Sometimes, I just have to laugh at the irony. I think of when I was at my most obsessed with the scale, when the number I read on it each day dictated what kind of day I would have. If it was lower than the day before, it would be a good day; if it was the same, or – gasp! – higher, it would be awful. Looking back, all of those days were awful ones, because all that obsessing made me absolutely miserable. Sure, I was at the lowest weight I’d ever be, but my spirit was just as low, and there was never any good in that.
And here I am, getting obsessed with the scale again – but not for me, for my son. He was born at a normal weight, but fell off the curve a bit and we’ve been struggling to get him back on the growth charts ever since. Try as we might, the little guy couldn’t gain weight fast enough. He’s completely healthy, thank God, and he’s hitting all of his developmental milestones right on time, he just needs more calories. But as his mom, I can’t help but worry that somehow I’m failing him – and there is no worse feeling in the world than thinking that your child might be starving because of you.
It’s funny: in all the days I was starving myself, I couldn’t feel that same way about me.
My son goes for periodic weight checks, but we bought a scale to weigh him at home in between visits. That only works as a baseline, really, since it’s been so unreliable – sometimes it’s weighed him as much as a pound off – but even that’s been a lesson for me. Why did I base my entire day, my entire life, on a piece of metal and plastic that can give different readings so easily?
But we’re doing the best we can, and I’m happy to report that my boy is doing well (and also that I’ve managed to keep off the scale myself!) He’s still not on the bell curve that most other babies are on, but he is gaining; and it helps to remember that both myself and my husband were on the smaller side. I see the scale’s numbers now not as an enemy – or as a friend – but a goal to work towards for health, not vanity.
And I’ve learned that no matter what, I’ve been incredibly blessed with a great little boy. Maybe one day he’ll consider himself blessed for the mom he’s got, too!
She Watches Me (Kellie Avery)
Worried about messing up your children? (Emily Wierenga)
Taking Care of My Kids by Taking Care of Myself (Eugene Hung)