Vanity or Health?

Something that I see very commonly across weight loss blogs are "losers" (get it? weight loss! Loser!) not caring about the number on the scale. I've even said it myself. But in reality and my heart, I do. I remember seeing Rosie O'Donnell in an interview and she said that as long as she's under 200 pounds, she's happy and that even 199 makes her high-five the nurse on the way out the door at the doctor's office. Hilarious and true. I've been thinking about what my threshold is. I have this goal to get under 200 pounds - so that means I care about the number. But really, I finally figured out what I do care about. Clothing size. That's what I really want. My friend sent me some gorgeous size 16 pants that she gleefully can no longer wear. They are in mint condition, perfect for work and high quality. I want to wear them. I want to be able to zip them up and feel good. And if I was a size 16 or my ultimate goal of size 10 or 12 and weighed but still weighed 224 pounds, I wouldn't care. (I don't think so, anyway) But smaller scale numbers should also equal smaller pants numbers.

Shouldn't I be more concerned about my health? Not vainly trying to fit into some clothes? Yes of course, I started this whole thing back when I got married and was inspired to live a longer life. However my weight has been an issue since I was 11 or 12. All of my childhood and adolescent memories often have a patina of feeling left out, being stared at, being made fun of, being rejected, and feeling inadequate because of my size (This is not a pity party - I also have been surrounded by love and accomplishments). But seriously, no one ever made fun of my cholesterol level or my risk for diabetes. No one can tell by looking at me that I can do 6 miles on the bike in 30 minutes, or plank and bridge in 15 and 30 second stints, they can't see what I ate for breakfast (fruit and yogurt) or that I watch my calories, or that I can do 20 lunges, or that my cholesterol levels and blood pressure are beautiful. I am so much fitter at 224 than I ever was at 290. So I wonder- what if I never lose another ounce? Am I still healthy? Can I accept the fact that size 10 or 12 pants aren't in my future? I know that in high school I was probably a size 16 or 18 - but I'm not one of those women who suddenly gained weight after they had a baby or something. I don't have a memory of oh- I want to get back to that weight. I've spent my whole life struggling with the vain part, and now I've connected the health part, so now I guess I have to connect the emotional part. Being in my 30's - with a pretty wonderful life and more physically fit than I have ever been in my entire life. And if size 18 pants are my only option, then I need to get over it already.

I'm not giving up on weighing less than 200, but I think I'll put the scale away for a while.


Hanlie said...

Chasing number can be exhausting... I have started taking monthly pictures and I find it a great way to track my progress. I still get on the scale, from time to time, but have stopped reporting my weekly weight loss on my blog. Instead I just report milestones like 50 pounds lost, getting below 300 pounds, losing a third of my excess weight, etc. It does take the pressure off and allows me to just live my life as healthily as possible.

And yes, I have some clothes that I regularly try on!

Good luck to you!

Heather said...

sounds like a good plan and good goals. Ive taken some time away from the scale to help me focus on other things, and it hasnt been that bad. My scary weigh is anything above 160 as I swore I wouldnt go over it again (even though I have briefly). so as much as I complain about the 150s, I actually am relieved I can stay under 160.

I think sometimes its better to have a clothing size as a goal because weight loss is more than just losing weight, its about losing inches too and while your weight may not change much, you can still do a lot to drop inches and sizes. and dont worry about being vain - we all feel that way too. heres hoping that your goals lead you to some great success!

SeaShore said...

You'll be wearing those pants soon, and not long after that you'll be shopping for smaller.

I was convinced, I mean flat out knew-for-a-fact, that I would never fit into size 14 again, and now I'm shopping for size 12 pants for the fall.

So, I say: If I can do it, so can you :)

Lady Vea said...

That is a really good post, honestly if you keep making healthy choices and just think about that and not worry about fitting into another size right now or your scale number (esp this one)... you will probably get there anyway just by being healthy. If you have too much fat on your body, healthy choices will eventually lead to loss of that fat.

I have been struggling with this problem myself lately as my scale doesn't want to move at all even with my ever increasing workouts. However I did see a photo of my belly exactly three months ago next to one I took today, and it is shocking how much reduction has happened, even with a stubborn scale. I think getting under the 200 mark will happen for you, but I think you should celebrate it when it comes, not lament the process. It is possible, it will happen, you can do it!