There are numbers that stand out to me in my mind. Benchmarks. Milestones. Moments of triumph and shame.
247 was how much I weighed when I got pregnant with my youngest baby.
184 was how much I weighed when I got married.
147 was how much I weighed when I dieted wayyyyyyy down in my early 20s, so far down people said I looked sick. My lips poked out, my cheeks sunk. I even lost some of my hair.
And then there was 313. 313 was the highest number I ever saw on the scale. That was six years ago, or maybe seven, in the final stretch of completing my doctoral dissertation. Raising kids, teaching college courses, presenting papers and presentations, writing articles, cooking family meals and more by day. Up until 1:00 or 2:00 am each night, chomping on watermelon jolly ranchers by the bag and guzzling diet cokes.
I probably weighed more than that at some point, but 313 is the highest I saw between my toes. After that I stopped looking in disgust.
This week, I passed another milepost. I passed 213 on the scale, more than one hundred pounds down from that highest reading. Over time, I’m sure I’ll tell the stories of all the diets I’ve been on, from my first time on Weight Watchers at about age 11 to what I’m doing today. I’ve lost 100 pounds several times in my life. Maybe that’s why I am a bit more sober about this one than celebratory. It was a goal I was happy to get to, but I am still in progress. I may always be in progress. Maybe that’s what I understand this time that I didn’t before.
Of course, any doctor would tell you that 213 is not a healthy weight for a 44 year old woman, five foot eight. I know that. Many people wouldn’t be proud to tell that they weigh 213, or wouldn’t tell you their weight at all. I was in a conversation at the gym this week with two men, who shared that they weigh 155 and 195, so that was perspective. I’m sharing here because it is a number and it doesn’t define me. My weight is definitely a part of my story, and a complicated and even important one, but I mostly don’t care what people think about it. Mostly.
These days I try to focus more on how I feel. I work out most days, and in spite of some pesky injuries, I can move better and do a lot more physically than I could several years ago. I eat pretty well most of the time. The doctor was pleased with my progress at my latest physical. My blood pressure is great. Overall, my health is improving.
Still, this is just a pause on a very long path. A milepost on the way to another destination. I’ll wave at it, take a picture, then keep moving to what comes next.
More about that in future writings.
-Chick 2 (aka Beth)