Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Fat/Fit Diaries - Magic Vest

First things first. I haven't weighed myself in many (many years). At least 6 years I think. I don't care how much I weigh, and I don't think that particular metric ever helped me:
a) Feel good about myself
b) Find inspiration or motivation to "eat healthy", or exercise, or "lose weight" or blah-blah-blah

In fact, I think weighing myself was a huge barrier to feeling positive about my body, being inspired and motivated to be healthy and to think about what I was doing (or not doing) that might impact my mental and physical health over the long run.

Gaining one or two pounds - which can happen when you go camping, or eat a piece of cake, or have a few beers with dinner all of which are things I do often - sent me into a spiral of guilt, and shame, and negative thoughts.

So I put the scale away. And I started to lose weight. And I had precious extra bars in my mental and physical energy reserves to spend on positive things.

And I started to pay attention to how I felt, how my clothes looked and felt on my body, my energy levels, and my mood. Those were better indicators of my overall health than any numbers on a scale could ever give me.

But that doesn't mean I gave up more tangible metrics when I gave up the scale.

You see, I have this vest.

I like this vest. It was a triumphant second hand purchase many years ago. And it looks good, I look good in it! And you can wear vests open without buttoning them up, so that's how I wore it. It didn't matter that I couldn't button it up, because it still looked good!

But on my "skinniest" days, I could button it up...all the way up. What an energy boost I would get on those days! Magic!

But the true magic in the vest, was that even on the days I couldn't button it up, I still felt good!

I haven't been able to button it up for at least a year, but I did the other day. So I knew that I was back on track. But, I mean, I knew it already because I have been feeling better, more energetic, more positive and happy. And at the moment I finished buttoning up that last button, all those other feelings were more important.

But I don't need this vest anymore. I have moved past it, just like I moved past needing to see those numbers on the scale.

So I donated it to Value Village last week.

I had a moment of panic this morning when I saw how damn fine I looked in the first photo, wearing my snazzy Magic Vest. But I got over it.

It is, after all, just a vest.


Writer's Note: My attitude toward weight loss, exercise, eating healthy, and all of the talk and terms that come with that has evolved over the years. Society tells us that if we lose weight we are doing things right (and conversely, if we are fat, we are doing things wrong), and some of my previous posts might have seemed to supported those beliefs. I don't think anyone's worth is defined by the size of the clothes they wear. I also know that some people find a lot of inspiration and motivation in checking the numbers on a scale, so I don't want to diminish that. I just want to put it out there that there are other ways to feel good about yourself without buying into the "thin = happy" rhetoric.

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