Scaling it

The word “scale” means oh-so-many things and can be used in oh-so-many ways. A person can scale a mountain, a fish’s skin is made up of scales, there is a scalene triangle (but I was awful at geometry, so I don’t recall what that is), there is a grading scale, and then in the really south of the USA there is a wacky way of saying you are super good at something, “I’m so scaled.”

Of course, there is also the infamous bathroom scale. This type of scale, which measures weight of the heffalumps that is us people, does not need to be in the bathroom, it just tends to be where it is kept and, thus, attributes its namesake. Technically, it could be a “living room scale” or a “drawing room scale.” I call my scale the “keep-under-the-bed-gathering-dust scale.”

I typically don’t like to be overly serious or girly on this blog, which is kinda a lie I just now wrote, but today I will likely stray towards that direction, while trying to maintain the effervescent tone we all know and love (right? right??!!).

I’m a lady, and because I’m a lady I think about things like fashion, ballet, handsome men (such as my boyfriend, little shout out there, Turbz), painted toe nails, cute kittens, and hating on my body. It’s a little shocking how much the latter takes up a girl’s life, not just mine, but all the ladies.

This has been going on for ages with me (see Being Girl post). However, recently, I noticed my clothes were a little tight and my waist seemed not as narrow… Cue the dramatic music: dun dun duuuuuuuuunnnnnn!

Look, I know I’m not “fat” but no matter how slim or how non-slim someone is, going above a certain threshold of weight you normally feel comfortable with manages to affect you in a way that is illogical.

In general, I make it a point to avoid scales (the weighing kind not the fishing kind, although I don’t typically deal with that kind either). Scales make me crazy and obsessive, all for a 3-digit number. This 3-digit number reflects my gravitational pull to earth and not necessarily my appearance or the quality of person that I am.

I am a very active girl, running most mornings and dancing in the evenings 2 to 3 times a week. I have always been like this, super active and super hyperactive. I have a higher body composition of muscle, but not to be mistaken with “macho body builder” muscle (I don’t lift weights because they are too heavy), but more than most girls which also means I always weigh more than I look and I weigh more than my friends who are the same clothing size as me.

Rather than force myself to succumb to a weekly weigh-in, if I feel inclined to monitor my body or feel that I’m slipping up a size, I use measurements to assess my body. This can get equally obsessing, so fortunately, I have a cat who finds the  measuring tape to be a great toy and snatches it from me whenever I attempt a waist measurement.

For the most part, I know how I look at various weights and can see this with mostly an uninhibited, critical eye. I know if I step on a scale and I’m such and such, that I’m looking a bit too thin. If my number is up around around such and such, I know I’m above my comfort level and have more cushion for sitting. If I’m anywhere between a certain 5-pound bench mark, I’m pretty comfortable and can enjoy my grub and keep at my exercise regime.

Lately, I noticed my clothes getting tighter, and me knowing my body, I knew I wasn’t in my comfort weight. Sure enough, I went against my normal mentality and braved the scale last Friday. I had gained between 8 and 10 pounds since the last time I had weighed myself at the end of 2012. Look, I can blame the trip to Ireland, I can blame me cutting back on some distance running, I can blame the fact that I eat too much (but I’m always so hungry), and I can even blame an “aging” metabolism, which is kind of a non-issue if someone is active. Really, I did let something slip and I just have to figure it out and work on it. I don’t diet because that would be miserable and I hate being miserable. But I do try to make little achievable changes. So instead of 3 ice cream sandwiches, I have 2. Or no alcohol during the week and less snacking on my beloved Sun Chips.

I’m not the kind of person who really gives much thought to what I eat. I’ve always been so active and just insanely hyperactive that I burned a lot of what I ingested. I mimic more of my dad’s metabolism than my mom’s side of the family so I’ve been lucky to get away with a few things, for example, eating 4 pints of Ben and Jerry’s in one day. But that doesn’t give me a free-pass and I have to take care of myself like everybody does and develop good habits, like not eating 4 pints of Ben and Jerry’s in one day.

Even if it isn’t the challenge of buttoning my favorite pair of jeans, it’s important to take stock of my daily habits and tune into its needs, watch the input every now and then, and adjust as necessary. The body size and the weight are factors that help us all keep that in check, so it isn’t always so superficial.

Anyways, it’s been a week since my weigh-in, and I couldn’t say for sure if any of the tiny changes I made have done anything (they sure have been tiny changes). I haven’t stepped on the scale again since, no sense in freaking out every day and, unfortunately, my figure won’t change on demand, even if it is only a slight change I aim for. If I feel inclined to measure the circumference of my bicep, I quickly start teasing my cat with the measuring tape and she takes over from there, making it easy to resist the temptation to monitor each millimeter of progress or steps back. After all, I have sanity to maintain, and I would prefer an arbitrary number not to dictate my craziness level and let the real issues in life handle that task.

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