Been a little quieter here than usual, I know. My nose has been pressed against the proverbial stone as I chisel away at the rewrite of my current WIP, and my extra time has been spent on French lessons and writing and rewriting (and re-rewriting) my query letter. I’m not on a journey right now that needs (semi-)daily updates. Well, I could be, but I doubt anyone would fine “I wrote 1200 words today!!” that exciting.
Amongst all of that, I’ve been thinking about health a lot lately, specifically as it relates to weight. Lady and I both had a pact to lose 5 pounds each in September, and we did… moderately. I did lose those pounds several times in the month, but by October first my weight had crept back up, just shy of where it had been. Yet I was feeling better, my skirts were hitting my waist just right, and my energy levels were back on track. The scale insisted I was 168, but I felt like 160. Who should I believe?
Myself, of course. Or at least, that’s how it should be. But I still struggle with that number on the scale. I see it and I know how very close it is to being technically overweight. Just two years ago, my height was consistently measured at 5’8, and 165 is the cut-off. For some reason (*cough*weightlifting*cough*), my height has since been consistently measured at 5’9 instead, and thankfully that means I don’t get a lecture from the doctor or nurse every time I weigh in. I know how bollocks the BMI chart is anyway, I’ve read the studies about ladies with higher BMI’s living longer and healthier, I’ve seen the body comparisons and watched several “overweight” Olympic athletes lift amazing numbers.
What does it mean to be healthy? At what point can we stop and point and say, look, I’ve reached it, I’m healthy? At what point do we allow ourselves that luxury?
Is healthy what my BMI says? Is healthy what my bloodwork says? Is healthy how I perceive my body, whether or not I accept the amount of pudge on my belly that day? Is healthy my ability to squat heavy and deep? Is healthy my mile time? Is healthy whether or not I can climb nine floors worth of stairs without being winded? (Hint: I can’t.)
While we were doing Crossfit I felt healthy, even if I sat on my ass the rest of the time and ate gf pizzas. While I was doing the Whole30, and subsequently the paleo Autoimmune Protocol, I felt healthy. When I was running every day, I felt healthy. When I had those frameworks in place and didn’t have to think about it – I felt healthy.
On Tuesday I woke up feeling unhealthy. I weighed myself and the scale told me to feel that way. Then I went to the gym and picked 220 pounds up off the floor, twice. That made me feel healthy. But which is it?
I think we all have to decide what is healthy for ourselves, and no two versions will ever look alike. I know I have had a terrible, lifelong relationship with the scale. I know I am terrified of ever seeing that number go over 170. Is that a rational fear, though? What if I hit 180, but I could deadlift 250? What’s better? What’s worse?
I have a feeling I know the answer, but I’m not sure I’m ready to accept it. I was called fat for too many years to ever fully trust that I’m not anymore. But I have to, I think.
In the meantime, I’m easing up on dieting, at least until I know what my goals are again. Maybe I should hide away that scale, too.