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Weighing In: Why I Still Cannot Get On a Scale

October 4, 2012

I still won't get on a scale. It's been years.

A couple of years ago, I did get on the scale at my doctor's office and politely asked if I could turn around and would they be so kind as not to tell me what it said? They obliged.

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Now I just ask if I can skip it altogether and save myself that embarrassment since I make my living as a yoga teacher and feel like it makes me look like a big fraud if I can't face the numbers on a scale.

Does it? Or does it make me smart for knowing my triggers? 

I don't know. Either way, it still has a power over me.

When I go to people's homes for yoga privates and I see scales in their bathrooms, I wonder how they do it. How can they slip out of their pajamas and step onto it as though it's as routine as flossing their teeth?

Yesterday, I went to the dermatologist and as I sat there in my paper gown, about to have my moles checked out, I realized that I didn't have to get on the scale.

I relaxed. I made a joke with the nurse practitioner. I felt like me again. I felt confident.

Does this mean I am not healed if I can't get on a scale? What am I so afraid of?

I will tell you since so many people are coming to me now for help in their own healing. I will be honest about my own journey.

I am afraid that the number will make me panic and pull out my hair and sit down on the floor and not be able to move or feel anything or feel everything at once, a number that will say you have been living in denial and that you are not "better" at all but living in some Bullshit Land of Pretendville. 

I am afraid that I will see this number and equate it to my worth and no matter what I am doing, all I will see in front of me is that number, even as I am teaching my yoga class or sleeping. Even in my sleep, I will see the number. I will become obsessed with that number and it will control me, and in fact, most probably eat me up alive.

That is why I am afraid, why I cannot get on the scale.

Don't think I haven't thought of it for years, this battling-the-scale-nonsense. That I haven't told myself to buck up, just do it, be courageous, who really cares anyway? 

I have told myself and written it out and wished for it, but what happens is: I freeze up and start sweating. My heart beats and the scale becomes a monster.

I will step on it one day. I will have to, won't I? When I get pregnant? At some point or another? I'll have to. I'll be forced at one time to step on it and stay there and face the monster to which I have given so much power to for so long.

So am I healed? Are we ever fully healed and if so, what does that entail?

I love myself, sure.

Do I have days where I panic and feel my old demons setting in and I obsess or feel stuck?

Yes.

But I will be damned if I let that be my identity. I haven't yet been able to conquer the scale because for me, it's like going back to a place as barren as dying.

As unhopeful as dying with no chance of pulling through. This is the monster the scale has become in my mind, and one day I will face it, maybe.

One day I will look the monster in the eyes, and take back my power from its cold bathroom floorness.

Until then, I will continue to love myself and like the way I look (most days) and to surround myself with people who inspire me and to keep writing and doing all the things I do until I am ready to shine a flashlight into the closet and tell the monster to Eff-Off.

You see? I'm vulnerable.

There's still this one demon that's got me.

I hope that by exposing it in the daylight here on MBG that it will wimper to the floor in a puddle so I can see how meaningless it is, how quickly one thing can change from everything to nothing. How something so hard and unknowable can turn into a lake with just a little light to guide it downstream.

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Jennifer Pastiloff
Jennifer Pastiloff

Jen is a self-described Rule-Breaker, Shame-Buster, BeautyHunter, LipReader, WayMaker, TruthTeller, and Bullshit-Eliminator. She travels the world with her unique workshop “The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human,” a hybrid of yoga, writing, sharing out loud, and the occasional dance party. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, and CBS News among others. She leads annual retreats to Italy and California as well as many other places which combine writing and yoga, sharing out loud and fierce listening. When she is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and soon, her new baby boy. When she is not pregnant you can find her sipping a nice pinot noir. She is deaf as a post and she enjoys laughing at herself, most of the time. You’re most likely to find her these days eating a brownie or on Instagram at @jenpastiloff. She is also the founder of the empowerment project for young women called Girl Power: You Are Enough. Upcoming workshops and retreats in NYC, Dallas, Seattle, Kripalu in Massachusetts, Atlanta, Portland and of course, Italy September of 2016. Email info@jenniferpastiloff.com or visit http://themanifeststation.net/events/.