More Than Just a Number

I feel like I’ve been at war with the number on the scale.

I’ve alluded to the fact that I was struggling amid my break up, but never really talked about how bad things had gotten. Have you noticed the lack of food pictures on my blog of late? Yes, I’ve been busy. Yes I was moving. But there were a few weeks in January when I wasn’t really eating and a good portion of the month of February when I was eating my emotions away.

I’ve talked in the past about managing our emotions in non-food ways, but I couldn’t seem to take my own advice. When Joey and I were breaking up, I didn’t feel hungry. I felt nauseas. I wasn’t home and I didn’t want to deal with anything that was going on around me. The result was an 8 lb weight loss in a very short period of time that was not planned.

When I saw that number on the scale I felt emotions on both sides of the fence. I thought to myself “Ashley, you really need to take care of yourself and get back to eating healthily. You can’t go on like this and your body doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” The other part of me said “Wow, that is the lowest number you’ve ever seen on the scale”

Yikes.

After losing 35 lbs and maintaining my weight for nearly three years, there I was back in the numbers game with the scale. A game that I was losing miserably, but should never have been played in the first place.

When things calmed down a little bit, I decided that I needed to make a change and obviously gain back some weight. To do this, I decided it would be a great idea to eat whatever I wanted. I ate chocolate. I ate cookies. I snacked on everything. My meals were fairly okay and I was still eating in my gluten free vegan way, but I was consuming way more food than I needed and waaaaaaaay too many treats!! In combination with lack of physical activity and a bit of self sabotage, I gained back the 8 lbs I had lost and then some. As a result of my reckless behaviour, I was no longer at a weight that I felt good about and it had a lot to do with the number that was staring back at me on the scale. Even though I was still below my official goal weight, I’ve been obsessed about my weight and beating myself up over the number on the scale.

Last week I decided to pick myself back up, dust myself off and decide what was more important to me. The number on the scale or how I’m feeling physically and emotionally.

I’m done with stressing out about the scale as it is only causing me harm at this point. I know what I need to do in order to maintain my weight and be healthy whilst doing it. After nearly 4 years of doing Weight Watchers and three years as a Leader, I need to recognize my own victories and be kind to myself. While I feel good at a certain number on the scale, but I truly believe that it’s the feeling of that weight that I’m looking for: A feeling of confidence, strength, femininity, beauty, health and happiness. The number on the scale cannot bring me health or happiness, only I can create that for myself.

So this week I got back to basics and treating my body with love and good things. SANY3184SANY3180 SANY3156 SANY3198 I’ve been cooking, eating properly and allowing myself some treats in moderation. I am tracking my food honestly, including every little bite, lick and taste. I’ve also gotten back to physical activity and that makes me really happy. SANY3191 A few months ago, the lovely ladies at Fit Chicks Boot Camp offered me a session with them which I started on Tuesday. They are kicking my butt and I can’t wait to tell you more about my experience. I did not have my measurements taken and really just want to concentrate on feeling stronger and more toned without being defined by weight or the number of inches I’ve lost.

I also got back to my bellydancing class last night after a 6 week hiatus (due to REX) and had an amazing time shimmying away with some of my favourite ladies and most brilliant teacher. For the first time this year, I was able to look in the mirror and not be filled with self-loathing.

SANY3208

As I was writing this post, I re-read Meghan’s “I’d Rather Be Chubby” post from last May and it brought me to tears, especially when I got to the end:

I’d rather be a little chubby, with a fuller bottom, rounder face, clearer skin, thicker hair and feel wonderfully vibrant, clear-headed, excited about life,  healthy and happy, than ever have to be sick again.

What would you rather be? What’s most important to you? The way you look or the way you feel? Are you able to make these co-exist? Are you at a place of optimum health? What does health look and feel like to you?

This is exactly what is important to me, and I feel so badly that the events in my life of late, my constant battle with weight and my screwed up relationship with the scale has ruined that for me.

I am done with stressing about the number on the scale.
I am done with letting others’ opinion of me define my self worth, self esteem and confidence.
I am done with feeding my emotions with food and not love.

I am ready to put myself and my health first.
I am ready to treat my body well with good food, activity and self care.

And most of all I am ready to recognize that I truly am more than just a number.

8 comments:

GF Gidget said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie said...

Thank you so much for your honesty, Ashley. It's so easy to be caught up in the numbers instead of how we feel!! Good for you for recognizing (and actually BELIEVING) you're more than a number! :)

The journey really does NOT end at goal!

Allie said...

You are beautiful!

That's all.

:)

Meg's Gut said...

Very good words Ashley, well said and congrats on living a healthy life :)

challenges2010 said...

Nice post Ashley!

It's scary as well as good to know that the various issues with weight will be with me even after reaching my "goal weight".

Although I am a big scale addict I try every day to focus more on how I feel and how my clothes fit especially when I feel like the numbers aren't moving fast enough.

Thanks for being so open and honest as I'm sure you're helping more than a few of us at the same time. Thanks!

adorkable said...

such valuable insights!

i feel empowered by what you've said. thanks for reminding me of what's important.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Yaaaaaay! We all have to get there in our own time and in our own sweet way. Have a post on the matter coming on Tuesday in fact. Happy yo hear you are feeling good once again. You never stopped shining!

Nelly said...

i'm totally struggling right now...and when i read these stories i say i will change, and then i wake up in the morning and fall back into my old ways of hating on myself and the weight thing...

i'm actually afraid to weigh myself...haha! so i haven't...

great post!

=)