3 Months Ago
On the morning of my 5th day as a vegan, I stripped naked before stepping into the shower and experienced something unexpected, but wholly welcome.
A deep sense of body confidence.
Which, I might add, is entirely different to body positivity. As a writer who understands and appreciates word choice, I know that positivity lacks substance and entails a high degree of mind fuckery. When dismantled, positivity is saying one thing but believing another. It is hedging your bets by saying I’m okay with how I look today [behind which is a silent caveat that says, because I’m working out like a motherfucker and I’ll look better and be thinner this time next year].
Confidence, on the other hand, is certain and content about its unique beauty and strength. Confidence is genuinely content with what it is and where it’s at right here, right now. It doesn’t require convincing, or mind fuckery, or hedging. It just is.
Having spent all of my teens and adult life trying to change and wrangle my body like it was a bucking bull at a rodeo, this new sensation of unconditional acceptance was powerful enough to make me stop, pause, and test the moment by looking in the mirror.
Unlike the Queen in Snow White, my mirror had never fooled me into believing that I was the fairest in the land. My mirror was less fairytale and more ruthless villain. My mirror had been telling me for nigh on thirty years that I was not thin enough, not tall enough, not working out hard enough. Not enough. Just not enough.
And as I pondered my newfound body confidence, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. The bathroom scale. And as my focus shifted to the scale, I felt my confidence waver for just a second, as I heard the familiar words:
I’ll be the judge.
And as I stood there and stared at the scale, I thought about all the years that it had consistently managed to ruin my mood with its ninety percentile return of ‘bad’ news. ‘Bad’, because that return rate was based on someone else’s grading system, not mine. And I thought about all the times that I had felt good within my body, only to be told something entirely different by that scale.
And I realised in a sort of epiphanic moment that I was a lot like the deluded Queen in Snow White. Addicted to a daily ritual of:
Mirror mirror on the wall, and scale scale on the floor, will I ever be good enough at all?
And I thought about all of the things that my relationship with the scale had brought me. I had ravaged my body and insides with a decade of bulimia. I had sung along to the diatribe tune of relentless body shame and self-hatred by pushing my body to extremes, purging, starving, abusing drugs and alcohol, weighing, comparing, and trying to change all the things that ultimately made my body unique. And what for? All to pursue and preserve that fucking ridiculous number on the scale.
Was I really that vain and superficial, or had I been conditioned to believe that my body was little more than a site for damage control?
As I stood in the bathroom, with the sliver of sunlight and wedge of wisdom illuminating the truth, I knew the answer to be the latter. I saw that scale for what it really was, and I saw my relationship with it as something destructive, abusive and entirely disempowering. And I decided then and there that it was time for a coup d’état. To acknowledge the fact that that insidious little fuck, the scale, was a major power source for my energy-hungry-self-doubt. To expose it for what it really was-an instrument of conditioned fear. To admit that it had negatively impacted my psychology and caused me to be entirely irrational about my weight, diet and exercise for long enough.
And instead of stepping onto that scale and feeding it more power with my irrational fear about weight, diet and exercise, I picked it up and marched it out of the front door and down the stairs and dropped it into the rubbish bin.
3 Months Later
It’s been 3 months since I ditched my scale, since I counted calories, since I did vigorous cardio, since my former psycho babble wreaked havoc on me. 3 months of genuine self-acceptance, appreciation, and love. And it’s not denial, or burying my head in the sand. The clothes that were getting tighter on me 3 months ago, despite calorie counting and daily cardio, now fit me comfortably.
So, why did it take me so long to ditch that goddamn scale?
The sad but brutal truth of that scale and its grading system is that I, you, we will never be enough. Because in the land of glossy ideals there is always someone thinner and taller. There will always be some other little damaged princess out there who will judge you by your thick thighs, or short limbs, or broad shoulders, or cellulite, or stretch marks, or, or, or, or… That is the real truth of the matter. When all is said and done, that scale has less to do with our ability to find self-acceptance and more about our inability to find acceptance among all of those other damaged princesses in the kingdom.
Which, when you think about it, is utterly exhausting and pointless. If this life of ours has any chance of being precious, then let us indeed treat it that way. Instead of wasting years hating, criticising, comparing, and trying to change our bodies, let us rather accumulate years appreciating, understanding, nourishing, and loving our bodies. For life is about lovers, friends, parents, children, adventure, experience, learning, changing, growing, discovery, trial, error, and so much more.
Don’t you agree?
Are you all weighed out? Let me know in the comments.
Bianca @lobby4love ✌️❤️
Knowledge is power
Applying knowledge is empowerment
Sharing knowledge empowers others