When I was born I was just over seven pounds.
Today I weighed 207.6 pounds.
When I was ten I was 105. When I was 15: 155. 145 after a breakup.
Senior prom was 148. I cried, thought I was fat.
Freshman year of college I was 151. Junior year 175. 167 after a diet. Senior year 190. 185 after another diet.
The day I got married: 170.
The day I ran my first half marathon: 165.
When I got into grad school: 186.
Seems like I gained a lot of weight.
Really, seems like it was my fault when he didn’t want to have sex anymore. Like I deserved it when it just stopped happening. Or when it started, but couldn’t finish. Maybe I should have stayed what I weighed when he met me.
On the other hand, maybe he shouldn’t have been calling me a manatee.Yes, they’re cute, I get it. And yes, I’m cute too, fine. But geez! The slowest, laziest, floatiest animal in the ocean? And when I turned around and asked for a new pet name, it switched to hippo? We saw them at the zoo once and they LITERALLY CANNOT GET BY without being supported by water. Because they are SO LARGE. And he thought that was just HILARIOUS.
All teased, buried, smothered under a laugh and a hug. While the girl on TV/at the park/at the bar/in the movie was a dime/hottie/smokeshow/bangable, etc., etc., etc.
For some reason, before we were married, I was bangable too. I was hot. I was sexy and desirable. Fun. Dark-haired. Tall. Curvy.
And then we were married, I could be naked. I could be decorated like a damn lace Victoria Secret CAKE. I could have MY ACTUAL HAND DOWN HIS ACTUAL PANTS and STILL get turned down. WHY DID I HAVE TO TRY SO HARD TO HOLD HIS ATTENTION?
Maybe it was because I was 170. 175. 186.
All the while, I tried. Maybe this work out will make him want me more. Maybe he’ll think its hot that I can plank like a champ. Run long distance. Cook with quinoa. Or maybe I’m sexy now that I lost three pounds? That I cut my hair and got new jeans and I can rock some freakin’ heels? That my ass still looks great in yoga pants?
The thing about moving cross country, working night shift, and being a grad student is you get stressed. And tired. And heavy. 188. 190. 193. 204. The scale crept up, and our marriage started falling apart. Probably not cause-and-effect, but still a heart-breaking correlation.
Honestly, from the beginning, it’s all been heart-breaking.
I learned how to stare at my body and pick the parts I hated when I was 10. I learned all boys cared about were butts and boobs, and I realized I was taller and littler softer than the rest of them.
I learned in middle school I wasn’t worth looking at, with curly hair and glasses, while the other girls wore thongs above their pants.
When I had to start buying size 12 jeans I learned how to call myself a “fat whore.” I learned not to shop at Hollister because I didn’t want to ask the sales rep for a ladder to the top shelf. I learned there was always bikini-season around the corner, and year after year that dressing room lighting didn’t get more forgiving.
I learned the boys liked you better when you were smaller. They liked volleyball uniforms and low rise jeans. I learned that when other people noticed you, that meant you were good.
And then I got married. I learned how to hide when I was naked. I learned about how to be rejected at my most vulnerable. I learned that even husbands, who had once been ravenous, could simply turn away, pat you on the head, affectionately name you after fat zoo animals. I learned I wasn’t worth loving, I wasn’t good, I was disgusting.
Now I’m alone. Divorce, turns out, is more stressful than grad school, and leads to much more crying over bowls of pasta, bottles of wine, bags of chips. And now I tell myself I’m not worth looking at until I lose 50 more pounds. Who could ever be interested in me, ever again?
I’m tired and I’ve tried it all. Gluten-free. Paleo. Keto. Carb-conscious. Calorie-counts. Weight-Watchers. Nutrisystem. Optavia.
I’m ready to try something new.
I’m ready to stop weighing myself every morning, letting the numbers set the tone for my day. I’m ready to stop punishing myself for my food, and stop measuring my day based on the success of my diet. All these days are worth more than calories consumed, and I’m wasting my life obsessing over it. I wish I didn’t know what I weighed on the day of my prom or my graduation. I wish I had just enjoyed myself regardless. I want that to end, and I want to enjoy my life for the rest of my life. Mostly, I want to stop letting the scale decide whether or not I think I am worth loving. Whether or not I am good.
So, inspired by various body-positive Instagram pages, I’m going to tell you, one last time, what I weigh. Because the space I take up in this world is more than what I can measure.
Today I weigh:
My heart. I am kind and caring. Sometimes I suck, but mostly I’m trying. Firm believer in growth and faithful prayer.
My mind. I am smart. I work hard. I’d like to think I’m a good nurse, too.
My love. For humanity, for life, for color. For beauty. For swimming, dancing, laughing, drinking, eating, breathing.
I’m a little (lot) introverted, but I’m also fun. Even cool enough to go to the movies alone.
And I think it’s time I starting working out because it makes me feel good. Because I am strong, I’m mentally tough, and I have endurance. Because I am a damn boss. Because I am a woman, and I deserve to take care of myself. Because I am worth treating kindly, and I am not bad because I love pizza.
Also, damnit, my ass still looks good in yoga pants. And I don’t need anyone to notice me for that to be true.