{the life} Weighty issues

by Rachel on September 12, 2012

bathroom scale

A few years ago, I was telling a friend of mine that I wanted to lose weight and she said, “How much do you weigh? Like 150 pounds?” I was shocked. I sputtered out a “Yeah, about that” while thinking, How…how DARE SHE? What was she thinking, calling attention to one of my physical qualities that anyone with two eyes could see?! That shit is PRIVATE!

See, I’d come to believe that weight is intensely personal, something we don’t reveal about ourselves or request of others. It’s like another number we avoid discussing — salary — and I wonder if it’s because we see it as similarly tied to our success and we know it will be used as the context for all of our choices (“You’re eating dessert?” “Your vacation cost how much?”). In both cases, to talk about it is to brag about it and to ask about it is to pry. But…what’s the big damn deal?

That is not a rhetorical question, by the way. I’m trying to understand…what’s the big damn deal? I’m not saying it’s not a big deal; I’m just trying to get to the bottom of it. Why do so many women feel the need to hide their weights?

“Never ask a woman her weight.”

I don’t even know when I first learned this lesson, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know it and I’ve never made the mistake of asking someone. (No word on whether or not it’s OK to ask men their weights. In my experience, I’ve never needed to; in relevant conversations, they just volunteer it and no one bats an eye.) I’m OK with not asking. Really, I don’t need to know anyone else’s weight and if a lot of people find the question very personal, I’m not going to try to change that. I mean, people tend to still ask women “When are you getting engaged?” whenever they damn well please, but I’ll fight the battle for better small talk one obnoxiously invasive question at a time.

Better left unsaid?

In the past nine years, I’ve been so many weights, from more than 210 all the way down to 123, but I’ve rarely shared any of them. Right now, I weigh 138 pounds. (And I’m 5 feet 4 inches, in case you were wondering.) My weight has been sort of like a Forever postage stamp for the past year and a half or so; no matter how different my body looks or how loose my jeans get, that remains the going rate.

I don’t know what any of my friends weigh. I mean, I could guess the numbers, but most have never told me themselves. This is sort of bizarre, considering that I’ve had plenty of conversations surrounding weight loss with them. But during these conversations, the only numbers we mention are vague — “I want to lose a few pounds” or “I gained like 10 pounds” — and we never talk specifics. The most specific we’ll typically share is our sizes; for some reason, that seems like a safer way to do things than talking raw pounds.

They probably don’t know what I weigh either. I rarely share it because there seems to be an unspoken agreement — probably a result of the “don’t ask” sentiment — that stating your weight isn’t OK. It’s either a humblebrag or something you should be ashamed of. If your weight is “OK” (which is highly subjective and depends mostly on the company you keep), then it can come across like a judgment, an invitation to compare or compete. And if it’s not “OK,” then sharing it really freaks people out. When I was overweight, I don’t think people appreciated my mentioning my weight. Sharing it with women who weighed less was met with a look that said, “Uh, hello, I’m skinnier than you and I’m ashamed of my weight? Your lack of shame is weirdin’ me out, freak.”

Now I tend to approach sharing my weight the same way I approach changing in front of another woman. I don’t really feel the need to turn my back when I take my bra off, but if she does it first, then I’ll follow suit because I figure that will make her more comfortable. And if she wants to talk about her pants size and not her total pounds, then I assume that’s the way we’re doing things and I go along with it. But the reality is, like getting naked in the locker room, I’m fine with saying my weight when it’s relevant to the conversation. But I often second-guess myself because I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable.

And I can’t help but feel like there’s some fuckeduppery afoot.

When we avoid talking about the number, aren’t we reinforcing the idea that weight is, in fact, a really big deal? By obscuring it, it feels like we are actually giving it a lot of meaning. When my friend mentioned my weight so casually, it freaked me out because I felt like she’d broken a code or something…but later, I stopped to consider that she had a really healthy body image and relationship with food, and maybe the way she tossed out numbers was tied to those things. For me — drinking my Diet Coke, eating my Lean Cuisine, and giving her butter a serious side-eye — it was a loaded topic with a lot of power. To her, it was just a number. I started to think that we don’t bat an eye at blood type or natural hair color, so what’s the big deal with weight? It’s just another fact about us that makes us who we are.

When I was younger, and it came to certain things about myself that I didn’t like, I was like a child playing hide and seek who will hide in plain site but cover her eyes. “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.” I’d avoid mentioning the things about myself that I didn’t like, thinking that would make them go away. I avoided weighing myself or looking at the scale at the doctor’s office because I didn’t want to get hung up on it or have it ruin my day. I told myself it was just a number and didn’t really matter, but if it truly didn’t matter to me then I wouldn’t have been afraid of it. Eventually I realized that avoiding acknowledging that I am, in fact, a person who is affected by gravity wasn’t the solution; accepting that I weigh pounds should be the goal.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to get sort of…possessive, I suppose, about the things that make me who I am, and that includes my weight. Like most things about me, it’s a reflection of both nature and nurture, and I feel a sense of ownership, even when I (or others) don’t particularly like these things. I’ve gotten comfortable with the discomfort, and yet I worry that will make other people uncomfortable. I’m still not sure what the social code is or should be…but I’d like to start talking about it.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna September 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

I think if I started being more open about our weights, we’d realize that it’s just another unique fact about a person…and it doesn’t always mean what we might picture a weight to “mean.” I think maybe we’d stop looking at a woman and thinking, “Oh, she’s really skinny, she must weigh 100 pounds” or something like that, because it just depends on so many factors. What DO bodies at different weights really look like? I’m kind of curious to know.

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2 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

I agree! So, when I’m looking at wedding blogs, I find myself wishing they’d put the total cost of the wedding at the end of the post. I know that would never happen but I’d really just like to know what a $10,000 wedding looks like vs. what a $50,000 wedding looks like. And I kinda feel the same about weight. It’s easy to assume that all petite women weigh X and all “average” women weigh Y, but it’s kinda nice to know what the real numbers are, just to help us stop thinking that there are only a few “acceptable” weights? I like knowing that women come in all shapes and sizes and that the number on the scale is not directly tied to how you look; I feel like that knowledge has helped me get more comfortable with my actual number.

