My scale broke last summer.
My scale broke last summer. I haven’t replaced it yet. I kinda like not having one around. Last time I checked, I was just over 170 pounds. I am 31 years old and 5’ 5”. I have petite shoulders and an hourglass figure. It’s not that my weight at this point is healthy, it isn’t, and my doctor and I are working on finding a solution, but the chart says I should be under 150 pounds.
I’ve been there before, even after I had four children. I am on medication that has packed on about 20 pounds in one summer, but none of that information is taken into account when I step on a scale. The details don’t matter when we calculate my BMI. The chart says I’m overweight. But I don’t trust the numbers.
My scale didn’t show my activity.
Scales can’t take into account how much of my weight is from water and muscle. I drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. I chase my children around the playground and lift them high in the air playing airplane in our living-room . I run up and down the stairs all day, arms full of laundry and toys. I ride my bike and lift weights. All these things, done regularly, build muscle and muscle weighs more than fat does.
I don’t think it is a fluke that God loves the smell of bread (Leviticus 2:9), that He wants us to “Taste” and see His goodness (Psalm 34:8). Jesus called himself the “Bread of life” (John 6:35). Who am I to reject carbs for vanity’s sake?
My scale didn’t show my love for my children or my husband.
Numbers won’t know that most of the weight I’ve earned is from sacrificing myself for my family. This body protected and sustained four human lives in addition to my own, pregnancies that broke my body and my mind, but I’d go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat!
I prepare food to sustain my husband and children. I will not separate myself from the family at the dinner table by eating different foods or being distracted by calories.
Inches don’t testify to how much comfort my husband finds when he wraps arms around me. The numbers can’t see how my children love to be encircled by my “bat-wing” arms. I was recently reminded that a soft, round stomach makes the perfect shelf for newborns to curl up on. This little two month old, fretfully sleepy, snuggled into my chest, knees resting on my belly and fell fast asleep. All this time, I have been working hard to make my belly hard and flat. I had forgotten how useful it was to others the way it is now.
My doctor can’t remember how unhappy and ugly I felt when I was 115 pounds, but I do, and it is no wonder.
Culture has a recipe for beauty: tiny waist, long legs, big eyes, no fat (except for breasts and backside, of course), no wrinkles allowed! Think Barbie doll. Once upon a time, I had all the ingredients – but I wasn’t happy.
My scale broke and I’m okay.
The years have come and gone. Just being alive has changed my body, but God has changed my mind. I don’t want to be hard and slim anymore. I want to be healthy and I’m learning not to compare what healthy looks like from person to person. My husband looks at me and says, “You are so beautiful.” I am choosing to believe him. God is beautiful and the beauty He creates cannot be constrained by numbers.
Abra and her husband, Ben, live in North Idaho where she stays home with their four young children. She is passionate about pursuing God and her hobbies: reading, archery and eating cheese. You can find her at her blog, on Facebook and Twitter.
Abra understands the concerns to be thin and look a certain way. She herself has suffered with Anorexia and Bulimia throughout her young adult life. She aches for women who are trying to be something other than God’s desires. You will love her heart at Merebreath, where she shares her own personal, sometimes painful journey.