A long, long time ago I got married. I headed to the Department of Licensing (that’s the DMV for all you non-Washingtonians) with my brand new social security card, ready and excited to get myself a new driver’s license with my new name on it.
When I got to the head of the line, they asked me if I wanted all my information to be the same on it. Hair: Brown (sure) Eyes: Brown (yep) Height: 5′ 10″ (yep, though if I stand up really straight I can eek out an extra half inch) and Weight: 150 (hmmm).
150. For a person of my height, that’s pretty skinny. I’m sure I’d look rather skeletal at 150, actually. According to the BMI I should be in the 160’s somewhere, but the BMI doesn’t take into account my voluptuous frame. So, yeah, 150 is kind of a ridiculous number to put on my driver’s license.
But I did it anyway. Every time someone cards me, they see the number 150 for my weight and I’m sure they scoff (albeit silently).
The 150 was a holdover from my high school days, when I was never 150 but wanted to put a whimsical number on my driver’s license in the illogical hopes that that number would magically manifest if I carried it around in my purse long enough.
I was a usual teenaged girl, ashamed of my weight. I would rather have stabbed myself with a plastic spork than told you my actual weight were you foolish enough to ask.
Now, though? Well, I had a bit of an epiphany last night and it was rather liberating. I was talking to a friend last night about how much I weighed while pregnant and I used the actual weights I can remember. Eyebrow-raisingly large numbers and everything.
I haven’t been coy about my weight for a long while now, but I never sat down to try to articulate why that might be. I think I figured it out last night. It’s because I don’t look any different to you when I tell you a lie about how much I weigh.
If you ask and I tell you I weigh 180, I look the same. If you ask and I tell you I weigh 210, do I automatically look 30 pounds heavier? I think not. If I lie and tell you I weigh 180, I’ll still have the same physique, just with bonus self delusion.
I definitely get raised eyebrows when I’m candid about my weight, though. 210 is a big number. It’s the kind of number that would make my high school self lock herself in her room to write morose poetry by candlelight (oh yes, that happened).
But, I’m working on it. I’ve gotten below 200 pounds before and I can do it again. I’m taking active steps (I joined a gym, had a free session with a person trainer on Saturday) and making mistakes (I ate a delicious brownie while I wrote this) but I’m working on it. My physique, like the rest of me, is a work in progress.
But it’s not the kind of work in progress you can hide in your journal or stash on your hard drive until it’s perfect enough to let other people see it. It’s out there, jiggly parts and all, and I see no reason to pretend I’ve already reached my goal.
So there. I weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 210 pounds. And I’m working on it. I’m jiggling my way to roomier pants, and if you ask me what I weigh I will tell you. Just please do me a favor and try not to gasp.