I have a birthday coming up. It’s not a big momentous, turn of the decade birthday.
It’s not an entry into double digits kind of birthday
or a 16th or an 18th or even a 21st kind of birthday.
Sadly, I can hardly even remember my 21st birthday – never mind anything earlier (and that has nothing to do with 21 being the drinking age and everything to do with my advancing age!)
but my fading childhood memories help me feel less guilty about some of the less-than-stellar birthday parties I’ve thrown for my children.
But back to my point…
I am having a birthday. Birthdays used to mean cake and candles, maybe a new outfit or some small gift.
Birthdays meant family and friends and sleep over parties (Sorry “C”, for the cheese doodle incident. Even though you did fall asleep first, and you were snoring, and I really didn’t have anything to do with it, I still feel (just a little bit) guilty and hope you have forgiven us :S ).
Now though, I look at my birthdays differently
And it’s not with the level of anticipation I once had
And it seems that everything reminds me that I’m getting older.
Like even my bathroom scale for instance – and it’s not just my ever climbing weight gain.
I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought a scale that would actually take my age, height, and weight and use that to measure my body fat index or some crazy thing like that, but I did.
Now, as the pounds are harder to lose, I wonder what sort of demonic individual invented a body fat scale.
And what sort of glutton for punishment, self-loathing individual would buy it!
I’m thinking it must have been during that period right after I had Kaleb.
Having spent the last four months of pregnancy alone, suddenly abandoned, and facing a divorce I didn’t want, I lost my heart and part of my mind too.
But I had lost most of my pregnancy weight too!
God always gives us a silver lining! 😉
So maybe that is what led to me buying a ridiculously expensive scale to measure my body fat as well as my weight. Maybe, in my postpartum insanity, I had bought that scale and entered my information (Gender: Female, Height: 5’4″ – on a good day!, Age: 39), and then I had proudly stepped on that scale
without the forethought that someday soon, that 39 would no longer be 39 and that weight and body fat index I was so delighted with back then…might not always be so delightful either!
Over the almost five years that I’ve been single, I have not only mended big portions of my heart and found (most of) my mind (although there are those who would rightly debate that point!), but I have also “found” all those lost pounds – and then some!
And now I no longer like that scale so much,
And I dread going into the bathroom and seeing it, never mind stepping on it.
And so I avoid it like the plague – except when it happens to catch the corner of my eye
And then I give it the dirtiest look I can muster
Before I give in to some sick temptation inside of me
And I step on it,
Peering through fingers pressed tightly to my eyes as though I can change the output by not fully seeing those climbing numbers
But soon, it won’t be just my weight and body fat index climbing,
Soon, as if to add insult to injury…
My age will have to climb higher too!
Recently, I walked into the bathroom, not planning to weigh myself (why subject myself to more misery than I have to in any one given day?)
But I must be getting even larger than I thought because in that small space, I turned into and accidentally stepped on that danged scale.
And as I looked down, the numbers staring up at me, death-black, glowing, mocking numbers boldly, mockingly announcing my age for the world to see.
Well, the world would only see if the world was in the bathroom with me I guess – which would admittedly be a bit weird!
(Or the world would see if I did something insane like posting it online – like in a blog or something – but that would be CRAZY!)
Suddenly it wasn’t just my displayed weight and body fat that I didn’t want known.
It was also my age.
With sudden clarity, I knew that in a few days, I would step on that scale. I’d watch the numbers go up – up – UP for my weight. Then the screen would switch and those numbers would go up – up – UP for body fat.
And then I’d have to get off the scale, bend over, and manually adjust those red, glaring digits so that they too would climb higher.
The effort of bending over and manually adjusting the age display would only add to my misery.
And I wonder again what sort of demonic individual would invent a scale with weight, fat index, and age displays.
I could almost see the inventors of this scale, the Bill and Ted types, sitting in a back office of some dingy warehouse and laughing evilly as they imagined me and other wrinkled, aging, overweight, single moms badly in need of mani-pedis bending over in our fuzzy robes, large backsides protruding adding on yet another year.
Should I add depressed to that description of single moms – after adjusting the age, I might have to – just for one day.
Yes, I now seriously dislike that scale. I mean seriously dislike that scale!
But that horrible scale is also helping me face facts. I am having a birthday coming up. I do eat too much cake (and unfortunately that’s not just on my birthday, and it’s not just cake either for that matter!)
That scale, which was such vanity purchase, is showing me that God gave me this body, that I only get one body, and that I had better take better care of it.
And so, while I might still give that scale a dirty look, I will also use it to motivate me to get in better shape, lose a few pounds, and lower my body fat index before bending to adjust that age again next year.
Think I can do it?
I think with God I can do anything!
But then again,
God may also want me to test another of those Oreo pudding trifles George is making for his school’s baking contest!
I mean after all, a good mom would want to test things for her son first, wouldn’t she?
Sometimes it’s hard to interpret God’s exact plans.
So for now, I’m guessing God wants me to be a good mom, to eat trifle, and to wait until after my birthday to start that diet!