Measurement Day Dread


It’s measurement day again.

In fact, it’s 8 days past the measurement day and I still haven’t recorded my measurements.

I don’t want to do it.

It’s unpleasant.  It’s uncomfortable. And I don’t want to do it.

Why is it? Why am I feeling such a resistance to taking my measurements?

I could just say “I don’t know”, but that wouldn’t be true. And I’m all about truth.

I know that the answer is deep down inside me and I’m going to take a look.

Looking inside – What am I feeling?

I don’t want to take my measurements because I don’t want to face them.  I don’t want to face them because I am afraid of what I will see.  I am afraid that I will see no progress and that makes me feel ashamed.

Fear, shame, and fear of shame.

I am ashamed of my weight. I am ashamed of my waist.  I am ashamed of my hips and thighs. And I’m even ashamed of my ankles. I don’t even need to measure my ankles for the program, but when I reach down to measure my calfs I see my ankles and I am ashamed of them.

I am ashamed of lack of progress on all these measurements. I must be doing something wrong. Right? I must not be doing enough. I am ashamed of being ashamed because I know I’m  not supposed to let the numbers get to me.  But they do.  They do get to me.

I feel so much shame every time I turn around and I feel exhausted!

Approach with curiosity – Why am I Feeling this way?

Why?  Why is there so much shame attached to the way I look, to the numbers on the scale, to the numbers on the measuring tape?  Why does it hurt so much?  I don’t even need to tell these numbers to anyone, so it’s not about keeping my privacy.  I feel shame when I even so much as think of taking my measurements.  So I don’t know why.

My only guess is that’s our culture.  And the culture I came from, where everybody is obsessed with their weight and are constantly trying to lose it. What a miserable existence!

I can’t tell you how many times my mom, my beautiful, strong, independent and adventurous mom complained to me about the fat in her stomach or on her thighs. She was concerned about how the skirts looked tight on her hips . I thought she was nuts. I thought she was beautiful and regular looking. I never saw any of the flaws she tried so hard to point out. And I thought the skirts looked fabulous on her!

So does my shame have something to do with my mom’s shame? Maybe.  Does it have something to do with the culture I grew up in and the culture that is obsessed with weight loss and surrounds me every day?  Probably.  Is it fair that I have to suffer because of all these beliefs that are not even mine but are being pushed on me? Probably not.

So what do I do now?  I seem to be frozen in place and not moving.  I am avoiding taking measurements like the plague.  If I wait one more week, it will be time to take measurements again and this cycle will start over.  Just writing this, I’m feeling the knot in my stomach.  The fear.  Paralyzing fear.  Will this ever stop? Maybe.  Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Probably.  But that’s just the way fear works.  It grows and snowballs inside my head and is not rational.

Take Action

Fortunately I know what to do.  There are just two steps to getting through this paralysis.

Step 1: Notice and Name

This entire post to this point was me practicing “Noticing and Naming” technique.  A technique that uses mindfulness and curiosity to help face our innermost thoughts and fears instead of running from them.  Pause and notice that this is happening.  Give it a name.

Once I name the fear, it takes shape and seems more manageable.  It is more tangible and not as scary anymore.

Step 2: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

I have determined that I am afraid of feeling ashamed of my body and I am afraid of the numbers not moving enough.  Ok.  So I am afraid.  I’m going to allow myself to feel that fear, take up space in my heart and experience it fully.  I will give it some time and have empathy for my self for feeling that way.

Then I’m going to remind myself why it is important to take regular measurements.  Regular measurements are the most efficient way to collect data that will let me know if I am on the right track with my program.  I am an analytical person and I can appreciate the importance of raw data.  It can speak volumes and give so much information!  When trying to make changes, how do I know that the changes I am making are working?  How will I know how to course correct if they are not?  The only way to do that is to measure the results.

The business process manager in me says “Isn’t it obvious?  You can’t improve what you are not measuring!  Measure the adherence to the process and put process metrics in place.  Benchmark the results.  Measure regularly and analyze those measurements.  Continue improving the process until you get the measurements you want.”   Funny how I know exactly what to do when it comes to work and work related processes but draw a complete blank when it comes to the process of improving my nutrition. 🙂

I guess I’ll follow my own advice and accept the measurements as necessary.

Then I’m going to get up and take my measurements.

As in right now.

Ok… here goes… in no particular order…

October 1 – Progress measurements:

  • Neck – 14″
  • Waist – 38 1/2″
  • Hips – 45″
  • Thigh – 25″
  • Bicep – 14 1/2″
  • Shoulders – 47″
  • Chest – 44″
  • Calf – 15 1/2″
  • Weight – 185lb

That’s it. Done.

Whew! What a relief!

Was it pleasant? No.  Is it done now? Yes, thankfully.  I don’t need to worry about it again for another week.

What’s next?

What will I do differently next week?  I will try to do it right away and not wait for this fear to grow in my head over several days span and take up so much space in my head.

I know there are others who also struggle with the measurement tracking on this program and I empathize with you all!  I hope this article inspires you to feel that fear and do it anyway.  Move through the fear and come out that much stronger on the other side.

Share your thoughts on taking regular measurements below!

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