I’m sure some of you are wondering what I weigh. I’m sure some of you are wondering what I weighed at the peak of my illness. I’m sure some of you are curious about what my BMI is now.
Our preoccupation with weight is truly troubling. Why is it that the number on a set of scales can mean so much?
I’m going to be completely honest with you.
I don’t know my weight. I haven’t stepped on the scales for some time. I have broken up with scales for good.
I don’t need to know my weight because my weight is not a marker of my health. Just like my height, my weight range is predetermined by my genetics. This is referred to as the “set-point theory.”
This theory essentially means that you have a natural weight range that your body will fight to maintain. Everybody’s “set point” is different, which is why humans have a vast range of body types. Your body has regulatory mechanisms that it uses to maintain a certain weight. If you’re not eating enough your body will slow down its metabolism to deal with the sustained calorie deficit. This means your body is fighting to maintain its set-point.
This, in part, proves that your weight and your BMI are not appropriate means of determining how healthy you are. Your health is determined by a whole bunch of different factors that effectively have nothing to do with your weight. You may be classified as “overweight” according to the BMI but be at optimum health. It’s a bullshit measure. Plain and simple.
So that is why I have truly stopped caring about my weight. I don’t have any desire whatsoever to know the number. Why? Because it provides me with absolutely nothing. The number on the scales can’t tell me how strong I am. It can’t tell me how healthy my heart or lungs are. It certainly can’t tell me how happy I am.
I do know how much I weighed when I was at my sickest. I’m not going to share that number with you. I’m not going to share it because that number represents a darkness in my life. It is reminscent of someone who was unhappy and unwell. It is not something anyone should aspire to.
I don’t feel like the number I am now is important for you or me to know because everyone’s weight, like their height, is different.
It’s important to know that I have gained weight and in doing that I have gained my life back. It’s only now that I’ve realised how much I held myself back. I pushed people away because I was afraid. I didn’t go out because I was fearful. My life was totally dominated by fear.
My body was well below its set point and severly malnourished. My hair was brittle. My exteriors were cold. I was operating on limited energy. Happiness was a distant dream and sadness was my reality. That’s not living. That’s surviving. And that’s not a life that I ever want to live again.
These days I am no longer preoccupied by my weight, or anyone else’s for that matter. I am focused on my mental, social and physical wellbeing.
I eat all types of foods. Animal products, carbohydrates, fats, sugars-the whole shebang. I don’t deprive myself of things I love or want. Life’s too short for that. I exercise not out of compulsion or obsession but to grow and become stronger. To be the healthiest possible version of me I can be.
Now you’re probably thinking at this point that I’ve really got my life together. I need to be transparent and honest. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I still get self-conscious.
I’m particularly aware of my extroverted personality. I get worried that I’m too loud and intense. I get worried that I’ll say something that offends people.
Some days I look at myself and criticise what I see. I’m working on that. It’s difficult to unlearn many years of perpetual self-criticism. It takes time and patience. Sometimes it requires a breakdown.
As much as I do get self-conscious I don’t care about my weight anymore. I am proud to say that. That’s taken me many years to achieve and I’ve finally got there.
It’s so damn LIBERATING. Those numbers no longer have power over me. They don’t impact me and they won’t ever again. Because I’m not even giving them the time of day. I’m not giving them oxygen and influence. Those numbers are as important to me as the state of my bedroom.
I have given my body total autonomy. It will be whatever weight it feels is right. It knows exactly what its doing and who am I to criticise or interfere with that process? Letting your body be is truly freeing.
Maybe I care less about my weight because I care more about who I am. I care about everyone I touch with my writing far more than I ever thought I would.
What I weigh has no relevance to who I am or who I reach. It will not matter to me ever again.
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