THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE – Woman of a Certain Age, by Marcia Barhydt

I recently saw a poster called “The Number on the Scale” and it certainly hit home with me and I bet many of you will agree with what it says too.

I’ve had challenges with my weight all my life. When I was a teenager and just becoming aware of how important body size was in order to ‘fit in’, I went to my family doctor and asked for help. Understand please that I was not fat pudgy, I was just overweight. My doctor prescribed a drug called Dexedrine for me, a drug which now is used only to treat much more serious conditions than weight gain.

Dexedrine is a strong, strong stimulant – I was whizzing all over the place, doing this, doing that, sleeping for about 2 or 3 hours at night, popping another pill in the morning and doing it all over again. I was only a teenager, way too young to make this kind of decision that could put me in medical peril because of side effects. Dexedrine was a bad drug, but boy did it make me lose weight.

Of course there are now all kinds of other remedies to spur you on to weight loss. Some are good, some are not so good and some are invasive, offensive and scary.

Why are we so obsessed with our weight? Why do anorexic women continue to think that they’re fat when all that’s left is skin and bones? Why do I hear of little girls being on a diet? Little girls! Come on!

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know that I’m going to blame Madison Avenue ad agencies. Young, firm, perky, sexy, sells. And god help you if you’re not that, if you’re not svelte bordering on skinny, because you are gonna stick out like a sore thumb on the elegant hand of advertising beauty. And please know that I’m aware of the health issues here. I’m not talking on behalf of women who are 200 pounds overweight; I’m talking about you and me and our extra 25 to 50 to 75 pounds.

Rather than rehash all of the points I’ve made before, I think it’d be pretty cool to talk about the positive points on the poster of the scales. “The number on this scale will NOT tell you: what a great person you are; how much your friends and family love you; that you are kind, smart, funny and amazing in ways numbers cannot define; that you have the power to choose your happiness; and the number will not tell you your own self worth.” Please read these words to yourself over and over until you own them. Make these words your mantra.

I am so grateful to be at an age where my body shape and size doesn’t rule me; I am so grateful to be at an age where my body shape is way less important than the shape of my mind, the shape of my soul and the shape of my gut. I am so grateful to be at an age where my body shape no longer defines the person I am.

I am so grateful to be at an age where I can choose to accept my body shape without choosing to be victimized by my choice.

I’m a woman of a certain age and I’m certain my body is just fine, thank you.

©Marcia Barhydt, 2012