The Power of Numbers : Measuring Health and Happiness

Those of you who’ve been reading about my health and fitness journey may think I’m focusing, or maybe should be focusing, on weight loss. After all, at the beginning of last week, I tipped the scale at 258 lbs…about 125 lbs more than a woman of my short stature is “supposed” to be. According to the formulas and charts, I have a BMI of 45, putting me in the extreme obesity category.

Here’s the thing, I’m over trying to judge myself and my value according to a number on the scale. At least that’s what I’m working on.

That being said, I was inordinately happy to discover that I’d lost five pounds the first week of January.

I hate that I’ve been conditioned to the point where the number on a scale indicating I’m getting rid of part of my being is worthy of celebration.

Self-inflicted fat shaming is just about an automatic thing.

What I really want to be happy about was that I ate consciously aware of what I was eating and why.

True confession: I just ate two Hershey’s miniature candy bars because I was stressed and beyond frustrated with an ongoing issue with my child.

Guess what? I don’t feel one iota of shame or guilt. Now, THAT’S worth celebrating.

The number that should matter is how many days I chose to care about my physical health enough to exercise. Another number to be proud of is an ideal blood pressure of 129/68 after I’d worked out an hour before it was taken.

I can truly celebrate when I get the results of my next A1c blood test and the numbers measuring the previous three months of blood sugar levels have decreased. I can celebrate when the next cholesterol test shows that my choice to eat oatmeal every day has paid off by lowering the bad cholesterol numbers.

The weight changing and going down may be a consequence of the choices I’m making. However, it cannot be the number determining my happiness and contentment with myself.

One of these days the number on the scale may will the same or even go up. It will have to be an informative number indicating whether or not I need to address the actions which contributed to those results.

The scale is a tool, not the Holy Grail.


    1. I have diabetes and sugar is a binge trigger for me. So, I’m having to learn abstinence and substitution by natural means. Like, I add half a mashed banana, a kiwi fruit, or some other sweet fruit to my oatmeal. It sweetens, adds nutrients, and dietary fiber in one fell swoop.


  1. Honey, I would not worry so much about weight. Inches are what matters, muscle weight more than fat so don’t get so caught up in the numbers game.

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  2. I don’t own a scale anymore because when I did, I weighed myself several times a day, hoping to see the number drop so I could feel good about myself. Like you, I am not going to diet anymore, but will still try to improve my health. I hope to exercise more, and am thrilled that I exercised yesterday after taking a week off. I have been eating treats, too, because of a very stressful family illness, and I am trying to love myself through it. I can tell that you are trying to do the same, and that is wonderful! ❤

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  3. The scale is a liar. There are so many things that can cause the numbers on a scale to change…not all of them reliable. I totally understand the need to see that number though. Sigh…My focus this year though is going to be getting healthy…and if I’m healthy at a higher weight than “they” say I should be…oh well. You go, girl. 🙂

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  4. I think a lot of people fail with dieting because they go to the extremes and deny themselves and when the diet is over, they ultimately gorge and revert to the bad habits. I don’t use a scale anymore and good for you for not feeling guilty. I will soon make an appointment and see if all my weetabix eating has had any effect. I got sick of quaker oat :-).

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