It was the fall of 2009 when I felt the heaviness associated with my self-worth tied to my body. If you have ever had the number on the scale dictate how you were to feel about yourself for the following day, weeks or months, you know the heavy feeing that comes with this.
I was sitting in my room working on physiology assignments. This was the first time I had actually calculated BMI.
Upon my calculations I found out that I fell into the “overweight” category. I redid the work because I must have made an error. Nope. Four times later, I still fell into the “overweight” category.
“Am I overweight?” – “Have I always been overweight?” – “When did this happen?” I sat at my desk trying to absorb these numbers and the categorization of my body/health.
🤯(Side note: it was much later on realizing the fat-phobia that society conditions us to as well).
The next day in class I can remember diving deeper into how BMI only gives you one story and how different compositions can give the same category. (I.e. a body builder could very well fall into an “overweight” or “obese’ category based off their weight and height.)
But I am thinking – how many times do we let numbers determine how we show up in the world? How often do we talk down towards on ourselves – speak in shame and disgust because of a number or a category?
I wasn’t aware of this at the time or even how often this happened to me. I eventually have been able to take scale numbers as feedback without tying my worthiness into it.
We live in a society that categorizes us and these boxes can be crippling. This messaging is learnt. We don’t wake up hating our bodies, with the negative connotations or what bodies are “acceptable”. Somewhere along the way we absorbed a story that was never ours.
I urge you to begin the process of separating from the narratives that are not your own.
I urge you to look at yourself as more than a number.
Categories and numbers are tools. They provide feedback and only give you one aspect, to a much broader picture.
There is a lot more to us than what the scale reads and what category we may fall in.