Tied Up in the Numbers

As women, we are so tied to the numbers of our body. The day is a constant stream of judgment, from the scale, to the measuring tape, to the clothes size, to the calorie count. A woman who swears she doesn’t have a head for numbers, can quickly size up a food portion and on the spot and figure how much exercise she will have to do to eat. Vacation is in three months, what size can I realistically squeeze into at that time?
I know this isn’t everybody, but as of yet, I haven’t met one who isn’t. Right wing, left wing, feminist or not, we are all subject to the barrage of messages that defines us in small numbers. Part of signing up for the Endurance Challenge, was suppose to be about changing that. Changing the small number mentality to a big number mentality. Instead of thinking, how many miles do I have to run to have that beer, I wanted to truncate the sentence to how many miles can I run? How far can I go? How strong can I get? Can I bike to Jersey?
What happened? Somewhere along the way I became caught up in the numbers again. Somewhere, the fact that I was working so hard and seemed to have so little to show for it, as of today I have lost one pound, made me discouraged. Why? Why does it matter if I lose no weight and I maintain this size if I can run ten miles? The scale flips back and forth, lose two pounds, gain two pounds, lose two pounds, gain a pound. But in the meantime I have gotten stronger, I can bike ten miles with relative ease and am building on that number every day, I can run three miles and hopefully more. I have pushed myself to become stronger. I eat better, mostly whole foods and my alcohol intake has decreased dramatically. Mostly because I don’t want it to interfere with my morning bike or run. So why do I still get so downhearted when I jump on the scale?
On the Fourth of July, my family and I walked along the river. I brought Runkeeper so I could add the exercise to my food diary. All about the numbers. My seven year old daughter spent the time doing cartwheels, round offs, skipping.
“Mommy, let me show you what a walk, skip looks like.” And off she went. For Katie, her body is all about the joy of movement, the thrill of seeing what it can do next. She is not worried about size, or portions. This is the head space I need to find.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Numbers. | Journey to Fitness

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