It’s been about the numbers for as long as I can remember. My worth as a child was measured by my grades (a “B” was cause for embarrassment), and my size. I was overweight as a girl, just plump really, but it was shameful and painful to be called “Fatty Patti.”
I developed anorexia at age 14 and became quite sick. But I had such crazy, fleeting joy to weigh less than 100 pounds, and no one called me chubby anymore. I got better from anorexia and have been healthy-slim most of my life. But at age 61 I still have not escaped the tyranny of numbers.
When I meet women who say “oh my weight goes up and down, and I don’t mind,” I am still amazed and want to plumb their psyches – how do you do that? I still measure the hits on my blog, Facebook, and other sites, always looking for an increase. What would be so tragic about a decrease?
So I still battle with numbers – our financial investments, my age, blog stats, clothing sizes (not so much there anymore since I buy mostly secondhand), hurricane possibilities. As a trained shrink, I know it all has its roots in anxiety – and counting the numbers gives one an illusion of control.
One of my grad school professors – my beloved Dr. Dye – once commented on a paper I’d composed: “How would it feel to let go of all that control?” I remember welling up with tears at his recognition of my core anxiety.
With this as my history, I was revolted and horrified by a U.S. presidential candidate’s comments about women and their size. He has called women “pigs” and “Miss Piggy” because of their weight. I am angry and despairing that this kind of language comes out of a grown man who wants to be a leader. How do women/girls feel about being called “fat names”? I can tell you, we feel self-loathing, especially when we are twelve years old. Shame on a man – or woman – who has demeaned women in this way.
In light of the last paragraph, I may lose some followers – people who support this candidate may ban me from their computers. This will be a good exercise for me in accepting what numbers are. They aren’t everything that’s good and important and truthful. They measure things, but not all the important things.
Have a full and fabulous day, and don’t let any “performance” numbers steal your joy. We are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough for any day.