By Reba Phelps
Twice a year, whether I want to not, I get the distinct pleasure of visiting with my family physician.
As luck would have it, I do adore her as a person and enjoy seeing her. The downside is that I find myself getting significantly anxious a few days ahead of our designated greeting time. I have even been known to reschedule our visit multiple times.
It starts with me stressing over what I weighed on our previous visit. I never can remember the exact number. Or, maybe I just block it out after I hear it. I weigh every day on my bathroom scales but somehow her scales hate me and add weight that I did not bring with me.
One would think that after so many visits, and no surprises, that I would be cool as a cucumber because the routine never varies.
I sign in. Dread the scales. Visit with friendly staff. Dread the scales. Pay co-pay. Dread the scales. Wait in the lobby with a magazine and…..dread the scales. When they finally call my government name I immediately begin to sweat profusely. Like a lamb being led to the slaughter, my heart races and all of my unhealthy eating habits suddenly flash before my eyes.
Why did I eat that second cupcake? I know better.
When the nurse asks me to step on the scales I immediately remove every item of clothing and jewelry that may weigh more than an ounce. I can shuck shoes, practically undress and drop a purse before the nurse even comes around to start sliding the balance beam scale.
On this particular visit the scale was teetering between a five and six, within a particular number group. (The third digit, not the first digit) Trying to help the nurse out with her vision, I quickly solved the problem for her. It was a five. That one pound held every bit of my self-confidence for the day. I am not sure if she could feel me internally begging and pleading for it to be a five, but she agreed.
She is my soul sister. She knows what’s up.
After we made our way to the exam room and she asked her myriad of questions I asked her to tell me what I weighed on my last visit. She told me I weighed the exact same today as I did last time. When she said those words, it was as if the room lit up brightly and I could hear heavenly angels singing. Heaven was rejoicing for me that I did not gain a pound.
Pure joy overtook my heart as I waited on the doctor to enter the room. I was celebrating myself for holding it steady and I could not wait to see the look on the good doctor’s face when she found out my good news. She has never judged me or made me feel bad for being overweight, but I know she has a job to do. She has to share with me all of the risks and potential things that can wrong while being thick.
I have always looked at her more as a partner than anything else. She shares healthy tips with me, she roots for me and encourages me. She offers workable solutions. On the occasions where the scales have actually went up, I have truly felt like a child who brought home a failing grade. She was disappointed but yet still hopeful. She doesn’t give up on me.
When I heard her tap on the door announcing her entrance, I sat up straight… people who maintain their weight always have wonderful posture. I was literally about to burst, I needed her to acknowledge the non-movement of the scales.
I am fairly certain she could tell that I was looking extra slim and I was winning the battle with my weight. As soon as she asked all of her pertinent questions she did the weight comparison and a sudden look of delight came over her face.
She asked what changes have occurred in my routine because whatever I was doing was working. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I probably lost the same five pounds three different times in the last six months. But, nonetheless, she was happy, and I was happy. As we were wrapping up our visit she looked me with the most sincere look and said, “Keep fighting the good fight and look for the little wins.”
It tickled me. It truly made me smile. But, my inner Negative Nancy voice thought that she had possibly given up on me. The more I overthought it, my Positive Polly came away with the conclusion. She was happy for me!
The thing I don’t understand is why my self-confidence was so tied to the number on the scale. Is there not more to our lives that what we weigh? This may be not a Biblical fact, but I am quite sure we can add this to the list of things that went wrong when Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
The more we focus on our imperfections it takes valuable time and precious energy away from our true intended purpose in our lives. I know that we are loved immeasurably by a father who is accepting of us at any size.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”