Recently, a picture circulated the web comparing a group of women who all weigh 154lbs.
Firstly, I’d like to say that this is just such a beautiful moment to see trending on the internet of body image trolls.
And secondly, I’d just like to send a quick shout out to any woman that can put herself out there like this for scrutiny.
Last week, my therapist alone asked me to weigh and I looked at her like she had three heads.
“Why not?” She asked. “I won’t tell you what it is- you can stand with your back to the scale. I just want to make sure you’re weighing what you say you do.”
I scowled. “Cause you’ll know,” I said. “And I don’t want anyone to see.”
“But you tell me on your own what you think you weigh nearly every week,” she reminded me.
“Mostly to complain though,” I responded. “I weigh the most I’ve ever weighed in my entire life and it’s hard for me not to talk about it.”
“Do you even know what you weigh?” she asked.
“No, but I can feel it.”
She stared at me.
“I can,” I said. “I can feel it- I honestly just don’t want to know.”
“Do you realize how many times you’ve said that to me?” she asks. “How many times in the last 2 years you’ve told me that you weigh the most you’ve ever weighed.”
“Yes,” I admitted. “But I mean it this time. I’m okay. I’m not flipping out about it, but I’m very aware of it. I mean it’s my fault ’cause I haven’t been working out and I’ve been drinking and eating crap, but yeah, I’m definitely bigger than I was when I left rehab.”
“But you don’t even know if you are,” she said. “You think you’re gaining weight almost every time I see you and the truth is you don’t look a bit different to me than last year.”
“Yeah, because I’m a fantastic body image dresser,” I smiled.
“Look,” I said. “I’ve done this shit for years. I wear about the same 4 articles of clothing with a variation of 3 shades – black, grey, and the occasional white.”
“You know people can still see you Lindsey,” she paused- choosing her words. “People still know what you look like.”
“Yes,” I said. “But even you just admitted you have no idea whether or not I’m losing or gaining weight or even staying the same and I’d like to keep it that way.”
“I’m not judging you by asking you to weigh,” she said. “I’m just trying to keep you realistic.”
“Yeah well it’s vulnerable,” I said. “It’s vulnerable and I don’t want you to see what I weigh and possibly think to yourself ‘oh well shit, she does weigh more than I thought.’ It makes me feel naked,” I paused. “Like I’m standing on a stage with all my secrets on a billboard.”
“Your weight isn’t a secret,” she said.
“No, but sometimes my body is.”
“In what way?”
I shrugged. “Look, I’m fine being healthy now. I’m fine weighing 5-10lbs more than I want- it’s fluff weight and I can deal with that. But I can’t stand cellulite and jiggle and I got both of those things now,” I admitted, “And weighing reminds me that it’s just a fact of life now and I don’t like it.”
She looked at me.
I looked at her.
“I just don’t like it,” I smiled. “Some things take more time than others.”
She nodded. “Fair, Linds, I’ll let you have it.”
“Give me till next week,” I said. “Lemme see how I feel. I just can’t have that thrown on me.”
She smiled back, “Alright.”
And we shook on it. Me and my 80-year old therapist- swapping handshakes like ‘bros.’
The truth is that we’re now a week later and I don’t want to weigh tonight any more than I did last week. I drank wine at my best friend’s play and I ate Doritos before I fell asleep last night and despite working out for an hour this morning- I still feel like they’re melding into my thighs as I write this.
My pants are tight because I just washed them (although naturally, I’m ticking and wondering if it’s just that I’m outgrowing them with every meal)
And I have two acne bumps on my chin (the never-ending hormone saga of my 20s)
I don’t want to weigh tonight- but I might.
‘Cause when you see pictures like that, it reminds you how vain it all is.
What a waste of time it’s been to worry about 5 extra pounds- or 10.
I forget to be real with myself at times. I forget that I’m not 6’1 with a Heidi Klum torso just as much as I forget that by all health induced standards I’m nowhere near overweight.
If I’m being real for a moment, I know I’ll never have HK’s torso- but on the flipside, I’ll probably never be overweight either. It’s just not in my family’s genes.
I’m healthy right now. I’m out of shape, sure- but I’m not lingering on the edge of any weight-related health concerns.
I’ve drank a few too many glasses of wine this past month or 2 and I’ve eaten one too many sweet potato fries as well– but hey, truth be told, I’ve had a fun last couple months.
I’m dating and the weathers warm and I hang out with my best friends every day cause most of them are my coworkers (if not my roommates as well!)
Life’s been adventurous lately- maybe not as structured as it “should be”- but I’m living, and it’s a messy canvas of blurred lines.
I’ve got 8 pairs of shoes at my desk (for all spontaneous happy hours, dinners, work outs, and client meetings)- and my desk is filled with random crap I’ve collected over the past year (i.e. shampoo? black and lavender soaps? a kaleidoscope?) cause HEY, I’m messy and stuff happens in a day.
I’m malleable with my plans cause I’m single and young – and mostly-
I’m grey- and grey people tend to blend their lives.
I’m learning how to set boundaries by default; how to separate the black from the white at times (i.e. when to say ‘yes’ to plans, and when to instead hit the gym when I’m needing a stress relief), but I’m ultimately- a grey person.
And because I live in a grey world, my life will probably never fall under the ‘traditional.’
And more and more- I’m okay with the realization of that.