"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."- Mark TwainThere is a shiny, new electronic scale in my bathroom. A scale that you tap with your toe to turn on, and then it tells you your weight in digital fashion. It's fancy. It's accurate. I hate it.
For nearly eleven years, an ugly white scale has lived on the bathroom floor next to the shower. I'll call it "Old Trusty". Old Trusty has a manual lever to zero him, and a little circular dial that spins when you step on him. The plastic covering over the dial has been gone for at least 7 years. The laminate is curling up around the edges, and occasionally you have to jump up and down on the scale to un-stick the dial.
"Old Trusty" definitely has his quirks... the biggest one is that he is roughly ten pounds off...in my favor. That's the trait that I've always loved best about him. Whenever I hop on the scale, he shows me the number that I want to see.
Oh sure...in the back of my mind I know to add ten pounds to that number, but that never really bothered me. I think it's flattering that "Old Trusty" tells me what I want to hear. He doesn't see my love handles, or junk in the trunk. As far as he's concerned, I'm still in good shape.
"Old Trusty" has been with me through all of my pregnancies, and he never told a soul how much weight I gained each month. He was there with me during the postpartum years when I begrudgingly did Denise Austin Work-out videos, and sweated to the oldies with Richard Simmons to lose my "baby" weight. It doesn't matter that he's old and ugly. It's the inside that matters most, and "Old Trusty" had a heart of gold. He never wanted to hurt my feelings by telling me that I ate too many blizzards. He would never suggest that I lay off of the cheesecake. No. He loved me just the way I was.
Then my mother-in-law came to stay at my house as a wildfire evacuee while we were on vacation. She started to clean things, and organize things, and replace old things. She stepped on "Old Trusty" and he told her that she lost ten pounds. She was flattered. She was excited. She was hopeful.
Then she began to doubt. She was skeptical. She was disillusioned. She was mad. She took "Old Trusty" to the garage and put a sticky note on him saying, "This scale lies!!!"
She went to the store and bought a new scale. A scale with bells and whistles. A scale that tells (gasp)....the truth! Oh the horror!!!
I know that she meant well. I know that she was trying to do us a favor by surprising us with a new scale. She was being very kind, and thoughtful. She didn't know about my love for "Old Trusty". Now I feel depressed about my weight. I am sad. I am regretful that I ate Chicago style pizza and hot dogs on vacation every day. I am tearful that I ate Texas Sheet Cake, Rolo Mc Flurries, and cookie dough Blizzards every night. I am sad that the number on the scale is ten pounds higher than it was before I left "Old Trusty".
So I decided to do something about it. I decided to start working out every day so that the number on this new evil, communist, mean, insensitive scale will show me the number that I want to see.
I'm walking/ jogging 4 miles a day, 5 days a week.
I'm cutting out 90% of my beloved Dr. Pepper.
I'm eating salad....a lot.
And now I'm hungry...starving...alright, not starving but no other appropriate adjective comes to mind. I'm constantly thinking about food. Mourning Dr. Pepper. Craving donuts. Salivating over pictures of Dairy Queen Blizzards.
I'm so hungry that I've been tempted to bite into my cinnamon bun air freshener in the truck. It smells so good in the cab that my stomach growls every time I drive.
What is the net result of all of this major sacrifice?
I've lost a whopping 1/2 a pound. Is it worth it? I think not.
But I carry on anyway. I push through the hunger pains and eat my spinach leaves. I jog through the pain. I step on that horrid new scale to see it's daily insult. I'm not happy about it, but I will climb this mountain. I will conquer the digital numbers. I will survive.
R.I.P "Old Trusty",