Numbers have taken over the way we in our society value ourselves. We measure our worth by how relevant we are to total strangers on the internet or where we sit on the social spectrum; the number of likes we get on our pictures, the amount of followers on twitter, the amount of money in our bank account, the number that shows up when we step onto a scale. In more ways than one, numbers have taken over our lives.
I was always pretty thin as a kid, I had an unreasonably high metabolism, and my anxiety curved my appetite for a lot of my younger days. My self esteem issues rested much more in the way I looked, mostly in my face. I had really bad skin growing up and I felt helpless. I had issues with my body, but weight wasn't one of them.
I started taking anxiety medication about two years ago and while I hate the notion of taking medicine to balance my brain out correctly, I am thankful for all the things it has given back to me. I got my life back, and if that is partially due to a pink pill I have to take twice a day, so be it. However, recently I have started to really struggle with my weight. After discussing with my doctor, this is mostly due to the fact that for the first time in my life, my anxiety isn't curving my appetite. My stomach is not as sensitive to food, which means I have been eating more, because food doesn't scare me as much. I want to start this by saying that when I say weight, I mean a healthy weight for someone of my age, height, and build. I think it is really important to emphasize that one size absolutely does not fit all when it comes to weight. This is a new struggle for me, and it is one I have little experience with.
I have started to put a lot of power in numbers. I have given something, like how much I weigh, more power over my life than it deserves. I have started to talk about my body like it is my enemy, when in fact, it should be my best friend. Frankly, I would never talk as poorly about the body of somebody else, as the way I have started talking about mine. This needs to end.
I played soccer as a kid. I couldn't say for certain for how many years, but I can say for certain nothing ever made me feel stronger. I keep trying to remind myself in the moments that I am being unkind to my body that its the same body that I felt strong in as a kid. The body I have started speaking poorly of is the same body that has gone surfing on The North Shore of Hawaii, and jumped off cliffs into the pacific ocean. It is the same body that got bumps and bruises when I taught myself how to skateboard and the same body that keeps me afloat every time I get into the water, which happens to be my happy place. The body I have become so critical of is the vessel that houses all the chaos that I get to write about. My body is not my enemy.
After a conversation today with the wisest woman I know, my mom, I decided that the shaming of my body ends today. I decided that I need to fuel my body with the things it needs to live a good life. I need to be kinder not just in what I say to my body, but what I am putting into it.
I decided I need to stop talking about my body like its my enemy because its not. I think its important to practice what you preach, and I talk about self love a lot, and I should not be an exception.
I decided I need to stop talking about my body in something as simple as numbers because when I have kids one day, I don't want to instill in them that their worth comes from something as simplistic as how much they weigh or what they look like. While it is important to be in good health, it is more important to be a good person, and to love others well.
I am never going to be a perfect human. I might never be on a runway or on the cover of a magazine (although Editor in Chief sounds pretty good). I am filled to the brim with flaws and shortcomings, but then again, aren't we all?
There is a certain power in numbers, but at the end of the day, I am not any less worthy of love because of a single one.