Does this story sound familiar? Once upon a time, there was a woman who weighed 172 pounds. (Or whatever your number is today.)
This weight was more than she weighed 5 years ago.
It was much more than she weighed 10 years ago.
And so whenever she stepped on the scale and saw the number 172, she made up a story about herself.
These stories were not your typical fairy tales.
There was no beautiful princess waiting to be rescued by the handsome prince.
These stories had a heroine for whom this woman felt no compassion.
Here’s how they went:
Once upon a time there was a woman who weighed 172 pounds. She was a terrible person. She had no control.
Wait… this isn’t true! The only thing that’s true is the number.
Okay, let’s try again:
Once upon a time there was a woman who weighed 172 pounds. She had no willpower. She was weak and stupid.
Wait! That’s not true either! The only truth here is the number 172.
Back to the drawing board.
Once upon a time there was a woman who weighed 172 pounds.
She used the number 172 to tell all kinds of mean stories about herself.
And, they worked!
They made her feel terrible. Not smart. Not healthy. And certainly not worthy.
Now, my friends, sadly that last story is true.
For lots of us, we use the number that represents our weight to mean all kinds of things about ourselves that not only aren’t true, but they make us feel awful.
That is sad.
Because when you make yourself feel awful, it often feels so bad that you want to escape by eating more unneeded food.
And so we go in a big, unhappy circle.
So I’d like you to consider one final story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman who weighed 172 pounds. This number was higher than she wanted it to be.
So she gently took a look at how this number came to be.
She saw that she ate more than she needed when she was sad. Or angry.
Or sometimes these strong urges came over her and she felt helpless and had to obey them.
This story is the beginning of the happy ending.
This heroine was compassionate with herself.
Just curiosity and love.
From there, she might figure out why she ate too much, and learn how to deal with urges and feelings differently.
But for now, she was okay.
She was okay with the number 172.
Because all it meant was a simple measurement.
And she could move on from there.
Can you rewrite your own story?