Numbers give value to a lot of areas in our life. We first learn this correlation of a number and our self-worth in school where we’re graded. All throughout our academic career we’re taught that the higher the grade you receive, the “better” you are. Even when you graduate high school the student with the highest grades get a special recognition as top of your class.
Then there’s the issue of weight. Now that it’s the new year we’re bombarded with weight loss commercials of people showing off their new “healthier” bodies and proudly proclaiming the number of pounds or pant sizes they lost on whatever program the commercial is promoting. Their loss of weight gives them bragging rights and pride; their new weight or pant size is such a badge of honor and we as a society hold them in high esteem. Even though all of our bodies are different there seems to be an acceptable range of weight that everyone seems to be expected to be, but it’s not fair or even accurate.
When I was really sick and rapidly losing weight I experienced that pride of weight loss. I felt accomplished and in a sick way I felt entitled to compliments for my hard work and determination. But now, I’m working on maintaining this higher weight that my meal plan gave me. I know I’m more healthy at the weight I’m at now, but numbers still hold a great weight (no pun intended) in my life. Weekly I get weighed by my therapist and I’m told what I weigh; some weeks I’m ok with it as I seemed to not change, but it’s in those weeks where I go up that I struggle. To me, there’s nothing to brag about when I gain weight, it’s almost shameful in a way. Watching all of those commercials about weight loss pills and programs I find myself getting jealous.
Why do those people get to lose weight? Why can’t I do that anymore? Of course I know the answer to that without having to ask, but it’s still that mindset I struggle with. If I lost weight again I couldn’t do it in a healthy way, I’d end up in the hospital, dropping out of college, possibly be sent back to residential or even die. Although I know all of this, the knowledge of my weight is still a huge obstacle. Normal people shouldn’t have to gain weight, I mean you never see commercials for people saying “hey, I’m too thin and I needed to gain weight. So I took _______ or did _______ program, and now I love my body more than ever!”.
I know numbers are something I’m just going to have to deal with and get used to hearing, but as of right now it’s still a huge trigger and struggle. I wish numbers, especially in regards to weight, didn’t “reflect” our own self-worth.