a found a place where both my body and inner self are happy.

A couple of Christmases my sister brought me a picture of us with Santa Claus when we were kids. The first word out of my mouth were, “I wasn’t fat!”

I am standing next to Santa

My judgement of my large framed mirrored how others had made me feel. Only by being kind to myself was I able to peel back the layers of shame, guilt and fear that I have carried around like a weighted blanket.

I don’t need scales.

I did get my COVID shot on my 55th birthday.

25 thoughts on “Scales

  1. Lib Bain says:

    I LOVE THIS!! So much kind wisdom in here- I wish this would go viral!!!

    Liberty A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by her genius what she can make of it. (St. Ignatius).

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Art of the Beat says:

    Happy birthday Sarah! Congrats on getting your shot! I am still patiently waiting my turn and it should happen soon. I was the tallest of my friends and family, still am, even though I have shrunk a bit and can no longer list 5’10” as my height. I was even taller than my Mom and Dad. I hear you about the scale, I am one of those people that constantly check the scales and I know that it is not a good thing for my psyche, so I took the scale out of the bathroom. By the way, you look so healthy and strong and I love your red hair, just gorgeous! (Assuming that is you teaching in the photo).

    Have a lovely day and again, Happy birthday!

    Michelle

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ladysag77 says:

    Happiest of birthday wishes to you dear Sarah🎉🙌💃❤ I agree with you on scales, they have always kept me in a negative loop on what the perfect number is and then I would kill myself, quite literally to stay that number. I make it a habit to not own one or step on them unless I must. Here’s to celebrating life in our own comfortable skin, knowing what works!! Enjoy your special day my friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anne leueen says:

    Happy B Day! I think it is a gift to be tall. and big goes with it. My daughter is 6 foot and I think she looks beautiful.As as teen she struggled with her height although she is quite slim. Now( in her 30s) she has realized that being tall has many advantages. Her husband is taller than her and she has three children: her own son and two step daughters. She encourages all of them to be proud of their sizes and shapes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Happy Birthday, Sarah! It’s so sad that so many of us torture ourselves worrying about weight. It’s wonderful you found your way to a balanced place. At some point in my life I realized that “different” doesn’t mean better or worse, or more or less normal or ideal. Maybe someday humans will get better at embracing and even celebrating our differences!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane Tawel says:

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you. To love oneself, especially as a woman, to enjoy what we are, what we look like, what we eat, how we feel — how far far we have veered. Thank you for much needed centering and continue to be joyful in who and all you are, today and each day. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kegarland says:

    I love this. It’s what I think of when I hear the words “self love.” This is the essence of that term. It’s a wonder any of us make out with any self-esteem, though. Many people, including myself, have similar stories about our body types. I always thought mine stemmed from being adopted and not looking like anyone in my family, but it may be just what we do to one another.

    Anywho, thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

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