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3 Meredith September 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

Anna — I wondered the same thing! http://www.mybodygallery.com Women from all over the world upload (anonymous) pictures of themselves with their height & weight. You can sort by height/weight/body type/clothing size. Fascinating to see just how true it is that weight “wears” differently on each person.

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4 Dallas September 12, 2012 at 8:13 am

People might really enjoy:

http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/heightweight.html

I have no beef sharing my weight. Whatevs.

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5 Anne Weber-Falk September 12, 2012 at 8:26 am

Growing up, we were made to be ashamed of certain things as a woman. Things must be kept secret, your weight, your age, your dress size. Our mothers and grandmothers wore girdles to hide their actual sizes. I am 48 years old and I still struggle with this. I am a BIG woman. I work at a health club leading water classes. I have accepted that I am bigger, that I do not resemble your typical aerobics instructor (not even close) and every day I stand on that deck kicking up my heels and my toes, waving my arms, in a BATHING SUIT. It took me 41 years to accept my size. But don’t ask my how much I weigh because I am embarrassed by the number. Ask me my dress size and I feel ashamed. I notice in the locker room the average size women talking about their weight, size, etc. I never hear the big women talking about this.

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6 missaprylj September 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I just have to jump in to tell you that you rock. So inspirational!

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7 Mindy September 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

I distinctly remember a time in college when my bestie & roommate Marie, who was über-fit & totally ripped, told me that she weighed 180 but wanted to get down to 170. Up until that time, I hadn’t really considered the fact that weight was super dependent upon height – as in, it would be completely unhealthy for 5′-9″ Marie to weigh the 125 that I assumed her to weigh because she was so ripped. And that’s when I stopped giving a shit about the numbers. At this point, my only goal (and i think its a reasonable one) is to continue to fit inside the “B” area on the pantyhose chart.

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8 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

For some reason, the “B” area on the pantyhose chart made me laugh out loud…I think because I haven’t bought tights/pantyhose in a while, so it’s not something I think about very often! But it’s kind of a smart way to do it…it’s a nice range.

And I agree, hearing taller women share their weights was eye-opening for me too! In that sense, I guess it was helpful to hear numbers, if only because it made me realize how unimportant they really are?

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9 Mandi September 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

I kind of think that this is related to the totally insane idea that for any woman, anything over 130lbs is SERIOUSLY OBESE OMG WTF STOP EATING?!

When the reality is, even if I were 18% body fat, I’d still be somewhere around 160lbs. At a comfortable, “healthy” weight, I’d clock in around 170. Which means that even just over 20lbs overweight (normal!) I’d be pushing or over 200.

And if you say “I weigh 200lbs” to someone, they are not going to think “okay, well, considering her height and bone structure, that’s not so bad!”, they’re going to think “fat.”

So really, I think the issue is less the saying it out loud, and more the totally insane weight standard for women. 120 is not possible for a lot of women. But anything past 125 or 130 starts to sound “big” to the lay person. It’s the not wanting to be held up to that impossible (for me) standard that keeps me from saying my weight out loud.

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10 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

“But anything past 125 or 130 starts to sound “big” to the lay person. It’s the not wanting to be held up to that impossible (for me) standard that keeps me from saying my weight out loud.”

YES.

For me, I think maybe because magazines always do calorie counts based on “an average 135-pound woman” and characters on TV never weigh more than 130 pounds, I felt like like 135 was the cutoff for “acceptable”? So I totally had a “I wanna lose 3 pounds” moment for a while because I felt like I was just missing the cutoff. Then I realized that’s completely ridiculous, but it’s hard to get those thoughts out of your head. But you’re so right…it can be hard to say it out loud when you’re over 130 because you feel like people think that’s big (and under 130, people will think you’re bragging).

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11 Jessica September 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

I agree! I’ve had women in my family suffer from eating disorders (to the point of being hospitalized) and they still never got down to 120.

Also, whenever I see a celebrity’s weight published (for some reason, Jennifer Aniston being 108 at 5’8″ sticks in my head) I think it has to be a lie designed to make regular women feel bad. How can that be possible, and, if so, what’s the point in advertising it???

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12 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

Ugh, celeb weights is a WHOLE other story. I think what sucks about seeing their weights is that they look so NORMAL on TV/movies or in magazines. The problem is that the camera really does add ten pounds, and in real life, these women do not look like we think they do. When I worked at ELLE, I was always fascinated when we’d get a celeb’s measurements before a photo shoot…those numbers often tell a lot more than you get from seeing them in pictures.

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13 Cristine September 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

The layperson thinks 125-130 pounds is big? Maybe you hang out with a lot of “short” people. :)

I doubt there are many of us in the 5’7+ range (I’m 5’9) who think they need to weigh between 125-130. LOL.

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14 Rachel September 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You may “LOL” but I’m definitely one of those 5’7″ people that thinks I need to weigh between 125 and 130. Two summers ago I topped out at 150 — a weight that my doctor said was at max of my healthy range. Since then, I’ve gotten down to 128. I still hold onto the mentality that I need to weigh in somewhere between 125-130 pounds — a mindset that’s difficult to shake.

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15 Rain September 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

Touchy subject for women for sure!
I have weighed on and off about the same weight since high school. It’s not my ideal weight but at this point I figure it is what it is….it’s me and like you said you kind of have to own it at some point.

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16 Chase September 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

It’s a very interesting subject for sure. I’m perfectly content with my weight, and will actually gladly share it as a parlor trick: “Guess how much I weigh! ” “Umm, 125?” “NOPE! 150! Can you believe it? And I’m a size 6!!” I acknowledge that I’m built like a brick shithouse, I’m 5’2″, more stocky than lean, and I’m totally fine with that. I love my muscles.

But in the next breath, I avoid the subject because I’m always afraid of how the other person will take it. As soon as I say my weight, you can see it in their faces: “Well… if she’s 150 and a size 6, and I’m {whatever} and a size {whatever} how do I stack up??” Women are forever comparing themselves to each other.

So if me talking about my weight makes someone uncomfortable in the moment, or makes them go home and look a little too long and sadly in the mirror, then I ‘d rather not talk about it at all.

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17 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

“So if me talking about my weight makes someone uncomfortable in the moment, or makes them go home and look a little too long and sadly in the mirror, then I‘d rather not talk about it at all.” Yep. That’s how I’ve been feeling too (until today, obviously, but I still worried when writing this that I was going to make others uncomfortable).

