This is the first time in my life when I’ve used a scale on a regular basis. It’s become a tangible measure of success and failure for me. I can already begin seeing why some folks become obsessed with weighing. Every day you get a chance to win something! (Or lose something but I’m a half-full person so I pay much more attention to the victories than the defeats.)
I weigh less now than I have at any time since my first term in college. It’s hard to believe now but during the stretch from about Labor Day to Thanksgiving that year I gained 40+ lbs. My whole life seemed to change in those 12 weeks including this radical physical shift. I went from a thin person to a chubby person in one autumn. (I just wrote ‘chubby’. What an odd word. Chubby.)
While I’ve lost weight recently, I haven’t exactly gone from chubby to thin. In the past few months I’ve lost around 25# and it’s peculiar to notice how perceptions of me have changed so quickly. Look, I’m a big guy so it’s not as though I appear sick, drugged or destitute. Still, there’s no question that things are different.
Sometimes the differences are about other people- I get more smiles; people flirt with me more often; people seem to think I’m taller than I am (I’m just above 6’ but I’ve had a couple tell me that they thought I was 6’ 3“ in the past few weeks. Weird.) and I’ve had a couple clerks express surprise at my age when they see my photo ID.
Other times, the differences are about me- I actually do feel better physically with less knee and back pain; I spend less money and time at restaurants and I don’t have as high a tolerance for alcohol. I suppose those changes are all positive but I wonder what it means that I’m writing this only after having lost some weight. If I gain weight, will I spend this time and energy writing about it? If so, would I make that writing available for anyone to see?
I started writing this post in early November and held off from finishing and posting it because I wondered if the holiday season and cold weather would become my excuses for eating more and exercising less. So far, that hasn’t been the case. I’d also been worried that I’d begin obsessing over the scale. I think I’ve satisfied myself that the scale is a tool only. My refusal to give it any more power feels like a very good choice.
PS- Since I started on this post, I’ve had a great new weight loss connection. I am no longer a diabetic! That’s a clinical distinction based on long term blood sugar levels and it doesn't mean I'm planning to change my diet or exercise habits. I am fortunate enough to have responded well to medicine and I can afford spending the time and money to give myself a better chance at healthfulness. Ultimately, weight loss is not the only important factor in this shift away from diabetes but it is an important one.
And a happy one.