In this weight loss journey I’ve been surrounded with numbers, lots of numbers. Measurements, pounds up and down, ounces of water, ounces of food, miles and/or kilometers walked or jogged, B.M.I. charts, weights used in workouts, numbers of reps performed, personal bests in workouts or runs, distances, lengths, heights, the list goes on and on and on it seems. These numbers are used as an assessment of my progress and as a tool to further guide me into making realistic goals, plans and decisions.
However, my mind plays tricks on me and sometimes I get things a bit mixed up and try to find my worth, my identity and my value in these numbers. This is dangerous because numbers fluctuate and I’ve learned time and time again that a jeans size or the number on the scale doesn’t measure how hard I’m working in my life to live fully awake and to embrace change. It took many years (over half of my life) to see the numbers increase so I must give myself grace as it is taking a few more years than I had hoped to see the numbers decreasing. I simply cannot be defined by numbers.
So if I don’t want to allow a few numerals to tell me who I am why do I care what “they” say about my children? Today I was faced again with another set of numbers. I took Joseph to a local middle school for a series of psychological tests for cognitive function levels, I.Q. etc. In a few days we will receive a series of numbers. This isn’t anything new to our family. Since his diagnosis in 2005 we have had evaluations, tests, progress reports, all centered around numbers. Scales of 1-10, 1-5 and at what age/developmental stage did he………Although I want my numbers to be low (weight, cholesterol, blood pressure) I don’t want his “numbers” to be lower than normal. My heart knows that Joseph is more than a score, a result, an approximation, but my head still expects, dreams, desires his aptitude to be measured as equal to his peers. I’m struggling with knowing that his numbers will be so different from other 12-year-old boys. I’m praying once again for a heart to love Joseph unconditionally and to see him as more than a diagnosis, a test result, a series of numbers. This may seem so harsh, so foreign to some of you, but until you’ve heard a doctor or therapist talk you through some of these “numbers” you really cannot understand how I feel.
So how is all of this connected? Well I’m learning, really learning, to see reality as what it is. My life, my journey, my health, my weight loss, the value of my marriage, and the unique worth of each of my children cannot be defined by other people, by a chart, by a mere number. If I were to never lose another pound it doesn’t change who I am and am becoming. Joseph I.Q. results don’t paint a picture of how far he’s progressed or the joy that he brings to this world. Although I’ve come a long way I have so far to go in this life to really embrace peace and serenity knowing that my identity is not found in what I do or don’t do, what a number says, or what a number says about my husband or children (weight, pay check, grades).
Just as I’ve said that I don’t fear “40”, I’m confessing now and asking you to hold me accountable. I won’t be afraid no matter what the numbers of Joseph’s tests tell me. I won’t be afraid of what anyone thinks of me if I don’t lose this last 40 pounds. The number of people in my inner circle, the size of the congregation I worship with, the amount of zeros in my bank account……they won’t stir me emotionally and cause me to worry, be anxious or define my worth. I’ll use the numbers as they are intended, to simply be a tool, a way to help me make educated decisions. I’ll use them as information and see them for what they are worth, nothing more, nothing less.
Thanks for letting me share…. ~Janelle