Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weighty Issues: Starts with a 1, Followed By a 2, Ends with a No. <9

My sister in law shows up last night to baby-sit with a dozen roses for us. For our date night? How nice is that? She gets the sticker for world’s best baby-sitting Aunt.

She also brought that book Skinny Bitch. My first thought is, she could write that book (the skinny part, not bitch part) so why is she reading it? And she has never been concerned with weight and diets and body images and all that. But apparently the book is not what I thought it was. It is a pro-Vegan treatise that talks more about a new way of eating and a way of life than it does about vanity and diet per se. Mina is a very healthy and balanced eater. In fact, she has the healthiest approach to food that I have every seen. Lots of fruits and veggies and rice and all that. She can eat whatever she wants without gaining weight and while that does inspire immediate (and temporary) jealousy and resentment on my part, I am happy that Leif and Skye and my girls will have a living, breathing healthy eating role model in front of them. You never hear her inner food dialogue. You never hear her say “Oh, cake, I really shouldn’t eat that.” She doesn’t make pithy comments about gaining weight or needing to lose weight. She just eats, and enjoys it.

I am at a bit of a crossroads with gym and weight and losing weight and all that. Maybe crossroads isn’t the right word. Corner? Dead end? Maybe going round and round in a cul de sac? My first and most important goals were (are) to be physically fit to be able to take care of my children. This will be an on-going forever sort of thing. My vain goals were to fit back into my Girls’ Night Out vinyl pants and, inexplicably, to see a “2” on the scale in the tens number slot. Now the sad part is I can’t find the damn pants. They are not in the nooks and crannies in my closet or drawers. I have no idea where they are. None. I am thinking I might have thrown them out in a fit of “When the hell am I ever going to ear these again?” because, really, when do I have an occasion to wear vinyl pants? And besides, I never did figure out what shirt one wears with vinyl anyway. I know they would fit, so I guess I can check that off my list.

And the “2” thing. Starting several weeks ago, I have seen a “2” on the scale, dipping into the upper 120s, and it isn’t exactly the happy shiny moment I thought it would be. Very anticlimactic. It is just a number. It’s cliché, but true. I can be in the 120s and still feel unhealthy and out of shape and large and puffy. Body image issues are not mitigated by numbers or even by accomplished goals.

I am back at the point where I am thinking seriously about maintenance. Again, this is not to say that my body is runway ready or anything. But I have evolved and I need to say that this is good enough. I am not going to diet my way down to a size smaller. I am not going to obsess over staying in the 120s. I am not going to try to maintain a number. I am not going to weigh myself and be in a shity mood if the number isn’t what I want it to be or think it should be or any of that.

But shifting to that place is hard. I watched my weight fluctuate through years of infertility drugs and pregnancy and miscarriages. I watched my weight creep up to over 200 pounds when I was pregnant. I watched my weight slowly go down. Every day I get on the scale and revel a little in the fact that the number on the scale is going down or staying the same. So to get on the scale every day and not see the number go down but stay the same….it doesn’t seem like progress or success when in fact it really is. But I need to train myself to think This Is OK. The number can stay the same. Or go down a little or up a little. I am trying to maintain a life. I want to keep running. I want to feel strong and capable and like I can lift a car if I have to. I don’t want to have my life revolve around a freaking scale and a bunch of numbers.

With that in mind, I am thinking about throwing out the scale. I am thinking that I will let how my clothes fit tell me whether or not I am doing well. I know that eating a package of Milk Duds and popcorn, as I did last night at the movies, is not healthy to do every day. But I am not going to beat myself when I do eat it. I want a piece of coconut layer cake and I might get it today. I am not going to obsess over these decisions. Do you hear the desperation in my voice? Hear the bravado? My obsession about not obsessing? These are not easy steps for me. I want to think about food and approach food much like Mina does, but it is not something that is intuitive for me. And not very easy. But, I’ve said this before, I don’t have much time to get this all under complete control. I don’t want my girls growing up and being like this. Aunt Mina, yes. Me, not so much.

I have so much more to write about this but that’s for another day.

And last night was fun. We saw The Dark Knight and it was great. Very, very violent but great. Heath Ledger was amazing and he will win the Oscar.

Pictured above, our little ladies in the pool. And Madeline modeling the latest in baby swimwear. Less exposed skin means less sun block we need to put on them.


Shelli said...

TOSS the scale.

You'll be healthier for it.

Malea said...

Boy I need to go window shopping for baby clothes.What happened to the old style little girl swimsuits with the little skirts on them?

Let me guess the new suits look like spacesuits, because there is a drawstring that you pull and the whole thing inflates into a full body floatie?Right!

Anonymous said...

I threw out the scale about 8 years ago when I realized thinking about the numbers and where I was at was taking up too much time & energy. It makes (or made, for me) a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I always feel compelled to comment when you write entries about weight/healthy eating. As I have the exact same issues as you do (although I am still hovering at 134 and desperately looking for my "2")and I have to say that people like us need scales. You know why? Because when we fall "off" the healthy (normal) eating wave, we tend to just find the clothes that have a little room or give, and that way "trick" ourseleves into thinking that we haven't been gaining. (I know as I put on nearly 15 pounds during my engagement and didn't realize it until I finally got on a scale after my dress was too small)and continue on the binge. Once I figured out I gained, I would starve myself to get back to my "good" weight. Not healthy. I don't think we should be slaves to the number, but keeping an eye on it is a good thing. I try to weigh only one a week and once I hit my goal weight I'll give myself a 5 pound leeway to max capacity so I can (try) not to obsess. Just my 2 cents, but it works for me.

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

Oh I don't know. I didn't have a scale for years and now I do. I think I like the scale better. Because as the above poster said, I just avoided the pants I knew I couldn't fit into.
Now, I catch the gain within 2 lbs.
Your post prompted me to write my own post about working out habits, eating habits and body image. I read your blog a lot and really relate to what you say about these things.
But, no one likes to hear the skinny bitch whine about a weight gain of 2-3 lbs so I was hesitant to write it. But because of you and your honesty, I did.
Thank you.