Yesterday I turned 44 and this is the gift I gave myself.
I shitcanned my bathroom scale.
Since I was 18 years old, I’ve been acutely aware of how much I weigh. Before that, I never gave a thought to food; I ate when I was hungry and whatever I was in the mood for. Exercise wasn’t a scheduled activity. I danced around to music for the release, went on bike rides for the fun, and took aerobics my senior year for the easy elective credit. As an adult, however, I’ve often felt bad for not wanting to join a gym or sign up for classes. I’ve spent far too much time these past 25+ years aware of everything I eat, how it affects the number on my scale, and how that number messes with my self-esteem. I usually pick out clothes each day based on that number or some area of my body that I’m trying to “skim” over.
And I’m a chick who considers herself the no-bullshit, strong, confident, and capable type.
As a mom, I never want either of my kids to feel the way I’ve spent so much of my adult life feeling deep down. I watch my son and daughter and am reminded how simple this all used to be. When they are hungry, they eat. Usually healthy stuff, because that’s a lot of what we buy. When they have energy to burn, they play, they run, they climb, they dance in the living room, and they crap up the house. Getting dressed involves picking out things they like and that reflect their personalities, not hide some part of their bodies.
I’m 44 and I’ve decided to be a kid again.
That means I’m being kinder to myself and how I approach food. I’m appreciating the nourishment it provides my body or the delicious pleasure it gives my soul and letting those things be my criteria for what I eat and recognizing when I’m actually hungry to determine when I eat. I’m dropping the guilt and bad feelings that I had about certain foods, feelings that popped up whenever I stepped on my bathroom scale and didn’t like the number on it.
From now on, I’m wearing clothes that make me feel good, whether that’s comfortable, stylish, fun, or even sexy. Ok, maybe sexy-ish. (Let’s be honest, I’m a 44 SAHM, my desire for comfort will usually win out in the end.)
And no more guilt about “exercising”. Back to biking and dancing and stretching my body because those things make me feel good inside and out or give me an opportunity to play and spend time with people I care about.
Will doing all of this make me thinner? Maybe. We’ll see. Moving for fun and eating from a mindset of nourishment and pleasure rather than guilt or scarcity should lead to a healthy place, right? What I do know for certain is that embracing this simpler, childlike approach already makes me feel lighter inside.
And that feels like a great gift to give myself and my kids.