“I gained 5 lbs.”
Feeling = disappointment…less than.
“I lost 5 lbs.”
Feeling = accomplishment…better than.
“Oh, it’s JUST 5 POUNDS,” you say. But, if you’re a woman…that 5 pounds has followed you around your entire life. That 5 pounds is often the gauge with which you calculate, compare, and evaluate your worth. We brush it off. It’s meaningless.
IT’S JUST 5 POUNDS.
Then why do we care?
And let’s be honest…we DO CARE.
If we didn’t, then why would we talk about it? Why does it act as cultural currency with other women? Why is it the “tie that binds us” in some way?
When I say, “I gained (or lost) 5 lbs.” You know exactly what I mean. It’s like superficial code for my mood:
If I gained weight, you might soothe me,
“No! I can’t even tell! You still look good, though…”
If I lost weight, you work to encourage me,
“Yes! I knew something was different! You look fantastic!”
But you and I both know, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE 5 POUNDS.
It’s about a feeling.
It’s about a feeling of failure.
It’s about a feeling of accomplishment.
Why do we allow these feelings, which are inarguably essential components to the human experience, to be inextricably tied to those damned 5 pounds? I’ll tell you why,
Because we are women.
Because a large part of our identity is enmeshed with our physical appearance.
Because we’ve bought into whatever media has sold us about what we should look like.
Because that 5 pounds is what stands between us and ___(insert desire/goal/feeling here)___.
Are you comfortable with that? Because I’m not.
Now…Go throw away your scale.
Happy International Women’s Day.