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Personal Essay on Weight Loss

The Important Reason I Named My Bathroom Scale "Joy"

I know, we don't usually name our bathroom scales. But the FitBit Aria, a scale that connects through your WiFi and FitBit account to upload your information to your account automatically, requires you to give her a name.

What do you name a bathroom scale? What do you name the assh*le that keeps track every little ounce you gain and lose?

I named her "Joy." Because honestly, there is no joy in being reminded of my weight. A weight I've carried around now for over two years. Weight that I put on through sleepless nights and incredible stress and depression.

I'm not making excuses. It happens. Life happens. Stress happens.

We moved. I started a new job. My youngest wound up in the hospital and, from complications, lost his hearing for several months. Then my oldest transitioned, in a small conservative town, in the middle of second grade. We had to short sale our house. My husband switched jobs. We moved again. And again.

Life happens. Stress happens. Weight happens. And it certainly happened to me.

I gained 60 pounds in about two years. I went from a size 12 to a size 18. I felt sick and tired all the time, I hated how I looked, I loathed the only clothes that would fit me. I hated buying ones that did.

I vowed I would be better, do better. I would eat right and work out and lose the weight. Tomorrow.

But tomorrow stayed a day away, no matter how many times I promised myself it wouldn't. That failure would make me even more depressed and more stressed, a never-ending spiral.

Until Spring of last year, when we joined a gym and the kids begged and pleaded to swim. Only parents had to swim with them.

Which meant I had to get bathing suit. I did, of course, I'm not that vain, but it made me realize just how much I'd let myself go. And how desperately I needed to make some very necessary changes, for my own health. So I got a trainer, and every week I showed up. I felt better about myself, because I was doing something (cue exciting music and trumpet sounds).

Only that was the only thing I was doing. I still spent a majority of my time sedentary and I still ate like crap.

I can't honestly say what changed. Was it any one thing? Was I managing my depression better? Was I feeling better? Suddenly more motivated?

But Jan. 1 (I know, so cliché), I changed my life. I joined Weight Watchers, I started working out three to five times a week. I started keeping track of my weight and my measurements. Slowly but surely, the scales moved in my favor. Slowly but surely, pound after pound, the weight has begun to slide away.

I've lost almost 35 pounds and two sizes. I've lost three inches in my waist and hips. I'm not done, by any means. I have 25 left to go, just to be back at where I started. But I feel better, more energetic, more determined to keep going.

I feel joyful. So that's what I named my bathroom scale. Because even on bad days, on days I gain or I indulge a little too much, I know I'm doing something. Doing something. Even without the exciting music and trumpets.

And knowing that truth brings me a lot of joy.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
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