A week or so ago, my friend Kara shared this (👇) lovely post on Instagram. It was inspired by a client who was told by a doctor that they should be thinking about their weight and BMI. This was after she had just ended two months of residential eating disorder treatment. Ugh.
Her brave client shared a letter with her doctor, filled with the numbers that really did matter. I was so inspired by her bravery, and I just love the sentiment she shared - that we (collective we - ourselves and society) spend too much time worrying about weight, a number that really doesn't matter, and not enough about the things that do. Too often, we judge people on a number, not on who they are as a person.
Her post got me inspired to think about the numbers that DO count in my life. Here's the numbers that matter to me:
2. The number of countries I've been to. Currently at 22! This year, I'm adding Mallorca (which technically is an island not a country but whatevs) and Portugal to my list.
3. The number of times I spoke my mind. In the past, I was always afraid to say something controversial or against the grain. I'm really proud of myself for gaining the confidence to express my opinion and stand up for others.
4. The number of times I've felt butterflies in my husband's presence. The number of times we've laughed together. The number of times I've felt a deep sense of joy and comfort from our relationship. The number of times we've fought or argued, and grew stronger as a result.
5. The number of clients I have helped make peace with food and their body.
6. The number of minutes/hours of free time I have to disconnect at the end of the day.
7. The number of emails I've received from someone sharing that they were inspired to seek treatment for their disordered eating, get rid of their scale, or do some other brave and scary thing after reading something I wrote.
8. The number of really solid friends I have who I talk to regularly/semi-regularly, who would drop everything to be there for me if I needed them.
9. The number of friends I've lost touch with over the years, but share so many wonderful memories with. I know they smile when they think fondly of me, and if we ever crossed paths, it would be just like old times.
10. The number of friends I've dropped from my life. Y'all, there is nothing more freeing than dropping relationships that are dragging you down.
11. The number of miles I've hiked. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, and unfortunately there's not a ton of great hiking within an hour of Columbia. If I'm wrong, please email me and let me know - would love to discover some more great spots nearby!
12. The number of different new foods/dishes I've tried. I am eternally curious about different foods, and rarely have I discovered something I didn't like (I'm looking at you sea urchin in weird green sauce from a Chilean fish market...)
13. The number of hours I've spent in conferences, reading journal articles, in mastermind groups, in webinars, taking training programs to improve my practice as a nutrition therapist. Doing the best by my clients is SO important to me, and I feel grateful to have found an approach to health and wellness that truly helps people live their best life.
14. The number of volunteer hours and dollars I've donated to causes I care about. Last year we donated more money to charities and political candidates we believe in than ever before, and this year I've carved out time in my schedule to volunteer each week.
15. The number of times I've felt truly in awe of nature.
16. The number of minutes I've spent listening, and I mean really listening, to someone else tell their story, explain their beliefs, or talk through a personal dilemma.
17. The number of people who have inspired me to be a better person and do better things. Currently inspired by my best friend in Atlanta, who is doing really amazing things in her community.
18. The number of times I've done something kind for a stranger, made them laugh, or made them feel good about themselves.
19. The number of times I've connected with or learned from someone who has had a completely different life experience than I have. As I've gotten older, I've realized my privilege and just how much I don't know. Listening and believing fosters personal growth, connection, and I honestly believe it's the easiest thing we can do to make this world a better place.
20. Most important to me, the number of minutes I am living in the present moment, not distracted by anxiety over the future, or regret over the past.
You are so much more than a number on the scale. In fact, I'd say that's probably the least important part of who you are. Your weight is not your identity, nor is it anyone else's identity. Remember as you meet and interact with others, everyone has a list of numbers that do count. We just have to get better at looking beyond the surface.
I'd love to keep this list going. Feel free to share the numbers that count in your life in the comments!