Hooked on a Feeling

I sat down in the tub the other day after a long day. A long day in which I argued with my chiropractor (one of the smartest ladies I know) about losing weight. She, and her assistant (who's also really smart) were saying things like, "Don't worry about the scale." "It will happen." "You're doing the things you need to be doing, just keep it up."

I impatiently replied, "I just want to see the numbers go down!"

Me and numbers. We have a terrible relationship. It's not even love-hate. It's just hate. I hate numbers. I hate math. I teach English. (I never tell my students I hate math, though, so don't worry, math colleagues.) Honestly, if someone is talking and I hear too many numbers, my mind immediately stops comprehending. 

Numbers when it comes to my weight and size are even worse. They've made me cry. They've frustrated me to no end. They've gone up and down with pregnancy, nursing, and weight loss. These numbers have defined my worth for me at times. I would look down at those numbers just above my toes and think about how I've failed, how I'm fat, a terrible person.

In the tub, I sat down, and had this odd sensation. A simple sentence popped into my head, a sentence I've probably never thought and almost certainly never spoken before: "I'm beautiful." I can't explain it. My hair was in the same sloppy ponytail that it usually is at the end of the day. What was left of that day's makeup was likely incredibly smudged from the face-smashing at the chiropractor. The water was hot, so I was sweating. I have five kids, so there are always bags under my eyes. And yet, there was this moment where I felt not cute or pretty, but truly beautiful. There was no one around me, no sweet child calling me a princess or my husband saying something nice. It just came over me. It made me wonder.

What if I stopped focusing on numbers and started focusing on feelings? What if I searched for this feeling rather than a number on a scale? For nearly a year, I've weighed myself almost daily. What if, instead of looking to the scale to see "how I did," I looked to how I feel?

I reflected on the way I feel when I run. The way I feel when I do yoga, or swim. The way I feel when I do one of those things better than the last time I did them. I feel strong, worthy, in control of myself. Or, the way I feel when I eat pizza: that feeling of a solid lump in my belly, making me tired and leaving me slumped on the couch. As opposed to the feeling when I eat something healthful: I feel light and energetic and happy. I thought of the way I feel when I take time for myself. I feel at peace and at ease. I feel rested and prepared.

What if a simple shift in my focus - from external to internal - changes my life? I might lower my weight and sizes and even BMI in doing this. I'll likely gain better health and more energy. But, I think I'll gain so much more than that. Comfort in my own skin, confidence, intuition, the ability to control what I eat and how I feel. I think this could allow me enjoy the journey, instead of focusing on my destination.

I'm putting my scale in the garage tomorrow. I won't look at it for two months. I'm going to focus on my internal scale and let that be my guide. I'm going to focus on doing the things that make me feel healthy, beautiful, light, at peace. This won't be me eating whatever I feel like eating, but me choosing my actions based on how they will make me feel, physically and mentally, after I'm done.

Anybody willing to take this journey with me? Because, you know, a journey is so much better when travelling with friends. <3

I've used my limited computer skills to make a little reminder for myself. Feel free to use as well.


AmyWat said...

Great job Kristi. I hear you.

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