So each year around this time my twin girls have a birthday. This year they are turning six. Six. I can hardly believe it. And each year I write some overly mushy blog post about how much I’ve learned about my girls, how much they’ve grown, and how amazed I am by their beauty. But this year is different. I haven’t just learned about them, I’ve learned about me. I’ve redefined my role as a mother in a way I never have before. And I owe it all to my no-scale diet.
You may recall that back in September I smashed my scale to bits and decided to free myself from its grip. It’s been three months now and I have never felt better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a mind-blowing euphoria on a daily basis, I don’t wake up feeling like the sun has risen solely for me, rather its an ease with which I haven’t lived life in a long, long time. Remember the days when you used to exercise because it was fun? Or you ate an apple a day because it was healthy? I’m at that point.
I’m more tuned in to my kids, I’m more present. I’m enjoying them on a whole new level because I’m enjoying everything on a whole new level. I’m leading by example and it feels great. And I’m not the only one. Women everywhere are starting to break the chains that bind them. Read this post on Jezebel if you have any doubt that women are starting to get the message.
So this year, as my girls cross the threshold from Toddler into “little girl-dom” I can honestly say this has been our best year yet.
By the way, I will not disappoint… The mushy post will be coming. Stay tuned.
Somehow I think Dr. Oz will fix me. I’m not sure where or how this idea originated, I just know it exists I don’t watch his show, or any daytime talk for that matter. I don’t own any book he’s ever written, yet I feel a strange kinship with the good doctor, as his marketing team intended, I’m sure. So even though I know what I need to do to feel better about myself, and even though I’ve started embracing my life and who I am without letting my inner critic destroy me, I still compulsively reach for the magazine. You know the one…. the thin, glossy monthly that promises Dr. Oz’s miracle diet will peel 80 pounds from your belly in just two months.
The truth is, I know what I need to do. I know enough about nutrition and processed foods and all of the bad stuff, that I can and do make good food decisions now. Yet, it never fails, I never empty my grocery bags without seeing Dr. Oz’s face, or the promise of a quick fix, staring up at me. What am I expecting to find anyway? I guess, if I’m being honest, I expect to find help of some kind. An answer. A solution. I expect to find some sort of unraveling to the riddle that has engulfed me for the better part of my life. OOhhhhh, it’s food X that’s the problem. That’s it, food X! I can eat cake and pizza and anything else I want all the time and drop weight like rain. Only, the answer is not there. Yes, Theresa from California lost 68 pounds in thirteen weeks, and Martha from St. Louis has her sex drive back, but I am not Theresa or Martha. I am me. And the answer to my problems is not on the cover of a weekly periodical with Dr. Oz’s white teeth shining out at me. The answer is within me.
Scale Update: Still no weigh in. I went to the doctors last week and was terrified he was going to fight me on this. Instead, I ended up in a pow wow with three nurses who loved the idea of giving up the scale. On another note, I discovered yet another benefit. Without my scale and it’s lack of motion, I can make smaller, long term changes and stick with them. For example, I recently gave up sweets. No more candy, no more baked goods, nothing of the sort. Before the Scale Diet, I would have given up if my scale had not shown immediate results… oh screw it, why am I depriving myself? It’s clearly not working... But now, I feel good and I feel proud of myself that I’m making these changes and the numbers on a scale are not derailing that progress.
Today is the first day of my year-long project: The Scale Diet. As of today I am focusing on health instead of weight. I am focusing on happy instead of “not good enough.” I’m focusing on me, my children, my wonderful husband, my rewarding career, my exceptional family, and everything else in my life that is good. I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified. Being without my scale is like being a teenager: I have more freedom than I know what to do with, and I’m really afraid I will use that freedom for evil.
Recently, a friend and I had a small debate about whether or not this was a good idea. She’s concerned for my well-being, she’s concerned that no scale means a year of gluttony and that I will slip backwards into fat like it’s an invisible hole in the earth threatening to swallow me at any moment. Here was what I told her, and here is what I tell you:
I have been overweight for most of my life. Yes, I’ve had some success, but for the most part I have always struggled, and that struggle has impeded my happiness. I am turning 35 in less than a month, and I’m tired of answering to a scale. I’m tired of not living my life, the one I have-which, coincidentally-is the one I always dreamed of. When I was single, I dreamt that my life would consist of two little brown-haired girls and a fulfilling career that involved writing. That’s all I ever wanted. Now I have it. And I plan on enjoying it, fully.
So I’m giving up my scale. I choose instead to live a healthy lifestyle, to make the right food choices, to exercise regularly, and to not care what society thinks of me. Here is the video, I hope you enjoy it!