So last Monday, this happened.
I weighed myself in the bathroom, and then remembering the floor wasn’t level, I went into the kitchen. ‘Oh no, really?’ I thought. I was convinced that the house was against me, so I went OUTSIDE to the concrete just to be sure. A different number again. So I gave up. This was crazy. But what was even crazier was that one-minute the number made me feel good, and then walking twenty steps to another location and another number, I just wanted to cry. And yet during that five-minute period, my body shape was exactly the same.
I started writing this post as I started drafting another post titled ‘Why I probably will never have a six pack’. I was inspired by Helen, a Registered Dietitian from the UK, who wrote a fabulous piece on the difference between eating for health and eating for abs. But as I sat down to finalise my ramblings, this piece ‘Why I don’t want Six-pack abs’ literally took the words out of my mouth and was doing the rounds on social media. I died a little, but kudos to that wonderful woman. Anyway. What is the core to both those posts? Happiness.
Why is it that we put a number on our happiness? On our worth? An ideal weight that means when we achieve it, we’ll suddenly be happy, beautiful and life will be just peachy.
But there is no magic number to happiness. It’s like the whole ‘I wish I had a million dollars’ thing. Yeah sure, a million dollars would make life easier. Is it really the answer to your problems? Is it the key to your happiness? Highly unlikely, I would think.
I have been a few kilograms lighter and my life was a whole lot different. I was running everyday. Generally 7 km. Often ten. Sometimes even more. I was at university from 8am till 5pm, and when I wasn’t running or eating, I was generally still studying. My hair was thin, and I was pale. I had a poor excuse for a menstrual cycle and I ate way too much cottage cheese. I was fixated on calories, filled my body with processed protein powders and convinced myself that protein bars actually tasted good. I rarely ate out and I had my portions perfected. I had toned legs, a toned butt, and pretty thin, muscly arms. Yet, when I looked in the mirror, I still didn’t have abs. I spent a great deal of time and energy getting to that attainable number, but at the end of the day, things still weren’t that little bit more peachy.
But now my life has changed. Muscle mass has decreased, and my fat distribution has changed. It seems that now that I’m almost twenty-four, something womanly is happening. Finally. But you know what, I’m pretty happy. Yeah sure, some days I feel more bloated and flabbier. But, I’m healthy. While I don’t run nearly as much, and doing weights in the gym doesn’t really appeal to me, I still continue to exercise and I do love to squat. I eat a diet full of fruit and vegetables, I eat grains and I still overload on Chobani. I can’t understand why I thought protein bars tasted good, and I go out for brunch almost once a week. Sometimes twice. I have a wonderful family, and great friends. I have achieved so much in my life, and still have so much more to do.
So what right does the number on the scales have to tell me otherwise?
So it’s out with the scales and in with what works for me.
So find what works for you. A weight that your hair is luscious and your periods regular. Where you don’t feel cold all the time, and going out for dinner with friends is exciting, delicious and not the slightest bit shameful. Eat a rainbow, listen to your appetite, and take notice of how your bra fits.
Because a few kilos is nothing, and living a healthy & happy life is everything.