Let’s Talk About Numbers

Hello loves! Well, it has been over a month since I last posted…wow, feels like forever! I was going to muster up some courage and dedicate this post to the election, but after some thought, I am going to leave it alone and maybe save that for another time. I think it might do us all some good to keep moving forward with our daily lives and remain positive, no matter who you voted for!

So–on to what I really want to talk about, and that is NUMBERS. We attach so much meaning to numbers. Just take a minute, and think about all of the important numbers in your life…

Anything come to mind?

I know most of us would admit to caring about the number of calories we consume in a day, or what the size of our jeans are, maybe what the number on the scale says, how tall we are…if we are sick we may have to track our blood pressure, our heart rate, our blood glucose levels, iron levels, and the list goes on and on. We become consumed with these numbers, giving them so much more importance than what they deserve. Yes, it is important to every once and a while know where your weight is at, for health purposes. We need to know what size we are so we can shop for clothes. If you have illnesses like I do, you may need to keep track of your blood pressure, heart rate, and so on. But there is a fine line between monitoring these numbers for health purposes, and letting the numbers dictate your life. Maybe you do this, and maybe you don’t, but for those who struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, numbers can be an absolute nightmare.

I am going to open up to all of you who follow me with a struggle that is very real, one that I typically do not discuss in great detail, and that is my issues surrounding mental health. In previous posts I have talked about my recovery from Anorexia, I wrote about tips that I use to combat and cope with anxiety. I believe a while back I even wrote one post about OCD. However, I recently have been getting away from the more personal stuff, and writing on more general topics. This post is going to get to some of the nitty gritty that I have been leaving out. Why? Because it is something that I have been struggling with recently, pretty much every day. And I KNOW I am not the only one out there who has difficulty with numbers.

So, why do numbers hold so much meaning? When I was entrenched in my eating disorder, numbers were my life – no joke! I was exact and precise about every little calorie I consumed. The calories on the bottle of vitamins mattered, the number of calories in gum mattered. The number on the scale, oh boy did that matter! The size of my pants – yep, that mattered too. But let’s just take a step back for a minute. Why on EARTH would I let numbers, meaningless numbers, hold so much weight? (no pun intended) Partly because I was very sick, both with my eating disorder and OCD. However, at least now I am able to look at the bigger picture. It took me years to come to this conclusion, but I now realize that those numbers: the scale, my size, calories – in the grand scheme of things – do not really matter! The scale does not measure my worth, what size my jeans are does not prove anything, the number of calories I eat in a day does not measure my success. I was trying to internalize external things that have no true value. We need to be comfortable with who we are, and recognize all of the good that we are and the good things that we do. We are special, unique, and beautiful just the way God made us. BUT, I am digressing and I tend to do that. Yes, my obsession with numbers surrounding food and appearance have lessened quite a bit, but I think it is safe to say that the obsession has just latched on to another area of my life, which is my health.

As many of you know from my last post, I have Dysautonomia, among other illnesses. This requires that I track my blood pressure and heart rate, as well as occasionally my blood sugar. My struggle right now, is knowing when to stop…knowing when to let it go, and leave the numbers as they are rather than trying to manipulate everything. I feel a bit vulnerable writing this, and I am not going to go into extensive detail about my obsessive thoughts, but I will tell you that sometimes, I get stuck taking these measurements. Over, and over, and over again. The hours add up. And I feel guilty. I feel anxious. I feel stupid. I feel down right bad and ashamed. But I need to realize that, like the number on the scale or the number of my jean size, these numbers do not carry so much weight! Yes, it is important to know when things are off so I can try to correct it and feel better, but my life does not depend on these numbers, if you know what I mean. Half the time, I know how I am feeling and can tell when something is off without even taking these measurements. So yes, in a way they are important, but just like my struggle with numbers surrounding my eating disorder, there is a fine line where it can become unhealthy, an obsession. And THAT is what I need to continue to work on. So, if you struggle with numbers, I hope this post speaks to you, and I hope you know you are not alone. It is not an easy task, but try to not let numbers dictate your life – they should not hold that much power. Life is meant to be lived fully and whole heartedly – and you cant do that if your constantly counting.

Much Love,

Claire

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