For a moment there, alone in the office bathroom at my job, I forgot that the number on the scale doesn't define me. I stared at the tiles on the bathroom floor trying to memorize the dirt that ingrained itself into the spaces in-between. My gaze would start over the number and look away again, back at the tiles that know nothing of numbers.
I sucked in my stomach (as if that would make a difference) and glanced again. And the number was still the same.
And for a few moments I let the world cave in around me. I watch as the room gets fuzzy and my cheeks felt warm. A shame I should not be feeling sweeping over me as I stood there alone.
Just me and the scale and the number that I am told defines me.
But then I blink my eyes and my reflection stares back at me. I am ruddy faced and breathing shallow. I am pulling myself together.
Because I remember I am in a different age, fighting a battle until the scale stops mattering, a crusader for body positivity. I am remembering my legs, which are hard as rocks from years of swimming and Irish Dance and basketball. I flex my arms, that spend hours a day wrestling toddlers and swinging them around.
And I wonder how anyone ever imagined that a number on a scale could weigh the number of times they smiled at a stranger. How the number could accurately pin point a person's IQ or their keen sense of social justice. How a stupid number could mark their body as beautiful or toss it into the trash.
I remember that there are a million beautiful women who have made it their mission to rid the world of this pursuit of the perfect body, and to instead find happiness in being oneself.
So I take another glance at the number and step off the scale.