Also, “I’m built like a brick shithouse” is the best thing I’ve heard in a long time.

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18 Jessica September 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

I’m currently taking part in a healthy weight study at UNC that requires me to weigh myself every day (for 3 years!). I originally thought this was a scary thought- I was afraid I’d become obsessed and neurotic. However, I’ve found the opposite to be true.

Along with the other things I’m learning from this study, I have found that weighing myself daily (at the same time) gives me a very scientific perspective on the current state of my body. So what if I weigh 2 pounds more the morning after I have a huge salad for dinner- it doesn’t mean I’m getting fat, it means I’m full of water. Whatever. The next day I’m usually right back to 2 pounds less.

That said, I’ve probably declared my weight to more people in my daily life in the past year than I ever have before. Only when they ask, of course, because I agree with you that it can make people feel uncomfortable. It’s just a number. Just like my height is a number and my shoe size is a number. I actually have my weight on a piece of paper that I’m supposed to carry around in my wallet as a reminder of where I’m supposed to be that’s healthy for me.

It’s been amazingly liberating.

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19 Tess September 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

I love your attitude about this! I’m finally getting to the point that I don’t really care about normal body things like how much I weigh or buying tampons at Wal-mart (somehow those fall under the same category in my brain). The biggest issue for me was coming to terms with the fact that my boyfriend is about 6-7″ taller than I am and weighs about the same. For the longest time I treated that fact like some kind of state secret; if he found out that we were almost the same weight he would be totally disgusted or something. Come to find out that I was the only one who was spazzing over it and for no good reason!

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20 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

LOL at “state secret”…I also felt like I had to keep my weight from Eric longer than anyone else. I don’t know why! I think I worried he’d have a set idea in his head of what was an average weight for a woman and so he’d freak out if I wasn’t that. Now I feel like it’s better to just tell men what an average weight is for a woman, rather than let them get ideas from outside sources (which are probably going to be way off).

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21 Katrina September 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

I’m so glad you’re bringing this up! I completely agree that the more we hide our “number”, the more importance we give to that number. As someone who’s been a slave to the scale for much of my life, I was recently really inspired by my younger sister. She’s extremely healthy, fit and active, but eats whatever she wants without shame and will tell anyone how much she weighs. (She actually weighs a lot more than you’d guess because she has so much muscle.) She looks amazing, but more importantly, she FEELS amazing. She embraces a lifestyle that is all about balance and less about numbers or being a certain size. She literally doesn’t care what the scale says — she listens to her body and uses her overall health and energy level as a gauge for success. We were talking about it recently and I totally had this “a ha!” moment. Instead of obsessing about how much I weigh, and what size jeans I can fit into, I’m going to concentrate on being active, and making healthy choices (in moderation, of course). Instead of saying “I want to lose a few pounds” I’m saying “I want to clean up my nutrition and increase my fitness level.” Will I end up losing a few pounds? Maybe. Maybe not. But what my sister showed me is that none of that really MATTERS. Measuring our health and fitness by the numbers on the scale is kind of like measuring the dimensions of a room with a jump rope. It’s not the most accurate way to assess the well-being of our body.

Oh, and by the way…I weight 142 pounds. And no, it’s not a big deal. (To me, at least.)

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22 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

“Instead of saying ‘I want to lose a few pounds’ I’m saying ‘I want to clean up my nutrition and increase my fitness level.’ Will I end up losing a few pounds? Maybe. Maybe not.”

This reminds me of something in Amy Spencer’s book Meeting Your Half-Orange. She says instead of saying “I want a guy who is funny” say “I want a guy who shares my sense of humor and laughs at my jokes.” We don’t all want funny guys. A lot of comedians are dicks. Similarly, I don’t think we all ACTUALLY want to be a certain weight. I think we might want to FEEL a certain way and maybe even look a certain way, but do we ACTUALLY think a number is going to make that happen? I hope not because it’s likely that it won’t!

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23 Katie P September 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

This is so true. I have struggled and continue to struggle with body image issues. I got down to my goal weight only to find I still wasn’t satisfied with how I looked. This was completely disheartening and has as a result I have given up many of the healthy habits I developed and gained back the 25lbs I worked so hard to lose. Now I want to start embracing the good habits again, but not for the number on the scale. I want to FEEL good, in mind and body, I know now that the number on the scale won’t give me that.

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24 Kate September 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

I stopped placing as much importance on my weight when I got serious about my fitness. I was so frustrated about how much effort I was putting into diet and exercise without making progress on the scale – until I started measuring myself and realized that a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, but muscle takes up less space. I still check my weight every morning but it’s more of a way to gauge how healthy my decisions were the day before. For example, if I put on 3 pounds overnight, it’s a hint that whatever I had for dinner was chock full of sodium and maybe I should avoid it in the future if I don’t want crazybloat.

All that being said, I still feel self-conscious about sharing my weight with anyone who isn’t a very close friend. Even then, I don’t like it because most of my friends weigh less than me, and even taking into account all of the factors that make me the weight I am, which is a perfectly acceptable healthy weight, I don’t like this feeling I get that they are relieved that they don’t weigh as much as me.

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25 Sarah Crowder September 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

I think more important than whether or not we’re comfortable sharing the number is whether it even means anything at all.

I don’t own a scale, although I weighed myself at my MIL’s a few weeks ago out of curiosity, so I do have an idea how much I weigh and (surprise) I’m around my pre-pregnancy weight. I didn’t even know how much I gained during my pregnancy because my midwife did house visits and, again, I have no scale. But I still feel out of shape and soft in the middle. I want to workout more and eat more healthfully to change my figure, not my weight.

I’ve never been jealous of another woman’s number, but I have been jealous of her killer abs, perky breasts, toned arms, etc….

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26 Erin September 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

This post is sooo good!

Like you Rachel, I am 5’4″ and I weigh 138 pounds. I am comfortable with my size, however, other people (usually women) seem to want to talk about it. It’s kind of annoying, but I work really hard to keep my body fit by eating right and exercising, so I’m proud of it.

