On one of our crazy-early morning hikes, the conversation switched to growing up without a scale in our house. I can remember going to friends’ houses and the idea of weighing yourself seemed so alien to me – why weigh yourself? Are you a doctor? Ignorance is bliss, is it not?
I can remember the handful of times I have ever weighed myself, because frankly I would be overweight based on my body mass index. Let me tell you there are days I feel that way, but they are few and far between. I work out because I feel good afterwards, I know how to eat healthy and I do treat myself to the occasional chicken nugget meal. I run/hike/insert any active noun to keep my mind clear. It’s a bonus that my waist benefits as well.
So I asked my sisters, Kim, Toni and Julia…Do you regret not growing up with a scale? And would you have a scale in your house?
Growing up our mother never fat-shamed herself. She may have felt ugly, as we all have as we see ourselves starring back at us, when our pants are fitting a little more snug, or our shirt is pulling in the wrong places, but she never let it leave her bedroom. I don’t remember her making comments about our weight, but we also didn’t have a super active lifestyle. We were always outside but we were not in sports, and I can’t remember either of my parents uttering the works “gym” or other than to ask how our gym class went that day, and my mother never uttered the word “diet.”
My mother is beyond beautiful! She has curves, an infectious smile and the warmest heart. When she hugs you, her perfume and warmth engulfs you and suddenly everything seems to melt away. She has inner and outer beauty.
So when I asked Julia about how she is raising her girls, the response was easy and took no thought. She stated that she loved how mom did not ever talk about diets, that there was no scale. That the emphasis on us growing up was feeling good instead of what the scale said.
Julia continued to elaborate and also said how she loves that Sophie and Lillian play exercising as one of their role playing games, and Lillian and Sophie both love to run like Mommy. Isaac will also grow up knowing that both his parents run, workout, have a healthy life style, but yet they don’t have a scale present for the girls.
There is no template for how to raise your children. In fact, it’s a hot topic when you compare how kids are raised today with tablets, iPads, cell phones, and game consoles versus the previous generations’ upbringing of coming home when the street lights turned on.
You can raise a child telling them that they are beautiful just how they are, and yet you never know what will influence a child.
For me, looking back, I did go through normal adolescent insecurities. I was worried what others thought of me, how I looked and how I felt, but I don’t regret growing up without a scale.
I think that maybe if we had had a scale, that my workouts and runs may be more for the physical goal rather than my mental and physical health. That if the number I saw staring back at me is what I was worried about more than how I am feeling in my own skin, I think I may get more deterred and give up easier.
I am proud to be a part of a scaleless childhood, and am going to be carrying on this tradition.