By SARAH LEWIS, Editor-in-Chief
The title of my favorite song is “The Weight.” The title of my nightmares lately has also been “The Weight…” *Cue dun dun dun scary background music.* Is this real life?
This past week I had to go to the doctor’s office for a quick check up so I could get a prescription renewal. My appointment was scheduled for 7:40 p.m. (odd time, I know), and I wasn’t called into the room until 9 p.m. Every receptionist – and all signs of life, for that matter – had left the waiting room by the time I was being called back to see the doctor. Ridiculous, yes, but the wait wasn’t what I cared about.
What I hate most is another kind of weight. First thing you have to do when you walk back is step on a scale as instructed by the nurse. And then you have to know that number and let it sit in your mind throughout the entire appointment…maybe even longer than that.
I make a point to not weigh myself on my own time because I decided long ago that my ideal body image has nothing to do with any kind of number, which includes pant sizes, waist measurement, and weight.
So, every time I go to a doctor’s office, I make the point to look as far away from the number on the scale as possible. I know the nurse has a job to do in getting my weight, but I don’t want the number on my mind, so I decide not to look…ever.
As if my most recent doctor’s appointment could have gotten worse after the hour and some change delay, the nurse did something that has truly driven me mad ever since. I stepped on the scale and did my exaggerated “looking away move” that includes me actually staring at the ceiling.
Usually, this over the top avoidance of the scale is enough for most people to realize I don’t want to know what the number is, but apparently me looking at the ceiling, shaking my head, and humming wasn’t enough of a clue for this nurse.
She yelled out my weight, tapped the number on the scale with her pen, and told me my weight a second time as she wrote it down on my record.
It’s not exactly her fault it bothers me so much, and I guess I could just start telling people in the doctor’s office I don’t want to know my weight because I have *whispers* body image issues. But I always felt like these issues are something I should be ashamed of, so that’s why I’ve never made the request out loud.
I enjoy exercising when I have free time, and I always make an effort to eat healthy, so in theory, I shouldn’t be upset to hear my body’s weight…but there’s a lot more to it than that.
I hate that as soon as I got home from my appointment I was googling the average weight for a female my height and age. I hate that I immediately thought of myself as outside the norm. I hate that I had been relatively happy with myself and my body until I was informed of a number.
My self-confidence went down the drain, and I started thinking I was an all around disaster. Why? Because I suddenly had become self aware thinking beauty was something I could attain only if I weighed a slender 115 pounds?
Why is weight such a heavy burden? I don’t know why I put so much emphasis on it, but maybe it’s not my fault entirely. Maybe it’s society that tells us we need to be in an exact weight bracket for life, and I’ve decided that’s not something I’m okay with.
So what if I have body image issues? Society created them anyways.