People usually guess that I weigh 115 (and routinely ask me that) and when I tell them I actually weigh almost 140, I get the deer in the headlights stare. Um, hello, I lift three days a week and box three days a week. I have a lot of muscle, get over it!

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27 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

Virtual fist bump for being 5’4″, weighing 138, and surprising people with that fact!

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28 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie September 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

Your perspective here is really great, I totally agree that by hiding “our numbers” we’re merely reinforcing the stereotype that the number matters.

People’s bodies are built differently, some bodies (when healthy) will look great but never really change in weight. Growing up I always weighed more than people assumed which immediately led to claims of a “muscular, dense” frame.

After the body issues that came from gymnastics, diving, high school, and later an eating disorder, I finally stopped weighing myself. How I felt on a given day was more powerful than a meaningless number. Breaking up with the scale was an important step for me, and because of our divorce I can easily, happily say today that I’m 5’7″ and the last time I weighed myself was 6 months ago and I weight 125lbs.

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29 deva by definition September 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

Love this. So much. I’ve never been a fan of talking about my weight. I had an eating disorder, what person with an eating disorder really is comfortable talking about their weight? It was my obsession for years, then it became everyone else’s obsession – like it was almost acceptable dinner conversation in a “Deva gained a pound since yesterday!” while I felt like a fat slob (albeit underweight but come on people!).

Now, I’m more comfortable discussing it. I’m recovered, or as far recovered as I am going to get. I eat. A lot. Often. Good food, too. I exercise, not too much, though. One of Allen’s friends was trying to guess my weight because I am petite and got a little irritated when I laughed at him thinking I weighed only 100 pounds. Allen was surprised to hear I weigh 5 pounds more than what he thought. I was like “dudes. I’m low triples, but not THAT low. DO YOU SEE THESE THIGHS?” and changed topics. I figure, it’s only taboo because we make it so, but I’m not going to wear a tee shirt that says “My name is Deva and today, i weigh X pounds!”

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30 deva by definition September 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

to clarify: allen thought I weighed more than what his friend thought, and he was off by five pounds. I do not weigh 105 pounds. Not even close.

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31 Jessica September 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thank you for sharing this! I totally agree with the fact that sharing it shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s a number, but it’s only a number. It doesn’t have to control us and it isn’t a reflection about all the little details adding up to make that number or of our self-worth.

I’ve noticed another area where women are more hesitant to share (but there is less of a taboo over stating it) with jean size. I’m a 4 and have been for years (assuming the design is standard….which is a big assumption, but then I’m a 2). I mentioned this in a related conversation to some friends of a similar size with a couple girls who were several inches taller. One friend exclaimed, “I didn’t know I had any friends who could wear a 2! Crazy….”. I then had to point out that none of them should put any thought into that number. My body build is very compatible to how jeans are designed (and I still have an awful time finding them!) but if someone has a little more here and a little less there it can be several sizes different! Plus, it doesn’t really matter! It made me a little sad that this detail about me had made the ladies feel negative about themselves at first, but I’m glad we were able to talk about it and how ridiculous it is. I think having it be a subject where making both the number not be a reflection of our value and a place where we can point to all the differences contributing (like height, etc.) are steps in the right direction.

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32 Kris September 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

The fascinating thing is that your weight can really have nothing to do with fitness (like the super buff Erin above!). I am 5’9″ and weigh 148…totally average size 6-8. When I joined 24 Hr. Fitness recently, a trainer measured my body fat with calipers and determined that I was “skinny fat” with a body fat percentage of 29%. I had no idea that someone could be a healthy weight and size, but still carry too much body fat for their frame? It was an eye-opening experience, and now my skinny-fat self is hitting up the weights more regularly. : )

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33 Meghan September 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

See this is what I am talking about. I wear this girls clothes. I have raided her closet on more than one occasion. I even have on an article of clothing right now, that was hers. But I am no where near her weight. And it is a total mind freak for I don’t know why.

There is a serious struggle in my head right now. Am I uncomfortable sharing my weight, because I am ten pounds from where I want to be, and I hate that, or because I really think it doesn’t matter? Would it help anyone to know what I weigh? WHO CARES? Why do I feel like now I need to share my weight with all of you because everyone else is doing it and its no big deal!

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34 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

Here’s why I think sharing might possibly matter: because it has the potential to help you and other people feel better about their weights. A lot of comments have noted that “healthy” or even “hot” comes at a lot of different weights, and I think if you see that someone who you think has it all together weighs more than you expected, it can be a reality check that your perception of what a “good” weight is is kinda off. If someone weighs more than you thought from looking at her, I would think that might make you say, “Oh, who knew that [X] weight could look so great?!” And I also feel like when we avoid it, we reinforce the idea that there’s shame in it. The thing I wrote about women saying, “Um, I’m skinner than you and I’m ashamed of my weight, so why aren’t you?” Well, sometimes they answer that and realize, Oh, because maybe I shouldn’t be ashamed of my weight. I’m not going to argue that sharing numbers helps everyone because I don’t think that’s true. This was more of a proposal, a case for why sharing might have some benefits.

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35 Kris September 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

Exactly my point! You and I are the same size, and that number is no big thing. You are strong and healthy…the mind freak comes from the fact that the moms and cheer coaches and B-teams of our past never really leave us. That’s the issue–not your number. Your number is yoga strength and couch-to-5k awesomeness and hair. Lots of hair. : )

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36 Kris September 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

Reply was for Meggy, not Rachel.

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37 Manon September 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

LOVE this post! I’ve always been one of those people who weighs more than what they “look like” according to others (I don’t have a fucking CLUE what 150 lbs is “supposed to look like”). For instance, I was in my best shape EVER about 3 years ago–I’m 5’3, was a size 4 and I weighed 150-155lbs. People were always telling me “Wow, you don’t look like you weigh THAT much!” All I could think is “I’m in the smallest jeans I’ve been in since high school, I look great, I feel great….so I really don’t care about the number”….and I didn’t get why other people did. All I know is everyone has their happy/healthy weight. Every person is different. And that same “number” can look 3 different ways on 3 different people. My 150 lbs is my “yay me!” number…..for some of my friends its the “fuck I need to lose 50lbs” number…..basically…..it’s just a number.

