Why I Don't Weigh Myself
It feels kind of radical and new-agey to say I don't weigh myself. Or that I have #issues. Honestly, though, it all started when I was pregnant and my original OB told me I'd gained five pounds in my first trimester. "Is that normal?" I asked.
"Most people lose weight in their first trimester," she said. "Try to stay away from the carbs. My cousin gained 60 pounds when she was pregnant and that's way too much. You should aim for 25-30."
In that same appointment, she told me my pants seemed "a little tight." I called the next day to switch to a team of midwives, under the assurance by the receptionist that they would still give me drugs if I wanted them (I wanted them).
After that, I chose not to look at the scale at my appointments. I'd never been huge on watching my weight, and I had a feeling I could get more obsessive about pregnancy weight gain than I wanted to be, and that it would (literally) weigh on me if I thought I was gaining too much or too little. I knew the nurses and midwives would tell me if something was wrong and I trusted my body to do what it needed to do to bake a baby.
Like many women during their first pregnancy, I felt really self-conscious about my body changing in front of an audience of the world and minimizing how much I internalized about it was helpful for me. I had so much else to stress about already—adding weight worries to the list wasn't going to be helpful. There are apps that track your upward arrow. I just...wasn't willing to take that on.
Then, after having Oliver, I took a few days to look at my deflated belly in the mirror. I'm pretty used to being mostly slender, sometimes a little skinny fat (in my completely biased opinion), and when I saw it, I thought Okay, that's different. But it won't be like this forever. I threw my maternity jeans back on and went about my business recovering and staring at my baby in between episodes of Friday Night Lights.
I haven't stepped on a scale in the almost twelve months since he's been here. My old jeans fit, sometimes with a little love handle given the day, and how much wine and ice cream I've had, but I don't believe in weight as a great way to define healthfulness as it is. If I were to define myself by a number, I'd choose ALL of these before defining myself by a number on a scale:
- Blood pressure
- Steps taken
- Calories burned
- Kisses I gave my baby
- Kisses I gave my husband
- Pets I gave our cats
- Twizzlers I ate for lunch dessert
- Glasses of wine I had after Oliver went to bed
- Seconds I can hold a plank
- Sit-ups I did during one of ODP's naps
- Smiles Oliver gave to strangers that made their day
- Etc. etc. etc.
Weight is a good measurement of progress for many people, just not for me. Besides, I have some pretty wavy biceps from hauling around a baby all day and muscle weighs more than fat, soooo....I don't even know what's "normal" anymore. I haven't done enough research to be knowledgable enough to care. There are things I care to measure and control, but right now? Looking at numbers on a scale that have the potential to make me feel bad for WHATEVER subconscious reason I might put behind them? Not taking that on.
Got tips for me about what I should be measuring to help me know I'm making healthy choices? Hit me with them in the comments.