“Take note of the number. Then get off the scale and get on with your life.”
Back in my agency days, I worked with a client who claimed his best ideas came to him in the shower. When Florian called us and said he had a “Shower Idea” we knew it would be good.
The idea for this blog came to me in a similar fashion, though mine was technically post-shower. I happened to see the tag inside the jean shorts I was about to put on. You know, the one with the number on it.
I started thinking about how caught up in numbers we get. From the number on the scale to the one on our pants tag, we tend to define our mood, our worth, sometimes ourselves by these numbers. Take an old episode of Seinfeld.
(Side note: though it premiered nearly 25 years ago, it’s still arguably one of the most culturally relevant shows EVER. Chris and I work Seinfeld quotes into our daily conversations and we both believe our relationship is stronger because of it.)
But back to the episode – The Sponge Episode to be exact. Jerry admits he alters the tags on all his jeans to be a waist size 31, when, in fact, he actually wears a 32. That’s right, he doesn’t just lie about it. He actually goes out of his way to change it, even though, at the end of the day, no one really cares.
More proof the size on your clothes is really just a meaningless number? I’ve tried on and own several shorts, from a variety of designers and stores. The sizes range from 0 (the pair I’m wearing on the right) up to 7/8 (the one on the left) – and I wear them all. That’s a FIVE-size range of shorts for one woman. And they all fit comfortably. Hence, my moment, post-shower, for this blog: trying on a size 0 during a recent shopping trip and seeing I was about to put on a size 7/8 a couple days later.
It’s more than just the numbers on our clothes. The one on the scale and the once-thought-to-be-a-perfect-science BMI, both can be just as B.S. Not because of the old “muscle weighs more than fat” saying, which is actually an incorrect statement. But because of the truth behind it.
(Fact: A pound of muscle weighs a pound. A pound of fat weighs a pound. See, muscle doesn’t weigh more that fat. However, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So if you take two identically-sized people, the one who has more muscle will weigh more than the one who has less. There’s your fun science lesson for the day!)
Still, why do they matter to us so much? Deep down, I think we all know they truly don’t and what does matter is how strong we feel, how our clothes fit, those less-than-tangible things. Maybe that’s the issue – we can’t define how good we feel with something black or white, like we can a number.
What do you think? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311. And remember: Like age, pants size ain’t nothin but a number!