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38 Nicki September 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

As someone who is very petite/tiny (I’m 4’10” and 80lbs), I have ALWAYS been asked what I weigh. For some reason, because everyone knows it’ll be a small number, apparently this is OK in their books. But then why is it considered rude if I immediately turn the question around on them? And then they act all offended?!

Because of my size, I’ve always dealt with this. I’ve also learned to be more open of weight and telling people how much I weigh because I don’t think it’s personal. I get comments that be so thin must be “awesome” and that people “wish they looked like” me! But since America is obsessed with dieting and losing weight, few seem to know what it’s like to want to GAIN weight…especially as a woman at the age of 26. I’d be happy gaining about 5lbs and having recently started CrossFit, I can definitely see this finally happening instead of just trying to eat ice cream/cheese all the time, lol. THANK YOU for starting this discussion!

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39 Kendra September 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

I’ve had this conversation with a couple of friends lately because I couldn’t care less who knows how much I weigh. I mean, I post it online every Wednesday. Twice recently, though, I’ve pretty seriously shocked a few guys by flat out admitting to what I weigh. Both times the people involved thought I weighed less but when we’re calculating how much we can load into a freight elevator, including ourselves, why would I not tell the honest number?

I don’t know, I don’t really get the stigma. It’s not like they’re not going to figure out that I’m overweight if they don’t know the exact number. They can still see me.

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40 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

“It’s not like they’re not going to figure out that I’m overweight if they don’t know the exact number. They can still see me.” That’s how I feel too! Like I said, when my friend first guessed my weight, I felt super, I don’t know…exposed? But then I realized that even without sharing the number, people can still see me.

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41 Meghan September 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

So some of this has been said, especially the comparison, but here is my side.

I am not a small woman. I am 5’8ish, and I have a really hard time buying clothes that fit my shoulders and arms even if they fit my waist fine. Certain parts of my frame are just bigger. like my now size 10.5 feet. I’m not “big boned” I am just built differently somehow. I am not sure if it is muscle or not. Whenever I have disclosed my weight, I always get a second look. And I am not sure if that is good or not. It’s definitely unsettling.

In Weight Watchers, as a leader, we are encouraged to not share our end weight or starting weight. I have always thought it was because of a comparison reason. Weight is very personal. Not that there is shame or anything, but that it easy for me to say oh Rachel’s weight this and is this height, so therefore to look like Rachel’s and be Rachel’s size I should weigh this. That is sheer torture. My weight is my own, because our bodies are all different, and so 8 people at 5’8″ will weigh different things, but still be healthy, within a 30 pound range or so.

What are the stakes for you share your weight? Nothing for you maybe. Maybe some of your ego if the number is not received like you want. Other people’s frail psyche’s? But that is their concern, not yours right? And your issues are not my issues, don’t hang your sh*t on me.

So, why do we put a number on a scale? If I go to a doctor and they see me mostly naked, can they not tell whether or not I am healthy? Are they going to look at me and touch me, and say, now you need to stand on this scale so I can tell you how healthy you are? I know that there is a medical reason for weight to be able to make dosage accurate, but that is not what we are talking about. There is a range of healthy weights for a reason. Does me telling you I weigh a number give you a better picture of me? What does putting my weight out in the world further me any? Are we on a weight loss board. Is there some accountability going on? Am I trying to see if my better food choices are working?

I recognize this as my fear is that you will see or hear my weight, and make a face, give me a look, and I will crumple. My resolve to feel fantastic with what I weigh, it will fail, because it is a topic that I have struggled with for so long, and I am not all over owning it.

Me telling just about everyone but my bests mates, my weight loss forum and my WW staff, helps no one. So why share it?

I’m kinda ok with you sharing your weight, because I am in a stable place of owning it right now. But it does make me face my demons. And sometimes that’s ok.

I think it is more accurate to say, I’m a size 8 most of the time. Sometimes I’m a 10, and after Pneumonia, I’m a 6.

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42 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 11:18 am

“What are the stakes for you share your weight? Nothing for you maybe. Maybe some of your ego if the number is not received like you want. Other people’s frail psyche’s? But that is their concern, not yours right? And your issues are not my issues, don’t hang your sh*t on me.”

Making someone feel shitty or do comparisons was a stake for me. I debated for a long time whether to post my weight in this post, for that exact reason — because I knew some people would use it as a point of comparison. It was a tough call, but ultimately, it felt like it went against the spirit of the post not to, and to not share it would make me part of the problem. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang some shit on me and I apologize if I gave you the impression that other people’s issues are not my concern. They are, and it was a tough call for me. I feel like we are on the same page after reading this comment, but I just wanted you to know that if I came across as flip or dismissive, I’m sorry.

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43 Taylor September 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

I think, for me at least, weight also directly correlates with clothing size. I have a textbook “pear-shaped” body, which means buying tops versus buying pants for me are two completely different issues. I’ve lost some weight recently and was trying on some new jeans at the mall the other day. Even though the pants looked great, I couldn’t help but get a little annoyed at the fact that I still had to buy one of the biggest sizes they came in. I thought “I’m losing weight, why can’t I buy smaller sizes as a result?!” I think the fact that magazines and such are always saying “lose 10 pounds and you’ll go down 2 pants sizes!” can be very discouraging. Not everyone loses weight in the same way, and not everyone has the same body type. So through all this rambling the point I’m attempting to make is that most people misjudge things like size/weight/bmi most of the time. My sister and I are pretty much the same weight, give or take 5 pounds, and she buys completely different sizes in clothing. Acknowledging your body is unique is so important! I don’t think comparing 2 different womens’ pants size or weight could ever be accurate or fair.

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44 Meghan September 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

(my friend who knows me said, “I forget that people don’t know Meg. I didn’t take it that way at all” )

To be clear, I did not take it as flip or dismissive. I know you to be kind and a person who does not make rash commentary. And if my tone was bristly, it was not meant to be, I apologize profusely) I just like to flesh it out all the sounds in my head out and down. Those were the thoughts that were coming out, rather quickly, and you in that statement was meant to be a proverbial you, not you, Rachel. :) I meant, I know that I can have the responsibility to start things in other people, but I cannot be held responsible and always walk on eggshells. And sometimes that’s not a bad thing to do. And ultimately is not the point of your blog to help people change, watch it happen?

Just pardon me as I have a mini, what my therapist called a “processing” moment. It’s really a good thing.

