The following is a true story.
A boxing match erupted inside my head that morning.
It began when I bent over and picked up my 25-year-old 12 pound friend. I had to make a decision that day and it wasn’t coming easily. It was the week before our Estate Sale. We were selling everything we owned except essentials. If it didn’t fit in our small guest room, it wasn’t going with us into our new RV.
Logic vs. Panic
Opponents in my mind were fighting. Logic (my grown-up brain) insisted my Target brand 25-year-old bathroom scale must leave my possession. But Panic (my little girl brain) wanted the old scale to stay. Why was this so difficult? Logic said, “Get rid of it. It’s only a piece of metal you’ve stubbed your toe on too many times to count.”
Panic had a louder voice. “But how will you know how to feel about yourself each day without stepping on that old scale?!”
That scale was the Geiger counter for my personal validation… a constant snitch chastising me as I aimed for that elusive 108 pounds for my 5’2” frame. Logic told me I am valued and have worth. And besides, my faith reminds me I am a unique creation, loved by the Creator of the Universe for heaven’s sake! But then I heard Panic’s little girl voice insisting. “Don’t let the scale go, you need it!”
Since 7th Grade
I admit, I used to weigh myself every morning… Yes, my silly white scale had approved/shamed me each morning since my early teens. Up a pound = rotten day, but, decrease a pound or two = little girl jumping.
Every day social media proclaims how we women are supposed to look.
- Magazines at the grocery check-out line show air brushed movie stars.
- Radio ads woo me with quick weight loss remedies.
- Google search pop-ups inform me what beauty aid I need.
- My shampoo bottle shape reflects what my figure should be.
- Billboards use sex appeal to sell everything from cars to soda.
Size “O” NO!
Ever since middle school it’s like I’m going toe to toe in the ring with a Barbie Doll. Girlfriends, we have been brainwashed to believe that our life achievement is to be thin, tall, and size 0. I’m here to say it’s unrealistic, unachievable, stupid, and ridiculous.
Back to the boxing match
I felt angry…immobilized. Such an absurd stand-off. Come on, Gretty, move onto the next decision! You have tons of household items to sort. But I couldn’t, for there she was… that fearful girl cowering underneath my anger.
I couldn’t ignore her. I had to engage her. I had to reassure her that she was all grown up now and that she’d be ok.I had to validate her. I had to take over where the old scale left off. Yeesh…
With all my strength, I placed a sticky price tag on my old bathroom scale. Losing that relic had me wandering through unfamiliar emotional territory. I was forced to face a part of me that needed fixing.
#1. I am too hard on myself.
If I will enjoy this RV lifestyle, I need to lighten up… not in my weight, but in my levity. Yes, that little girl named Panic still lives deep inside of me, and occasionally she needs to be acknowledged…but not through a scale. I won’t ignore her… but love on her… the greatest validation I can give.
#2 This second lesson is so twisted!
In the RV world, we must watch how much weight we carry in our homes on wheels. Too much weight over our axles is BAD. Unbalanced weight can be detrimental to the frame and integrity. So, I have now substituted worry for the weight of my home on wheels for the former weight of my body.
Oh, the irony.
P.S. Wait till you read my self deprecating blog on “wrinkles”