Life & Adulting

You Are Not Defined By A Number

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I’m a 34 year old mom of two, my body image and self-esteem have been on a roller coaster for much more of my life than I’d like to admit.  Besides the usual societal and social media pressures, I mostly blame my bathroom scale and myself.

The first mistake I made was buying a scale when I was 25.  I was engaged to my now husband and decided I needed to “get skinny” for our wedding or whatever that means. This is where I began my morning ritual of weighing myself.  If the number on the scale was what I hoped to see or less, I felt great about myself; if it was higher, I felt awful.

I think everyone has a number in their mind that they feel is their ideal or optimal weight. It’s a mythological number that is often unrealistic, based on a weight in high school or early adulthood, or what medical charts suggest based on height.  Like many I have been guilty of thinking this way; gauging my self-worth simply on the number I saw each morning on the scale. I don’t know about you, but my weight fluctuates quite a bit due to exercise, diet, hydration, and hormones.  Do you think I ever remind myself of this while on the scale, nah of course not!

After having my miracle baby number two last February, I was determined to lose my self-perceived mom bod and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 120-125 lbs.  I was really down on myself, my stomach and hips exploded in a roadmap of bright red stretch marks with baby number two.  I had started the pregnancy at a lower weight than baby number one and had gained less weight this time around.  In my mind, I felt if  I weighed a certain number, I would then not only look good, but feel good. 

Guess what, five months postpartum I hit my goal of 125 lbs.  Was I dieting or exercising? No, I was pumping and breastfeeding exclusively and that was enough to get me to the weight I wanted to be.  Was I concerned with being fit and healthy?  Not at all.  Did I look or feel good? Nope.  I was sleep deprived, bloated, weak, and had very little muscle tone, but in my mind I must look good because I weighed what I thought I should.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Don’t believe me, take a peek below!

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A few months ago, I decided to make my health and fitness a priority.  I served jury duty for 3 weeks and somehow gained 5 lbs, well I know how; I sat on my butt everyday when I normally am on my feet all day teaching and I may have frequented the taco truck in front of the courthouse too many times!  I have been working out 4-5 times a week and doing my best to eat better.  If you are in the Sacramento – Rocklin – Stockton area checkout Pure Form PFT, it is amazing!  I have been really down on myself because I wasn’t weighing what I thought I should, then the picture on the left popped up on my TimeHop app. I immediately went to the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and looked up how much I weighed last July – 125 lbs, the number I had decided I needed to weigh to feel good and look good.

This was a mind blowing and changing day for me.  When I look at the picture on the right, I see a fit, healthy, and strong woman.  In my mind, the picture on the right looks slimmer, more toned,  and healthier than the picture on the left.  You wouldn’t expect the picture on the right to be 5 lbs heavier.  When you think of transformation stories, you typically expect a weight loss, that’s not the case for me.  You might be wondering why I am putting myself out there.  I know I’m not the only person that has a love hate relationship with their scale.  Seeing the picture from last summer on the left, made me realize my weight really doesn’t matter.  The scale doesn’t measure strength, kindness, beauty, intelligence, talent, or love.  Please don’t let the scale dictate and diminish your self-worth. Each body is unique and beautiful.  Don’t let comparison or your scale steal your joy.

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11 thoughts on “You Are Not Defined By A Number

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I came over from IG (pharmgal22 over there). I have been struggling with this same issue. I have 4 wonderful kids and have seen my body through those changes. In May I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. I had gained some weight already and a vacation in there didn’t help. I have yet to get back to my weight prior to the MC. I feel like I am stronger than before due to lifting weights and working out. I need to stay off the scale and love my body where it is and for all it has done!!

    1. You are so welcome Leigh Anne. I am so sorry for your loss. I struggled after having several miscarriages as well. I am so glad you feel stronger. I know for me, feeling strong has really been empowering. Thank you for following along!

  2. Pure awesomeness, Kari! Although my struggle is opposite of the majority, I have learned to measure by the way my clothes fit and by the way I feel. Not the scale. I love this post and you look absolutely fabulous!

  3. Hi Kari! First of all you look great! I love your smiles a quirky posts on Instagram. I love how honest you are with yourself, which makes me think I need to be like that. A number should not define me. I so agree, but it’s so difficult in a society that is so driven by such. Again, thank you for your post it made me think and inspired me to get active and eat right. Love Isa Romero

    1. Thank you so much Isa! I still have my moments of weakness where I’ll hop on the scale feeling fantastic thinking, I’ve probably lost a few pounds and be disappointed. This is a work in progress, thinking about my body without including how much I weigh. Thank you again! You can do it!

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