Apologize profusely, I think this is a great post, and very awesome dialog.

(PS one of my favorite yoga teacher’s is doing yoga at Lulu Highland free on Sunday at 11. I’ll definitely be there if want to come along.)

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45 Meghan September 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

this was in the wrong place my bad.

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46 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

No apologies for this! Your tone seriously wasn’t bristly at all! I actually just said to another friend, “I’m glad she was the one to leave this comment, because it was a comment I was worried about and she was kind and fair and it’s all fine.” Have your moment, and I would love to hang out on Sunday! Let me check my schedule and we can discuss more offline.

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47 Jennifer September 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

This post is awesome. I admit my weight all my time on my blog and I’m sure some people are mortified: “She weighs HOW MUCH?” But the problem is I think we have a lot of misconceptions about weight. I think some people assume others weigh a lot more than they actually do, and other times the number they guess is a lot less. We have a hard time, sometimes, looking at someone and being able to come up with an accurate number. The real problem, though, is why does it matter? Why does that number define who I am, or who you are? Does it represent how healthy or fit I am? Does it make me automatically lazy, or crazed about workouts? Judging someone by the actual number is just like judging a book by its cover. I would never ask someone how much they weigh, or expect them to reveal their number just because I’m comfortable revealing mine. But it just doesn’t bother me to admit how much I weigh the way it used to. The thing is, I know I’m trying to treat my body better by eating better and exercising, so to me, my number is a work in progress. But even if it wasn’t, it doesn’t define me. Like you said, as I get older, I get more and more OK with owning whatever it is that makes me me.

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48 Mary September 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I have a million comments for this post, but mostly, I just want to know where I can get that scale.

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49 stef September 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Weight is easily the biggest stress in my life. Maybe not on a daily basis, but overall, it’s the one thing I haven’t conquered. I need to lose weight. Like a lot. Even if someone guessed my weight and was horrified by the number, it’s actually much more because I’m 5’10” and “wear it well.”

Some background – my husband is 6’5″ and easily 30lbs underweight. He can eat fast food 4x a day, every day, never gain weight, never exercises, and you’d assume he’d be unhealthy as a result, but if you told him to run 2 miles right now, he could.

When we first got together, he actually said to me “we need to do something about your weight” and I was all “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?!” But he wasn’t saying it from a “so you look hotter” perspective, he was saying it from a “we have a future together and you need to be healthy” perspective. As a skinny person his whole life, he didn’t understand the very personal, very hurtful past I have wtih my weight issues. Throughout our relationship, especially once we moved in together, he saw firsthand how on top of my diet I am, and STILL don’t lose weight and I think he had an oh shit moment of “whoa, not all fat is equal.” I have something going on with my body that I haven’t been able to pinpoint yet with a doctor and it’s FAR more detailed than “eat less, exercise more, eat real food, lose weight.”

This has become a recent point of stress for me because we recently moved… to a state that lists weight…. on your driver’s license. I’m in a borderline panic because I cannot imagine that number listed out there, for anyone to see. My brain realizes that it’s insane for THIS to be the thing that finally makes me starve myself skinny. but I can’t not obsess about it. Nevermind that I’m out there in the world everyday, resonably ok with this size that my body maintains, the thought of it printed somewhere has me frozen in panic.

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50 Hope September 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I’m nearly 5’8 and I weigh around 150 (little higher and lower depending on the day.) I’m not sure if I’ve ever said my weight aloud to anyone. I just feel like it SOUNDS huge. The funny thing is, my BMI is about the same as a 5’4 woman who weighs in the low 130s, and I would definitely say my number aloud if that were my weight (and height.) I think we definitely have a fixation that no woman is allowed to weigh more than ‘X’ amount, and after that you feel this shame, for god knows what reason, regardless of height, body type, muscle mass, etc. I think I’m going to challenge myself to throw my “number” out there to someone, just to embrace it, cause you’re totally correct, we give it too much power.

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51 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Woot! Let me know how it goes when you do! :)

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52 Aj September 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This time last year, I was a month out from running a marathon and probably in my best shape ever and still not satisfied because a) I wasn’t my lowest weight ever and b) I was cardio-fit but had no muscle tone. Right now I’m about 15-20 lbs heavier than I was (throwing it out there 5’8″ 150 lbs) and in no kind of shape and you know what? I’m much happier. Yes, I would like to be more fit and I’m working on it – slowly – no time for marathon training right now! and I would like that to include some weight loss. But I also decided to stop punishing myself by limiting my wardrobe the the 1-2 things that still fit and got myself not only new clothes, but nicer stuff than I owned before. My focus is happiness and so far I’m achieving it better than I ever achieved weight loss and some magical level of fitness and toning. Last year I thought of body acceptance as something I would work on once I lost those last 5 lbs and got really toned. If you had told me I was going to gain 20 lbs and be happier? Crazy.

In terms of telling others what I weigh. My best friends know the number. My partner knows the number. And others in my social group know I’ve gained weight (to thusly justify shopping with them) and they know I’ve gained ~20 lbs. And guess what? All of them (with the exception of the one person who sees me naked on a regular basis) swear that they can’t tell! Because no one, no one, cares about how much I weigh as much as I do.

The question that does keep coming up is “What is a healthy weight?” Was I unhealthy at this height in HS when I weighed 125? Last year when I was running 20+ miles but had no muscle tone at 130-135? Now, when I’m just happier overall at 150? What does healthy weight mean?

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53 Sara September 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I have had multiple struggles with ideal weight vs what I see in the mirror vs number on the scale. And it can all be summed up with “I have a giant chest”.

I’m going to get super personal for a minute: My stats – 5’5″, 150, size 6 to 10 (depending on the brand, average size 8 I guess) or a ‘medium’…but I have a 32EE bra size. (It is IMPOSSIBLE to find bathing suits that match these statistics btw) . Sure, I could afford to lose a few pounds in the middle – but when I work out, I lose in the arms, legs and butt and rarely the middle/chest area. But that is the first place I gain weight. When I went to the personal trainer for one of the membership deals at a gym I joined, they suggested that to get my BMI out of the ‘overweight’ category, I had to lose 20lbs. Which I informed them wasn’t happening without losing a breast, which he did not appreciate.

