“Ok, I need to do this. I’ve put it off long enough.”
I grimace at my naked reflection in the mirror. I’ve grown pudgy around the edges. I barely recognize myself; the result of not breaking a sweat in nearly a year and taking a good six months off from paying attention to what I’m eating.
“Sigh. It’s time. You need a jumpstart and a starting point. Just get it over with.”
I kick the “on” button with my toe, toggle to my settings, and place a timid first foot on the scale.
“Here goes nothing,” I mumble.
I step my second foot on, distribute my weight evenly, hold my breath, and say a silent prayer. I look down. My jaw drops.
I officially weigh the most I’ve weighed. Ever. In my life. It sucks. Big time.
While I knew it would be rough, I’m still surprised. My shoulders slump as I step off, defeated.
I reach for my undergarments as my self criticism kicks into high gear. One of the most challenging things about perfectionism are the negative voices. They are immediate, they are relentless, and they are cruel.
“You are ugly. You are fat. You are unattractive to everyone. Soon your husband won’t even desire you.”
“Why can’t you just stop eating so much? I mean come on, people have normal relationships with food all over the world. Why can’t you be more like them? Stop reaching for food in every circumstance, it’s clearly not your friend.”
“And for God’s sake, break a sweat. You are so lazy. You sit all damn day. How hard is it to get up once in awhile a walk around? No wonder every part of your body hurts, you’ve completely let yourself go.”
I grab the closest pair of pants that still fit and pull them on, lost in the rampant perfectionist thoughts. I feel deserving of them.
Behind me the bathroom door opens as I tug a t-shirt over my head.
“Hey babe, I brought you coffee,” my husband says as he sets it on the counter. Next to the cup he carefully places three small sticky notes. “I know I usually leave them downstairs but today I thought I would bring them to you as I head out.”
His sweet words break the berating of my inner voice. I look at him and smile. “Thanks baby,” I say as I lean in for a kiss, “this is just what I needed this morning.”
As he heads out to work, I take the first sip, and look down at the notes.
“I’m so lucky to know you. Who’s blessed? I. AM. LUCKY,” the first one reads.
“I love your stupid face. Stupidly….AWESOME face. You are amazing,” reads the second.
“I notice how awesome you are. I do. I see it in everything you do. I’m proud of you,” says the third.
My eyes tear up a little.
I hang the notes on the mirror as I start to dry my hair to prepare for the day. I read them again and again, letting them sink in.
Yes, I have a little work to do to feel more comfortable in my skin again. But as these notes attest, I am still loved. I am still blessed. I am still awesome. I am still valuable.
No matter what the scale reads.
And you are too.
Sara, thanks for writing. You put beautifully into words so many of the struggles I can relate to—and so many, I’m sure. It’s interesting the things that we let get to us—especially as perfectionist that are trying to not let those little things rule our lives. We don’t know each other personally, although I’ve known Kris, and your family for many years. There are times I read your blog and think “why can’t I be more like Sara?” More motivated, more willing to make a difference in the lives of those around me? Have a better relationship with my ex husband, his wife, and be more focused on helping initiate the change I want to see in the world?” I know that’s my inner voice telling me I don’t do “enough”, and sometimes it’s really difficult to silence. I just want you to know that you touch others lives, and even though we don’t know one another, I’m really proud of you!
Thanks Alicia! Your words made my day. Thanks for taking the time to write me and let me know this. It helps as I keep writing to know others take something meaningful from it.