LET’S play a little game: right now I want you to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.
Confronting, I know, but don’t worry nobody will ever see your lucky number, you just need to visualise it. Rate how you look and feel right now. Keeping in mind that scoring yourself a 10 is equal to the healthiest, sexiest most comfortable in your own skin you’ve ever felt. On the opposite end of the scale, scoring a 1 is equal to that feeling of opening your eyes still covered in last night’s makeup and a crust of your own saliva.
Now I’m no mind reader and I can’t magically guess that number you’ve been tossing up for yourself, but what I will guarantee is this — if I asked you the exact same question in a week’s time, chances are your answer would be different. Or if I asked you on a Friday night versus a Monday morning. Or if I asked you in the middle of summer versus the middle of winter. Or if I asked you after a yoga class versus after a Maccas binge. Or if I asked you at the start of your period versus the end of it. Or if I asked you before your spray tan versus after it. The point is, putting such a definitive number on such a changeable answer that extends so far beyond a single digit is really hard going.
Deciding the number you’d rate yourself is no easy task and I’m almost certain you struggled to do it, yet every single day we openly hand over that immense responsibility to a set of scales. A silly set of bathroom scales. A device that doesn’t account for the kilograms you’ve gained in muscle now that you lift weights alongside the meat-heads at gym. A device that doesn’t know when it’s your time of the month, or how much water you’ve consumed for the day. Because guess what? All scales know are numbers. And you my friend, are more than a number.
Scales are evil and I vote that every single set be removed from homes around the world and thrown into a giant fire pit where the planet’s population can dance around the ashes. It’s time we realised they’re no bloody good! (Unless of course it’s a scale for measuring cake ingredients in which case I completely endorse and vow to salvage from the cinders.)
For a time, I placed my entire happiness in the number I weighed. I allowed this stupid piece of plastic to dictate how I felt for days afterwards. I remember how nervous I’d be before I’d weigh myself at the same time every day. I’d tell myself “it’s just a number, it’s how you feel” and “none of it really matters.” But to me, it did matter. In fact it was almost all that mattered.
I’d compare my weight from the day before and either rejoice at a lower number or punish myself for a higher one, set up for either a really good day or a really bad one. A humble set of bathroom scales were just about taking over my thoughts and almost my life and I’m angry that I allowed them to.
I’m all for a desire to find yourself in a healthy weight range, but when it overrules all else — there’s nothing healthy about that.
As women we’re already constantly told what’s right and wrong with our own bodies. What’s too big or not big enough, what’s too round, not round enough, what’s too heavy and what’s too flabby. I’m sick to death of comparing elements of myself — my weight included — against what’s been decided is ‘right’ for me. Because how do you possibly measure somebody with a number?
Scales don’t weigh a person’s strength or confidence or self-love. Because if we’re all as honest as a set of scales for a moment, isn’t that what’s sexiest of all?