The thing is, I’m perfectly fine with how I appear – I could use a flatter stomach, and I wish my chest was half this size sometime so I could wear cute button downs but for the majority of time I’m content. I fluctuate five pounds here and there depending on my diet and level of activity, and while it has taken some time, I really, truly and honestly am happy with my body. Granted, I’m not going to change my stats on my drivers license (which still says 120 from when I was 16…) but that’s mainly because I’m lazy.

What’s strange to me – most of my friends probably don’t ask (or care to ask) how much I weight, yet many have asked what my bra size is, which seems more personal to me. That question always makes me feel like a freak of nature ( I don’t mind sharing it though, I guess I’m desensitized)

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54 Rachel September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

You know, I hadn’t thought about how quick women often are to ask (and share!) bra size. That is really weird when you think about it, because it IS personal.

PS I had a breast reduction in 2003 so I can definitely relate to the disconnect that large breasts can create in terms of how you perceive your body and weight!

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55 Sara September 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

“I had a breast reduction in 2003 so I can definitely relate to the disconnect that large breasts can create in terms of how you perceive your body and weight!”

It a million times worse with pictures of me where something cuts off everything under my chest, because I look twice my size! I’ve thought about reducing too but I think I’d like to wait until after I have kids to see how I feel/how much they grow (which is a long way off, but still in my head).

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56 Gavi September 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

One of the biggest challenges for me over the years has been figuring out exactly how much weight (gravity) I want to assign my weight (number). In 2007, I weighed 185 pounds (I’m 5’6″) and I was a size 14. I hated the way I looked and felt, and I decided to lose weight in a healthful way. In the next two years, I got a bit carried away and I lost 60 pounds and reached an unhealthy weight for me (115). After some nutrition counseling and therapy, I reached a healthy weight range for me–124-128 pounds (size 2). This range is my version of the Forever stamp–I have stayed solidly in the range for the past 3+ years. Lately, I’ve been struggling with how seriously I want to take my weight, and how much I want–or don’t want!–it to affect the way I feel about myself. I care about my health, appearance, and weight, but I don’t like feeling like my weight is a big part of who I am. As some other readers are commenting, my weight is just a number out of context…and yet I carry it around and give it greater meaning than it actually possesses. My challenge to myself is to continue to learn how to give my weight less gravity and significance in my life.

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57 Gavi September 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Oops, my second challenge to myself–learn how to do basic math! At first I lost 70 pounds to reach 115, not 60. Woops!

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58 Stephanie September 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I love this post. I am a tall girl (6’1) and people are always so confused about my weight. Right now I am overweight and actively eating healthy and working out and when I tell people my goal is to weigh between 165 and 180 lbs people are shocked. No one should be ashamed of their bodies and yet I find myself struggling to accept it. If you are comfortable and happy the number on the scale should not matter and yet for me it still is what I look to for confirmation of my success. It is really hard for me to accept that I will never weigh 135 lbs even though I know it would be physically and mentally unhealthy. Weight shame is horrendous and yet so many of us woman allow it happen, or rather do not do anything to actively stop it from happening. If opening discussion about weight takes some of the stigma away from weighing more then “X” amount of pounds then let’s make it happen.

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59 jenna k September 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

wow, this is a GREAT post. i only talk specific numbers with friends who have a similar weight AND build as i do. but most of the friends i’m around on a regular basis weigh more than i do, and i know they’re uncomfortable about it. when i talk about my workouts and how i want to lose “those last pockets of fat” they get this annoyed look of horror and tell me how skinny i am, so i realllly try to not talk about workouts at all anymore. (i’m not skinny- i’m 5’4″ with 133 lbs on a small frame, but i am happy with my body.) i don’t want to offend them/make them jealous (god, how conceited do i sound?!), but it’s kind of the same issue when they talk about how teeny tiny they were in high school.
this is the smallest i’ve been in my life (i weighed almost 160 in high school), so i can’t relate when they say things like “oh, i was soooo skinny in high school. i should’ve taken more advantage of that with guys and clothes blah blah blah.” and to be honest, it kind of annoys me. because i think of all the hard ass work i’ve put in since i was 16 or 17, and it makes me jealous that they already had those little bodies to work with. and it kind of pisses me off that they talk about how they want to lose weight but do literally nothing about it. like, why should i have to feel bad for talking about my fitness goals, when i’m obviously working really hard for them?
so…. obviously this has been on my mind a LOT lately. thanks for a place to vent. :)

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60 jenna k September 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

okay, i just had to come back to this. one of my comments is part of the problem.
for some unknown reason, women are made to feel like they are being conceited if they’re happy about their weight. and women with “larger numbers” (even if they’re really tall, really muscular, or have a bigger frame, and are perfectly healthy) are made to feel like they’re supposed to be ashamed of their weight.
don’t get it.

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61 Suzanne September 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

About three months ago, I made the decision to stop weighing myself. Why? Because I was driving myself CRAZY! And I cannot tell you the FREEDOM that I have felt ever since. At first it was hard. I was definitely a weigh-myself-a-few-times-a-day girl. But I finally decided to trust my clothes to tell me whether I needed to cut back. And truly, it’s been better this way because I’m more apt to eat healthier overall, than to go off the wagon because my scale told me that I lost a pound.

It occurred to me that when I see someone who looks good, my first thought is, “Wow, she looks good!” Not, “Gee, I wonder how much she weighs.” If you look good, you look good. Period. What else matters after that?

I’m focusing on eating healthfully overall with a few treats sprinkled in between and exercising on a regular basis. To hell with the scale. Now, if someone were be so bold as to ask me how much I weigh, I can happily and truthfully say, “I have no idea.” Love it.

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62 Emily September 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I am totally with you Suzanne! I think numbers could be freeing, but I have a bad habit of obsessing and stressing over numbers, and so I’d just rather not know them. I LOVE it! People ask me how much I weigh and I can honestly say “I don’t know” without feeling good or bad. I work out and trust my clothes and my mirror to tell me when and how my body is changing.

Also, I don’t own a scale.

