What's in a number anyway? According to Wikipedia, a number is a mathematical object used to count, measure and label. Subjectively and/or objectively, it has meaning, it has significance, it has value.
For example, a boy I knew briefly in my 20s used to boast nine inches. I vaguely recall checking my meter stick to see what nine inches meant stretched out on a flat surface and being unimpressed. Gross anatomy does that to you as does working with clients who wear johnny gowns all day. Both experiences are great equalizers. To be on the safe side, I studiously avoided accidental glances at his crotch, being unsure if he meant nine inches at rest or during exercise. I was, however, obsessed with proving he had lied about his height. (I could sniff out these white lies having fudged my weight, both out loud and in my head, for a lifetime, all thanks to the magical expanding power of yoga pants. Not only does spandex lift and separate, it also, to this day, keeps my delusions nicely supported.) I'd observe him standing under my hanging plant or reaching into a cupboard and gauge the space between the top of his head and some random reference point then take out that same meter stick once he was gone to validate my suspicions. Sure enough, he was at least two inches shorter than he claimed.
Another man-boy I knew in my 20s confided in me one day that he thought his doody bird was too thin. (Doody bird is an endearing term I learned from my dearly-departed ex-mother-in-law.) How the heck does one even measure that? And for that matter, what do the stats say? While he was distraught over thickness, I was more turned off by the raw spinach that was perpetually stuck between his teeth (I know it was raw because he used to munch on it straight from the bag) not to mention that he drank his tea with two Tetley tea bags seeping in the mug for way past the recommended time, without adding milk.
Then there was Tom, a blind date who neglected to tell me he was 250 lbs overweight, then proceeded to berate my "shallowness" and harass me in a very scary way when I told him there wasn't going to be a second date. That decision had way more to do with his sneaky non-disclosure and subsequent expertise at manipulating his size to guilt you into dating him than the fact that he was hefty, liked Alf and embalmed bodies for a living. This was back in the days before the internet and online dating when there was no way to screen potential dates by lurking/stalking/googling.
All this to say that we sometimes allow measurements to define us, hold us back, keep us stuck, feed our insecurities/obsessions/egos, etc. It's not as if they're going to provide my measurements at time of death the way they do for birth announcements. "We are sad to announce the death of our dear Hobbit friend, weighing in at 110 lbs (yeah, sure) and having shrunk to 4'6" in later years due to bad posture, not enough calcium in her diet and lack of high impact exercise."
In other words, the number that matters to you is not likely to be a major preoccupation with the next person unless you point it out all the time, put it on your business card or write regular blog posts about it. And even then, they're likely to be fixated on their own special number.
Which brings me to the fact that it is day 26 of our Whole30 challenge. If you do the math, we are 13/15th's of the way through. Considering the fact that I did not weigh myself at the beginning, I am surprised to discover myself being overly concerned about what the scale will say on day 30. I have an idea what I want it to read but considering I lie about my weight in my head anyway, does it really matter what it says? Wasn't the initial goal to get healthy versus weighing less. I'm definitely healthier though my sleep hasn't improved and my left hand is still numb and my hair is still galactic and my bloody yoga pants still fit.
One of the absolute pleasures of this eating plan is that there is no measuring, no counting, no weighing of food, unless of course you are following a specific recipe. I can't tell you what a relief this is to someone like me who is obsessive about the bevel mark when measuring yet quite adept at rounding off pounds to the lowest tenth when stepping on the scale.
Stay tuned for Monday's wrap-up when we take stock of the past four weeks, weigh-in ( or not) and plan for reintroduction.
My trusty tape measure.