I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a scale readily available. It has always been a natural part of my morning or (sometimes and) evening to just step on and check in. It’s how I judged how I was doing. If the number was down, I was doing well. If the number was up, I needed to make a change. Sometimes, seeing that number could change my mood dramatically in one direction or another.
In the last week, I’ve made friends with my body in some new and important ways. Instead of feeling the difficulty of everything it’s been through, I felt connected. Coming back to my practice was inspiring. I rediscovered how, with breath and gentle movements, tightness could lessen, my body could begin to open and let go. And, at the same time, how, without fear, I could increase the intensity of my movement, empowering me to find new limits and immense satisfaction. I have felt stronger, more at ease and sexier than I have in a long time. I have felt all of these things in this new changed mom body. And, I’ve loved it. Until I stepped on the scale.
Despite a steady dropping number, the number suddenly went up the other day. Not drastically, barely. But, it went up. And, I found myself feeling bad. Feeling bad about this body I had just felt so comfortable in. Feeling bad about all the things I had been enjoying, as though they weren’t enough.
Then I realized, each moment, being in my body is a mindful experience. On the mat, I tune in, I enjoy. I honor where I am based on how it feels. I never practice in front of a mirror, because that doesn’t tell me where I really am. We don’t have mirrors at the studio because I feel they take people out of their practice, out of feeling where they are, pushing them toward the possibility of injury both physical and mental. My scale, while perhaps “accurate”, has become a distorted mirror. It takes me away from being with my body, exploring what it has to offer and honoring where I am. It takes the playfulness and sexiness out of these curves and the beauty out of what my body is able to rediscover and provide in its new state. And, it is causing me mental and, when I push myself too far to make the number move, physical injury.
So, I’m putting it away for now. I’m going to savor this changed body and see what feels right for it, not by the pound, but by the sensations. Each time I find myself judging, wishing the weight would come off sooner, or imagining a version of myself that does not currently exist, I’m going to think of that juicy, fulfilling feeling I get on the mat when I release into a new pose. I’m going to tune inward, placing my highest value on what my body and not my overactive brain tells me. Like leaving a to-do list at the door when I step into the studio, I’m not throwing it out–it will be there for me if I need it again. I’m just putting it away in order to be here right now.