I know this may come as a surprise, but I have thought long and hard about this, and I think we need to take a break. I have known it for some time, but I have been too scared to live without you. I have lied to myself that I need you in my life, but I don’t need you. I never did. When I lived in Ethiopia, I did not bring you along with me. You didn’t live in my bathroom, and I found a freedom from you, but the freedom was short lived. I started to walk by other bathroom scales right out on the street, and I began to pay one birr to step onto that scale. While the culture I lived inside viewed the scale differently, I could never adapt to that kind of different. My Ethiopian friends took great pride and joy over increasing numbers on a scale, and they would cheer and congratulate one another when they had gained a kilo. I, on the other hand, would hope nobody would get close enough to read my numbers on the scale, and I would cringe if I had not lost a kilo. After all, even being a small person, the scale read me as close to the same number as many of the grown men in Ethiopia, and that was mortifying. Even though you didn’t live with me, you still had control over me.
In moving back to the states, I immediately put you back in the bathroom, and I became loyal to you once again. Every morning I would visit you first, and I allowed you to determine, not only the kind of day I would have because of the number you would give me, but also, as ridiculous as this is – my self worth and my value as a woman, as a mom, as a human being. You became a vehicle of frustration, anxiety, and even depression. And I allowed you to have that power. I gave it to you many, many years ago. Somehow it seemed that a number told my story. It is true that some of the time you did bring me happiness, but it was always fleeting and it was always false.
I think that I knew that it had to be over between us when I found myself unexpectedly in Barcelona on a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip. Of course I did not carry you in my luggage over the ocean. But every time that I bit into a buttery, flakey perfectly chocolate filled croissant, I thought of you. When I sipped chocolate cappuccinos or Spanish reds, you crept into my thoughts. When I got to try paella for the first time and discovered it to be one of the best meals that I had ever eaten, you were in the back of my mind. When I only intentionally did one workout in the entire two weeks of travel, never mind the almost 90 stairs I climbed to get to our flat, and the literal miles I walked – 6 hours of actual walking the first day while trying to unravel the mystery of using the metro – you were constantly in my thoughts. I must have spoken aloud about you no less than ten times. I feared returning to you, and what you would say to me. It didn’t matter that my clothes still fit fine, and that I had accumulated so many amazing memories and experienced things some people can only dream of experiencing; the sad reality was all that really mattered to me was what number you would give me when I came back to you. You had become my master.
Today is the day bathroom scale. I am calling it quits. I am kicking you out of my life. I have deeply depended on you to predict my day, but I don’t need you for that. I can choose to have a good day despite a number. Our relationship has been unhealthy for so long, and I need a clean break. I know that I am the one who pursued this relationship, and that is why I have to be the one to also end it. The only thing that you have ever really given me is an obtuse number that means absolutely nothing. You have never been able to tell me my true worth, or my true health, and you most certainly do not define me. I am done listening to your lies. I am walking away from you, and I am walking into freedom.
Sincerely, Tiffany, your slave no more
Sadly, I know I am not alone in these thoughts, and that many can find solidarity in this battle. If you are one of those people, I would love to hear from you. Let us encourage one another in this journey toward freedom. Please drop me a comment or an email, or come find me on Facebook or Instagram. You can even take a photo of yourself saying goodbye to your scale and tag me tdarling02 and hashtag it #ditchthescale, as I would love to cheer you on in your own journey.