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63 Ashley September 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

weight is such a funny issue! before we were dating my boyfriend had no reservations casually asking, ‘how much do you weigh?’ for him it was just out of pure curiosity. i have realized the numbers don’t even mean anything – i’m 5’9″ and weigh around 140, but that doesn’t tell you a thing about my body, right? i broke my foot and couldn’t walk for two months and dropped a few pounds, but it was a lot of lean body mass that i lost, not fat. now i’ve gained a few pounds back, but it’s all muscle since i’ve been back to yoga and strength training!

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64 emily hassman September 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Loving this conversation! The big-scary-weight-number has always been such a mindfuck for me. I am 5’8″ and hourglass-y. Therefore, a healthy weight for me is, naturally, higher than a healthy weight for a petite person. The problem is, in middle school/high school, I always had short, petite friends, and I compared myself to them. I felt like a MONSTER all the time. I was comparing myself to a 5’2″ friend with an A cup, and felt like 5’8″ me (in D cups) should weigh the same! Ridiculous.

It’s still something I struggle with. Part of me still thinks I should weigh 130 pounds. Part of me knows that if I shared my number, the reaction would be something like “I know she’s a little overweight, but I didn’t realize she was THAT big.”

In the interest of sharing data: my highest weight was around 205. I was wearing some very snug size 14 pants at that point, and XL tops. I’m currently down to 175, size 10 or 12 pants, L tops. I know I would like to lose more weight, but I have no idea what my goal weight would be. I really just want to feel more fit, healthy, energetic, and strong than I do right now.

Ok, and one last thing… last year, my grandma showed me her resume from her years of working as a secretary. She listed her height and weight on the resume!!! Ponder that one for a while. That’s the ’50s for you.

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65 Emily @ Relishments September 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I’m pretty tiny-5’3″ and very thin. Always have been. But that doesn’t mean I’m fit and it doesn’t mean I’m happy with my body. I would love to change some aspects of my body (like, find my abs, because I’ve clearly lost them), though I wouldn’t mind if the number on the scale actually went up.

Why would I want the number to increase? Because weighing close to 100 pounds means that people immediately assume I’m too thin, or I feel like they’re jealous. But this is the build I’ve always had. It’s so awkward to try to explain to someone that I’m not happy with parts of my body when they weight close to twice as much. The other person often makes me feel like I don’t have the right to feel that way. I even had a doctor who routinely told me to gain weight, without any knowledge of my eating or activity habits, which I assumed to be entirely based on the number on the scale. But as others have noted, it’s amazing how different weights sit differently on different people and how possible it is to be healthy at all different weights. I wish that people would realize that more and become less ashamed of sharing numbers, in light of the fact that they mean so little.

(I’m loving the new look by the way, Rachel)

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66 Happier Heather September 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

Great conversation! I’ve been on a fitness/health/weight loss journey for almost three years now and about a year ago I came to terms with the fact that I may never reach my goal weight of 150, so I started focusing on performance and how I feel…man has that been liberating.

I now weigh myself when I feel like it, sometimes not for a month or more; I used to do it several times a day and being that obsessive was tiring.

When I was 219 lbs., I was embarrassed and would never have shared that information. Now, the number on the scale is truly just a number and it no longer makes or breaks my mood for the day. I’ll share my weight with anyone who asks, even though it’s around 194, which is totally “unacceptable” for someone 5’6″, according to many people. The BMI says I’m overweight…so what? I look and feel a lot better than I did three years ago and THAT’S what truly matters.

I really wish we as women didn’t care about the numbers on the scale or the tag of our clothing. Who really cares, as long as the doctor says we’re healthy and we can do our daily activities without a struggle? The numbers I care about now are how many miles I can run, how much weight I can lift and how many minutes I can hang with a Jillian Michaels DVD.

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67 Olivia September 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

Weight is an interesting thing but I admire the way you talked about it. It’s just socially normal to not speak about a woman’s weight. And honestly I don’t care what my friends weigh and find it rather humorous that guys just slip it out in any conversation they can. I’m 5″6.5 and probably weigh about 150-155. I’ve always struggled with weight and as a freshman in college peaked at 180. Nobody could tell I weight that much because my body was just well proportioned. To me how you fit into your clothes is a better gage of whether or not you’ve gained/lost weight. (It also takes less of a toll on your psyche.) Every woman is different, different hormone levels, different areas of where we carry weight. It’s nonsensical to want to fit into a specific category since we are all different. That’s how I see weight.

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68 Rachel @ Healthy Chicks September 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Phenomenal post, Rachel! I used to think my weight defined me. I let it. I weighed myself every day, sometimes 5 x a day, letting that damn number make or break my day. Back then, I was anywhere between 150-160 and could not for the life of me loose the extra pounds. (I think it was because all I did was obsess over it/hold onto it)

Now, I’m a happy, healthy (for my height) 130 and I feel good and vibrant and alive. Oh, and by the way I rarely weigh myself. It’s just another number to me now. I don’t let it make me happy, make me cry or make me angry. It is what it is.

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69 Rachel September 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I think it is SO important that if you aren’t going to let it make you cry, you can’t let it make you happy either. Great point.

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70 Sophie September 21, 2012 at 7:09 am

“When we avoid talking about the number, aren’t we reinforcing the idea that weight is, in fact, a really big deal? By obscuring it, it feels like we are actually giving it a lot of meaning.” – I have come to wonder that exact same thing! By obsessing over numbers and inches and sizes are we making it more than it needs to be? I decided last year to stop weighing myself altogether. I go by how I feel in my jeans and what I see in the mirror, not by a random number on an evil (ahem) machine. I think we all need to become more comfortable with our own body issues (and triumphs) and when that inward work is done we will all be able to talk freely – at least more so – with our fellow women.

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71 Julia September 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I think that as women, we have grown up in a culture where weight DOES indicate your “status” or “success” or that you “have it all” when in reality, it’s just a number that no one will ever even know unless they ask. It doesn’t need to be private, but it doesn’t need to be worn on our forehead either. After all, weight changes pretty much every hour! But for whatever reason, our self-worth as women in this judgmental world has a lot to do with the way we THINK others perceive us. However, it really should be about how we see ourselves! It’s not about the number. It should be about being healthy and happy and accepting the wonderful bodies that God has made specifically for us! We, as women, have to be strong against the worldly “standards” that are unrealistic and just accept the fact that we are who we are, and life is too short to obsess about a number that really just says you’re alive!

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