Have you heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing expert who recommends decluttering your home by asking yourself, object by object, what brings you joy? If it sparks joy, keep it. Throw out the rest.
Here at Salty Running, some of us have been applying similar philosophies to our training. Mango threw out her marathon time goal, choosing to focus on process goals in training instead. Salty and Ginger have ditched their GPS watches, running by feel instead.
I’ve been going through my mental clutter and I’m throwing out a bunch of pointless thoughts about my weight. Should I weigh less? Should I train harder? Should I buy a scale, record my weight daily and re-read Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight? Rigorously measure my nutrient intake while logging every bite in my food journal?
The funny thing is, I don’t even own a scale. 99.9% of the time I couldn’t tell you how much I weigh. It’s not because I mind knowing my weight, though I do have some residual anxiety about it. Weighing myself just isn’t a priority for me when there are so many other, more important ways to assess my health and fitness. (Admittedly, I am privileged in this regard, because I don’t have any health issues that would make my weight an issue. I can afford to ignore it.) Is my running going well? Am I eating a good diet with high-quality foods? Do my clothes fit? OK, then! Keep up the good work!
The other .1% is the rare time I get on a scale at the gym, or, most recently, at my parents’ house between Christmas and New Year’s. Logically, I weighed more at holiday time, after three months off from serious training, than I did in the midst of marathon training in the summer. That’s normal, and I knew it was going to be the case. Even elite runners gain weight in the off-season. It’s good for you, like extra insurance against illness and injury.
I know all that. I know I look and feel just fine – great, even! – but for some reason that holiday weigh-in deposited a bunch of clutter in my brain, starting with the urge to search for scales on Amazon. More useless chatter I must have read somewhere and stored for future useless reference that I should be paying attention to this stuff.
Yeah, no. What I need to think is this: I don’t have time for this shit. Every minute I spend worrying about my weight, which, of course, is code for a host of other issues around my acceptability as a woman in society, is a minute I’m not spending doing or creating or brainstorming ways to help people. It’s a minute I’m choosing to spend on something other than gratitude for my healthy body. If I take Marie Kondo’s advice and pick up these thoughts, hold them close to my heart, and ask myself does this spark joy? the answer is a resounding F no! Out with them!
Everyone’s different, of course, with different goals and motivations. Mine are such that worrying about my weight is a distraction from being my authentic self. And, really:
Where do you stand with weight? Does knowing it bring you joy?