Finding myself in the Middle East

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scales are for Fishes

"Ima, what are you standing on?"

I spin around guiltily. "Oh Coco-pop, hi honey. Go out, please. Ima is getting dressed."

"But why are you standing on that? What does it do?"

"It's a scale. It weighs you."

"Oh. Why are you weighing you?"

"To...know how much I weigh."



What can I tell you sweetheart, with your adorably plump arms and cheeks, that I need to weigh myself because not having plump cheeks and arms is a measure of who I am? That I need to know whether to start my day by berating myself or not, and that all depends on a digital number that rolls up like a winning or losing lottery between my two feet?

I teach about Healthy Body Image. I yell healthy body image from the rooftops and still my head dictates to me how to feel about the 10 pounds that I want to (that I don't have to--my weight is fine--that I want to) lose.

For so long I thought it was me, that it was my own thoughts ripping my soul, tearing me down for going up a pound. When you realize it's all the yetzer hara, it's so much easier to separate self from the nasty horrible voice. You can say, don't you talk to me that way. I am a worthwhile human being.

I say it, I say it all the time. Looking down at little Coco-pop, waiting innocently for an answer, I know it's time to mean it, as well.

Weighing myself is not taking the measure of self. It mean nothing. Scales are for fishes. Food is for people. And little girls are for getting off the scale and tickling until they gasp, giggling, for mercy,

Which is exactly what I did.

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