‘A friend gifted me ‘booty leggings.’ I was so excited to try them. When they arrived in the mail, they had no tag, no size, no number.’: Woman urges ‘I’m more than a number, and so are you’

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“I am 41 years old. 5’ 2 and ¾” tall. I weigh 154 pounds. I wear a size 6 in pants. I wear a 36 DD bra. I have 3 children. I was married for 9 years. I have been divorced for 9 years. I make $50,000 a year.

Do you now have a vision of who I am, how I live, or what I might look like? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not, as they are, after all, just numbers. Numbers that have risen and fallen, easily and often, but which I have nevertheless clung to my whole adult life, as if they define me. As if they determine my worth.

I am constantly stepping on and off the scale; looking for a new and improved, better-paying job; hating my bra size; and hoping to fit into that size 4 dress in my closet. When the pant size goes down, my confidence goes up. When the salary increases, so does my quality of life. Divorce made me a failure as a mother, and I am just certain a husband will make me happier. Married is better than single. And when the number on the scale goes down, I am more desirable.

These are the lies I have believed all of my life. But now I say EFF that. Thanks to a gift I received in the mail recently.

When these cute Booty by Brabants leggings I’d had my eye on for quite sometime arrived in my mailbox, I was so excited to try them on. And when I did, the first thing I looked at was the tag on the inside of the pants. I wonder what size she sent me? I knew that the answer to this silly question was either a compliment or an insult. (Small: ‘Oh yay! She thinks I’m skinny. Large: ‘Yup, I am fat.’)

But these leggings had no inside tag, no size, and no number. The pants had absolutely nothing to say about my shape and size. Further research showed the pants are one size fits most, and so I was left with just a pair of leggings. A pair of comfortable, cute leggings that offered no insight into my worthiness. No silly number (or letter) to define my body, sabotage my self-love, or boost my confidence. No compliment or insult attached to the gift.

Just a pair of leggings. No numbers. But maybe a message.

Numbers lie, friends. It’s time we start screaming that from the rooftops. We need to let go of everything we have ever associated with our stats, and live life from the inside out.

You are not everything you have ever associated with your age. The number that appears on your cake once a year, as you celebrate with dread? It lies. It is a mere calculation of the current year minus your birth year. That is it. A mathematic equation. It doesn’t speak to your individuality, your personality, or your vibrancy. You are as young as you choose to be.

You are not the number that pops up on your digital scale in the morning. That number is altered by things like water intake or lack thereof. That number lies too. That number doesn’t account for muscle mass or breasts that fed three children. It doesn’t weigh your heart that is so full of things like love and guilt and a desire to be better every day.

It doesn’t account for the value of that ice cream you had with your daughter, to celebrate her hard-earned A on a geometry test. It doesn’t measure the memories that come with the cupcakes you made at 10 p.m. for the soccer team, while singing ‘Party in the USA’ by Hannah Montana with your kids. That number doesn’t care about the carb-heavy dinners and the drive thru meals that sometimes just have to happen.

That number doesn’t boast with pride at your stretch marks, which are freaking battle wounds leftover from the miracle that is childbirth. That number, that measurement of pounds, doesn’t reveal the strength, courage and love that defines you from head to toe.

So let’s say goodbye to numbers once and for all. Don’t waste any more of your memory making, living, breathing and blessed moments, focused on numbers. Let’s stop calculating them, proclaiming them, and giving them power. Stay off of the scale and throw that size 4 dress you’re hoping to squeeze into away, once and for all.

Accept the body you are in, and be grateful for it each and every moment. Don’t act your age. Act your spirit, act your soul, act your energy. Don’t celebrate your birthday. Celebrate every day. Look in the mirror and love your reflection. And if you don’t, well then, practice loving your reflection. Because self-love can be learned. Wear Booty by Brabants leggings, because you don’t need a stinking number to compliment or insult you.

Choose the best for yourself, and do things that make you feel good, loved, and full of life. Do all the things that make you proud to be who you are on the inside. Be strong. Be brave. Be carefree. I am more than a number and so are you. Let’s remind each other and ourselves of this a little more often. Let’s rip out our tags and say goodbye to numbers once and for all.”

Courtesy of Suzanne Eileen

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Suzanne Eileen of Simsbury, Connecticut, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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