The Chart

Can we talk about “the chart”?

You know. The chart. The one the doctor points at when he tells you you’re overweight. That chart.

I’ve been on the “wrong” side of that chart for the better part of 3 years. I was hanging out on the low end of “normal” for a decent chunk of time when I had that wedding dress and tropical honeymoon as motivation, but then fell off that bandwagon and struggled to catch up (because running sucks).

Quarantine certainly didn’t help. The “Covid 19,” people have been calling it. You know, like the “Freshman 15,” but lonelier.

Recently, I got it in my head that I didn’t want to go in for my next checkup and have my doctor tell me I’m overweight on his chart and therefore will be a moose when I’m pregnant one day. I somehow convinced myself being even 5 pounds on the wrong side of this chart will put me and any future babies I may make at risk of all kinds of scary shit.

I slapped my ass on a diet.

And I lost 25 lbs.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate that, because ya’ll know that shit isn’t easy when you’re pushing 30 and hate running.

Now let’s talk about how that backfired and threw off my cycle, thus making it exceptionally difficult to predict ovulation and good ‘ol Flo, who follows the mantra “better late than never” to a T.

All because I’m fixated on the chart.

Who designed that thing, anyway?

Why do we let ourselves get so caught up in what society calls beautiful and what the chart says we should weigh? Apparently being 5’5” and 150 lbs is overweight, and I call bullshit. Yet here I am, making sure I’m well under 150 just so that I can say I’m on the “right” side of the chart.

Am I brainwashed?

I’m sure there’s science to support the chart, and I’m sure it’s a great tool used to keep us healthy and on track.

But I am not one of those 2-D people illustrated on the poster.

I am me, with my own unique body type and health needs.

Don’t let the chart nor any other social expectations take over your life. Use the chart and your doctor as a guide and be the healthiest version of yourself, but don’t let yourself become obsessed with an unrealistic expectation.

I need to take my own advice, but as I said in Hot Potato, it is much easier to tell you what to do than to tell me what to do. Be healthy and be happy. That’s my best advice to us all. Chart or no chart, I’m sure we can all agree with that.

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