You’d think you’d be safe in your the privacy of your very own closet. In fact, Gyro (our much loved Corgi), spends a great deal of his time in there. We refer to him as ‘Closet Dog.’ Given Gryo’s un-courageous personality, I figured the closet is pretty-much the safest place in the house. Unfortunately, I keep the scale in there.
Most days I ignore it or throw it a dirty look or give it a little kick (just to show who’s in charge). Every now and then, if I’m feeling very confident and, well, light, I’ll gingerly step on. But if it looks like things aren’t going my way I just as gingerly hop off. This morning it was laying in wait. I could hear it whispering, “C’mon…you look a little thinner…i’ll be kind…don’t worry…” Freakin’ viper.
Of course, I knew all this bread baking, cookie making, recipe experimenting and maybe a little bit too much crap-snacking at work might have led me to eat a teensy-tinsey bit more than usual. (I define teensy-tinsey as more than twice as many calories as required. Why? How do you define it?) And I have the occasional feeling that my clothes have shrunk or been replaced by evil gnomes with clothes a size or two smaller. (Gnomes being the only reasonable explanation I could think of.) Today, though, some evil part of my brain said, “C’mon…you should just check and see if you’ve picked up a couple of pounds. It’ll be fine…” And, like an idiot, I listened to that voice.
After the screaming, teeth gnashing and tears abated I realized that I had some choices:
- Ignore the whole thing. Who’s that scale to tell me how to feel about my body?
- Go on a diet. After all there are probably one or two diets I haven’t tried yet.
- Focus on eating only “healthy” foods in moderate amounts. This should be a piece of cake (oops celery?)…right?
- Embrace my roundness. Assuming my arms will reach around.
- Figure out how to keep eating the things I love. Hmmm…isn’t that how I ended up here?
As may be obvious, I’ve struggled with “weight issues” all my life. I was a slightly chubby kid, who grew into a slightly chubby woman. I’ve been susceptible to the hunt for the “right” diet forever. I have been on pretty much every diet there is: low calorie ones, low fat ones, low carb ones, South Beach, Ab Diet, Hawaiian…you name it and I’ve either tried it or know about it. I’ve tried resigning myself to my body. This is who I am. A short, roundish woman. Sort of like a teapot. I’m never going to have long legs. Lithe torso. Skinny arms. Just writing that makes me want to run screaming into the streets berating the gods for sticking me in this plump pot.
And, sadly, making the mistake of putting my tootsies on that stupid scale pretty much ruined my mood. Instead of feeling my usual chipper self I entered a darker corner of my mind. Inner conversations that berate and ridicule. Empty promises of resolution and abstinence. But, to be honest, I’m just tired of the whole thing. I enjoy cooking and baking and eating. I enjoy thinking about it. I enjoy doing it. I find the whole process of reading about food, recipes, techniques and then trying them and, of course, tasting and sharing the result, to be very fulfilling. (Yes, maybe a little over-fulfilling.)
After reviewing the list of choices, I think #5 is my only real option. Yes, I can figure out ways to “lighten” recipes as long as I don’t have to sacrifice quality. I can continue to work on my body issues and emotional eating behaviors. And I can refuse to let the scale or the world-view it represents dictate how to feel about myself.
At least I can try. There’s a good post at A Tiger in the Kitchen about similar issues. Any thoughts from you would be helpful and are very welcome!