I do own up to gizmo-itis. My father was a great gizmo guy, buying the latest gizmo just ahead of my Mother's surprise gift of said gizmo at birthdays and holiday time. But this week, the gizmo, the THING, in which I have much faith is a replacement. Several years ago, after developing a neuroma in my foot, I replaced my dearly beloved, well used treadmill with an elliptical trainer. I was never able to adjust to the elliptical. Probably I was just too short for it. So very glad to have a treadmill in my life again.
The slide show of numbers gets longer. Number after number, up and down, larger and smaller ordinals, hills and valleys, but mostly the trajectory is down. I was unduly excited by the numbers this morning, thinking they had reached a lovely round decade...alas and alack, my number dysphoria lives! I thought my starting number was higher than it was. I thought I was bigger than I was.
I have walked 227,000 steps for 83 miles. I have worked off 668,830 calories since starting to wear the fitbit.
I have gone down a pants size...in women's clothes that new number could be anything from 12-16.
Gotta love me some numbers. But in the end, they are just that: numbers: abstract signifiers of a variety of systems of measurement. They declare various forms of value, but do not, in themselves, contain value. They are neither honest nor dishonest; neither good nor bad; neither moral nor immoral. They are just numbers.
What have I made? 4 artworks and the ongoing film of the number on the scale.
I have not been resisting the weighing and measuring of self, food and fitness. Onward I march toward a fitter goal with less joint pain and lower BP; reorganizing habits toward a gentler on self lifestyle.
But I have been resisting the reading and studying of feminist authors on the contested female body. There still remain powerful cultural forces surrounding the control of women's bodies. Shame, opprobrium,lower pay, laws limiting women's access to reproductive health, and, yes, photoshop are simply a few of the many tools used to keep us in check. These are the forces that I resist.
But there is one thing I know and remind myself of everyday:
This is my one and only body. It is the only portal I have to experience the world and my life in the world. It is my most precious treasure for which I am radically grateful.