Numbers – Thinking Out Lout 7/31

**This is a repost from my blog back in 2011. It is one of my favorite posts. I thought it would be a perfect “Thinking Out Loud Post” since it is just a ton of rambles…**

Numbers.

So simple.

Yet so complex.

So easy.

Yet so hard.

Numbers. There were times in my life..when you were the BANE of my existence.

There are times when you continue to interfere with my daily, healthy, and happy life.

My questions.. are many. My answers.. are few, but enough. Why ?

 

The Scale

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Why allow the numbers on the scale to determine the type of day we would have?

Why let the scale determine if it would be a restricting day.. a day of enjoyment?

Why are emotions so closely tied to those numbers.. on that scale? Gaining.. losing.. who cares? Healthy. That is what matters.

 

Calories & Fitness

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Why is it necessary to obsessively count the number of calories consumed. To obsessively read the nutritional information on the side of a box. And why not look at the mish-mash of chemical ingredients.. artifical flavors. WHY just look at the calories and fat content?

Why does the number of minutes that a workout lasts… make such a difference?

Why does the pace of each mile.. matter? Isn’t the point of it all.. to just be out there… and active?

Why does the bar graph on the Polar F7 ..have to be so addictive? Why must the “calories burned” bar.. be in the same range.. every single week?

Why do runs have to be consistently longer.. faster.. ?

Why must we consistently be checking my heart rate to make sure it is high – so as to burn the maximum amount of calories?

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Clothing

 

Why is it the size on the tag that seems to matter – so much more then the fit of the pant – or the shirt – or the dress?

Why do we allow a “larger” size to diminsh moods and self respect (when commonly, the clothing manufacturers treat their sizing different from any other manufacturer.)?

Why do we – at times – refuse to buy a beautiful piece of clothing because it is in a size larger then we are used to getting?

Why do we get a burning feeling of disappointent and let down when our “skinny pants” no longer fit us?

Why do we even have “skinny pants”?

Does the number on the scale define who we are as a person? How about the distance we run – the calories we burn – or the rate of at which our heart is beating? Do those (insignificant) facets radiate our true personalities? Does our clothing size compromise our intelligence or our ability to care for others?

 

 

No. No. No. Numbers – they do none of these things. Numbers – have a funny was of crawling into our lives – and planting themslves right in the middle of our brain. Interfering with our daily activities – often consuming our thoughts.

But – the only person who is dealing with these thoughts .. often times negative.. is the THINKER. No one else know the number that came up on the scale – or how many calories you’ve eaten today. The person on the other side of the street could care less how far you ran today – what your splits were – your average heart rate.. the number of calories you burned.

No – other people – they see you for who you are and what you stand for. They see your passion about life – your energy – your glow – your loving and kind attitude.

So – how can we start to see ourselves in the same light that others see us? Well – I don’t know for sure – but here are some of the steps that I am taking – to help get myself away from the numbers – to help accept myself for who I am – rather then through a set of numbers…

Limit weigh ins. In my ideal world – I would not even own a scale. Maybe someday – I will get to that. But I was tired of weighing myself.. and then hating myself. There was no reason for it. ALL of my clothes still fit just fine. There are SO many things that effect our weight daily. It is NOT the number on the scale that defines me. It is how I feel.
Eat wholesome foods – with proper nutrients. Forget the 100 calorie packs. I have found that those things are chock full of.. crap. Even if they are only 100 calories. I try to limit my processed foods.. and stick to whole foods. I feel good about what I am eating.. and my body feels good too!
Ditch the heart rate monitors. I am slowly.. but surely.. working out HRM free more and more. I do like to wear it occasionally.. but I am no longer obsessed. I used to stay at the gym until I burned a certain amount of calories. That was just ridiculous! I am now more intune with my body. I stop when it say.. I’ve had enough. I work out for enjoyment.. not to reach a certain number.
Get rid of clothes that are too small (and too big). No need to have skinny jeans.. or pants for fat days.. or incase you gain weight. Keep the clothes that fit. Be happy with who you are.. what you are.. and don’t keep the clothes as a reminder of who you were.. or as a goal of where you would like to be. (Edit 2014: Not getting rid of clothes that are too small on me – I am on my postpartum journey and not willing to give them up when I am still working..)
Tell yourself.. that you LOVE YOURSELF.. every single day.. while looking in the mirror. AND MEAN IT! Without self love – we have nothing. Without self love – it is hard to let others love us – to believe in what they say – to accept their compliments.

 

Have you ever been driven by the numbers.. in any aspect of life? Which aspect? How did you move past it.. or how do you currently deal with it?

12 comments

  1. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    Great post, lady! Numbers use to rule my world. I was obsessed with calories, weight, clothing sizes. Mile run. Time spent exercising. It was misery. I made a conscious decision to remove ALL numbers from my life, and while it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I’m so much happier for it and couldn’t imagine ever going back.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #89 .My Profile

    • Cait says:

      Having kids has really let ME relax with the numbers. I am on my post partum journey, but do not obsess over numbers..quite simply because I really just dont have the time!

  2. Joanna @Makingmine says:

    Totally agree with your advice about getting rid of clothes. It can be SO hard though. For some reason I form an emotional attachment to articles of clothing. Plus, I’ve been justifying keeping things lately because my size is continually changing with pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and then thinking about having a 2nd baby.
    Joanna @Makingmine recently posted…three cooks one kitchen: grilled pizzaMy Profile

  3. Jade says:

    I hate and love numbers all at the same time. I had a prenatal appointment on Tuesday (which is the only days I weigh myself is at the doctors) and she had it in kgs and was like “do you want to see this in pounds?” and I was like “Meh, doesn’t really matter it’ll be high anyways” which from before those numbers would play such havoc on my mind and sure they still do but not to the extent that they did.
    Jade recently posted…Weeks 30-32My Profile

    • Cait says:

      I always stepped on the scale backwards because I didn’t want the number to affect me at all. I knew I needed to eat when Iw as hungry and just make the best choices I could make. With two kids at home, I don’t have time to pay attention to numbers. I weigh in once a month just because I want to track my post partum journey. I do take measurements as well because it feel that weight isn’t always an indicator of how your body is changing.

  4. Steph says:

    I am constantly driven by numbers, especially when exercising, it’s like if I don’t reach my goal, I’ve failed! What is that about? This is an awesome post! Thanks!:)

    • Cait says:

      I used to be the SAME way. I think all of the changes in my life has really put things into perspective for me. I am just happy to get a workout IN – forget about a certain number of calories, a certain pace, etc. Failing woudl mean you didn’t do anything. Everything you complete is an accomplishment!!

    • Cait says:

      So excited we have found each other! Now that i feel like we are slowly getting out of “survival mode”, I feel more confident in getting myself back into shape. I am not putting any pressure on myself though. It took 9 months to get those babies here – and its okay if it takes a little more than 9 months to get back to where I was – or close to it!

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