Many times when it comes to weight loss or fitness, we measure our success by numbers. How much does the scale read today? How fast did I run that mile repeat? What is my max rep weight today at the gym? Numbers define us. Since seeking help for my eating disorder, my therapist and I have had many come to Jesus meetings about the scale. The scale used to define me. I would wake up, weigh myself, use the bathroom, weigh myself, get naked, weigh myself, stand on one foot, weigh myself, and the cycle goes on and on. Whatever number flashed back at me was an automatic marker as to what my mood would be that day and how I would feel about myself.
I have removed the scale I had in my apartment. The only time I really weigh myself is when I go home, and even then, I only step on one time the entire visit. Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned not to let that number bother me. Sure, I want to lose weight, but I am more concerned about how I look and feel than what some silly scale number says. When people look at us, all they see is us. They have no idea what number we are. I’d much rather fit into a great pair of jeans or be able to rock a tankini than have a specific number pop up on the scale. So, in an effort to eliminate scale anxiety, I’ve been celebrating small victories that are non scale related.
Last week, my friend Jess and I went on the hunt to find a dress for my birthday dinner. We went to Old Navy and I had a gift card that expired that same day so I was in a bind to buy something. Shopping can be scary and so can dressing rooms. When something doesn’t fit right or doesn’t fit at all, it defeats me and really kills my mood. But I decided that day that I was going to try on stuff and not worry about the results. After trying on countless dresses and none of them working, I decided to try to find something else. Jess proposed a pair of neon pink shorts since they were in the right price range. I laughed and said no way. Recently, Old Navy stopped carrying size 18 bottoms and that is the size I wear there. I told her that the maximum size of 16 just wouldn’t fit me and wasn’t even worth the pain. She insisted I try them on.
While she waited outside the dressing room, I slipped into these smoking size 16 shorts, pulled them up, and low and behold the darn things buttoned and zipped. I couldn’t believe it. I threw the door open with elation and said LOOK!!! Sure enough they fit. Such a defining moment in that dressing room. I bought those shorts and felt so proud that I fit into them. I’m going to wait until summer to actually rock them out with my hopefully tan skin, but until then, they sit proudly on my dresser to remind me of the work it took to fit in them.
Sure, those shorts were a certain size. But if they did not fit, I still would not have let the size define me. I would have just shrugged it off and put them back. After all, they are just a piece of silly fabric. But celebrating small victories is extremely important in staying motivated for me. Do I want to be a size 16? No, not really. But a size 16 is way better than the size 20 I used to be. I will celebrate the small victory of being able to fit in them and purchase them and feel proud.
I challenge you today to find a small victory that you can celebrate that has nothing to do with the scale. A stupid three digit number does not define the amazing person inside of you who is capable of so many wonderful things. Find your victory, and celebrate it.