Our L9P January prompt is inspired by the ‘I Weigh’ movement started by The Good Place star, Jameela Jamil. According to the “I Weigh” Instagram account, it is “a movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are beyond the flesh on our bones”. Send us your response to “I weigh…” and then post your own ‘I Weigh’ message on Instagram, tagging Jameela and Lane 9 Project!
Weight equals mass times gravitational acceleration.
According to NASA’s Glenn Research center, weight is the force generated by the gravitational attraction of the earth on any object. Science says weight is a number to represent the force of gravity. Diet culture and the media, says weight is a number to represent one’s self-worth.
According to diet culture and the media, weight is a number to represent one’s self-worth.
Weight is a number that society has given so much attention and power. Diet culture has convinced us all that in order to live a satisfying life, there must always be a number on the scale we’re striving for. We’re fed a lie that we have to reach a certain weight (a weight always less than the one we are at the moment) to be happy. For women, the pressure is even greater. From a young age, females are sent the message that their self-worth is dependent on the number on the scale. We grow up with another simple equation; self worth equals weight divided by height. For a really long time, I believed in this equation.
If you asked me about my weight a few years ago, I could have given you an exact number. A number so precise that it should have immediately set off red flags and alarms. I would have been able to tell you how much I weighed that morning, or before and after my run. I would have been able to tell you how much I weighed last night and whether or not it was less in the morning. I lived on the scale and it ruled my life. Each day my happiness was totally dependent on that number. My weight and my self-worth were one in the same. The higher the number on the scale, the less valuable I was.
But if you asked me how much I weigh today, I couldn’t tell you. Or at least I wouldn’t be able to give you the neat numerical answer you’re looking for. I’ve freed myself from the scale. I no longer own one and I can’t remember the last time I weighed myself. It’s been years. I still struggle with insecurities, but I no longer hold my happiness hostage to a meaningless number, I’ve learned that my self-worth is so much more than how much I weigh. A what I weigh is so much more than a number, it is all the beautiful people, things, and challenges that make me a whole and worthy person.
What I weigh is so much more than a number, it is all the beautiful people, things, and challenges that make me a whole and worthy person.
My recovery from disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food, running, and my body. The hard work I put in every day to stay on the right path without slipping back into the disordered behaviors I once engaged in.
The Lane 9 Project community that I’ve built with Heather, and the women we’ve built relationships with along the way. The passion for this project, the stories we’ve heard, and the inspiration I’ve gleaned and hopefully given to others.
The 9 marathons I’ve run. The injuries I’ve overcome, the setbacks and heartbreaks I’ve experienced, and the victories and personal bests I’ve had along the way.
My family and friends, my relationship, and my puppy. The people that keep me going and encourage me to be the best person I can be. The support that we give each other and the knowledge that there is always someone who has your back.
My students and the responsibility I have to be the best teacher I can be for them. Showing up each day and providing a positive, safe, and welcoming place in a world that can be so incredibly scary.
I don’t weigh a number. My worth is so much more. I will not measure myself by gravitational force or dress size. My value as a person goes far beyond my flesh and bones. My value is who I am inside, the challenges I tackle, the accomplishments I achieve, and the way I make others feel.
Go ahead and ask me how much I weigh, just be prepared to have a sit and make yourself comfortable while I tell you.
What do you weigh?
Contribute your essay, or share your story, with Lane 9 Project.