the weighting game
Females are amazing. We do amazing things. We say amazing things. We give birth to amazingness. So why do we beat ourselves up so much about what we look like? Why is a search for perfection so viciously tiring on ourselves? Let me tell you a story.
A couple of years ago I made the terrible mistake of buying a set of scales from IKEA. They were on special for $14.95, and at the time I thought it would be a great addition to my bathroom. I did not think of the practicalities or the logic behind getting a set of scales, but simply that it would scream homeliness in my comfy little abode.
Worst mistake ever. Every day upon exiting my shower, there they were screaming to be stepped on.
“Step on me, c’mon give it a try, you might like it!”
“Um, okay scales, I’ve never really been into using you before, but I guess there is a first time for everything… I might grow to love you.”
“That’s right, step on me, you skinny bitch, see how skinny you really ARE!”
At first I kind of liked them. They showed me I was a reasonable weight for my size. I could handle that. I detest serious amounts of exercise, but I was partial to a stroll around the block. I was semi-active, things were going well, I was feeling good, and my scales were a daily dose of content for me.
Then winter hit. The sun wasn’t shining, the birds weren’t singing, and I sure didn’t feel like going for my summerly strolls when it was raining outside. This was my downfall. Days were spent in front of the heater, with only my faux facebook friends and a bowl of instant mac and cheese to comfort me.
My relationship with my scales started to change. They were in my life first thing in the morning, and there again last thing at night. The stopped being encouraging and friendly to me, and turned vicious and suggestive.
“5kgs? I have not! How dare you!”
The scales basically shrugged, which seemed like they were saying “you fat bitch”.
My oh my, how everything changed. I started being overly conscious of my slight weight gain. I blew it up in my mind to dysmorphic proportions. When I looked in the mirror, every outfit made me look fat. I blamed everything except myself for the weight gain. The weather, my love of food, genetics, my child for stretching my stomach, my knees from my old netball days, my generation, and my financial situation for not being able to afford the gym. Everything.
Those female friends of mine who are super active started to frustrate me.
“Sorry babe, I can’t meet you for a counter meal today, I’m super amazing, being super fit, and doing super well at Bikram yoga. It really makes me at one with myself.”
Fuck, I thought. Here I am trying to simply share a salt and pepper squid, fries and a beer over a catch up with my friends and they are too busy getting all Miranda Kerr on me!
I guess that’s when it hit home for me. I was trying to defy my scales by doing the complete opposite of what I should be doing. I was being malicious towards them because of my own internal insecurity. As soon as this realisation took place, I went quietly into my bathroom and did the one thing that I should have done a long time ago. I gently placed them into my arms, giving them a false sense of security that everything was going to be okay, and then I violently dumped them into my bin. Yes, I said it. I violently dumped them in there to the point of hearing what I assume was their balance going out of whack. IT FELT GOOD!
I felt like I was now going to take control of my life. No, I didn’t need be counting kilos. Life is not for counting kilos. Life is, however, to live well, to remain active, to eat right and to be at peace with yourself. As a female I’ve come to realise that my body, just like everybody else’s, changes. It changes with seasons, and phases, and monthly interruptions. It changes with love, with life, with family celebrations. It changes with child birth, with marriage, with loss, and with good times. It’s okay for weight to fluctuate. It’s what makes us human. It’s what makes us females. No longer will I look in gossip magazines and wish to have a body like her or her or her. I wish to have a body like me.
This week have a good look at your body in the mirror. Don’t focus on the things you don’t like. Focus on the things you LOVE about your body. Every day of the week when you wake up in the morning, thank your Gods that you have the body you do. I believe great body image and self appreciation are only a thought away.
Don’t fall into the trap I did. Feel great being you.
By Thilini Bethley
(Image credit: 1.)