From my August 2015 article at She Does The City:
I threw out my scale last week. I’ve had it in my bathroom since I was a kid. I don’t really know why. It was one of those things that everyone had in their bathroom in the 80s, like Jacuzzi tubs and tiny heart-shaped hand soaps.
I decided to throw the damn thing out because, you might say, it was weighing me down. One day, as I was probably peeing, I looked at it and saw what it represented to me over the years – despair, depression, elation – and then I immediately hated it. So I promptly put it out with the trash, and I’ve never felt better about my relationship with my body and all of our past and present poundage.
I was 14 when I started giving a shit about how much I weighed. This is the age in which my hips spread and my years of eating McDonald’s caught up to my thighs. Stretch marks appeared around what was now my dimpled bottom, and cellulite quickly became the bane of my existence. Unsurprisingly, this was also the year I became obsessed with weighing myself on my bathroom scale.
At the time, my friends were all Twiggy-like with those annoyingly lucky eat-whatever-they-want metabolisms. Their stick legs and tiny tushes were hugely irritating/harmful to my self-esteem. I wanted desperately to look like them and all of the “heroin chic” models and actresses that graced my favourite entertainment magazines. When a friend of mine remarked that I was “curvy,” I nearly had a heart attack.
So I worked out. A lot. I took kickboxing classes and ran on my mom’s treadmill religiously after school. I didn’t like to discuss my workout schedule with my friends because I was embarrassed. Teens didn’t really exercise in the 90s unless they were jocks. My body made me feel “less than” and unattractive. I was ashamed that I had to work at my body. I couldn’t see the positives of my strong thighs or bodacious behind (God, how I would have looooved to have Beyoncé around in my day) – I only saw that my thighs stuck out from my Le Château dress while dresses always hung nice and neatly straight on my friends.
Throughout my high school years I’d weigh myself almost daily. At one point in grade 10, when my weight was at its heaviest, my mom told me, “Muscle weighs more than fat.” I immediately stopped my daily runs and weight lifting. I didn’t care whether what my mom said was true or not – the scale’s opinion of myself mattered more.
To read the rest, click on over to She Does The City where it was first published.