To tell you the truth, I was planning on publishing a completely different post today (a travel diary of my recent trip to the Philippines, which will be up soon!), but I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot recently and felt passionate to write about it. I want to talk a little bit about weight, and particularly about weighing ourselves.
I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I first weighed myself, but I know I was pretty young. At first I was just curious about how much I weighed, but over the years I started weighing myself more and more frequently. I would note down my weight and calculate my BMI on a regular basis, and if it was too close to the “overweight” category, I would feel horrible about myself. I remember very vividly writing down my weight every few days on a piece of paper, and taping this to the bottom of my scale. I wanted to see the numbers decrease, and if this wasn’t the case, I would be really unhappy.
I could write a whole essay about how the media negatively influences young girls and boys about their weight and appearance, it’s a topic that really interests me, but I won’t bore you with it too much here. However, I do think it’s important to realise that generations growing up with a lot of media exposure, both on traditional and non-traditional platforms, are exposed to a lot of negativity around appearance from a young age. I would read teen magazines that gave me tips on how to lose weight and all the pretty girls on TV were (and predominately still are) of a certain ‘ideal’ body type. The overriding message was one of needing to change yourself according to societies standards, instead of embracing yourself the way you are.
Unfortunately, I think that a lot of girls go through what I went through, I would argue that it is the norm. This obsession with weight is something that is cultivated from an early age, and it’s something that I still struggle with today. However, I’m proud to say that I have not stood on a scale for nearly 4 years; I couldn’t tell you how much I weigh now.
This started simply because when I moved out of home to go to uni, I didn’t have a scale, and therefore I didn’t weigh myself. I realised that I didn’t miss weighing myself, in fact, it was giving me a sense of liberation. Over time, I started thinking less and less about my weight. Don’t get me wrong, I still had my insecurities about my body, but my specific weight was no longer a part of this. I realised that my happiness should in no way be tied to a number on a scale.
4 years on and I’m still happily oblivious to what my weight is. I could estimate it; I know that I’m of a healthy weight just by looking at myself, my diet, and the way I feel. I still have some days where I feel very negatively about my body, but I think those days will always be there. I do know that when I stopped weighing myself, those days became much less, and I’m so happy about that. So I urge you to stop weighing yourself, or to at least minimise the amount you do it. You are so much more that a number on a scale, I promise you, so please don’t base your happiness on it.
What are your thoughts on this topic?