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Volunteering to be Weighed in Public

Friday, June 28, 2013

I am taking a CNA class. It's regressive schooling for an anatomy tutor and home health and hospice aide, but I found out it will shave 6 months off my internship time when I am in my nursing home administration program.

The teachers, both retired nurses, demonstrate skills including how to take temperature and blood pressure three different ways and how to make a really tight bed even while someone is lying in it. They use each other as patients. But when it came time to show us how to use a doctor's scale, neither one of them volunteered to be weighed in front of the class. There was a very long, awkward silence.

Most of my classmates are at least 20 years younger than I. Many are also quite a bit thinner; several are U of O athletes; many students should have felt very confident about their weight. Three women literally look like famous movie stars. But they didn't volunteer. So I stepped up and volunteered.

The teacher asked me about how much I weighed, of course, so she could slide the weights across, and I said loudly, "about 160" since I was fully dressed and it was afternoon. And I did not turn purple and think I was going to die of shame, even though a few weeks ago I wanted to beat my head against the wall because my weight has budged very little in the last several months. In fact, I felt really good precisely because I knew what had to be done - and I got it done. If I had stood petrified like everyone else, I would have been letting my body image get in the way of getting the class moving again.

And thinking ahead, who in the class will remember my weight a week from now, much less a year from now? My mother and my husband aren't in the class. Even if I had weighed fifty, a hundred, or even two hundred pounds more, who cares about the giggles of those people immature enough to giggle about it? Most people would probably STILL be grateful that someone volunteered so they wouldn't have to. A few might go home and think about why they were grateful, and maybe ponder their own body image.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You got some guts girl!
    2087 days ago
    That is simply fantastic. You have so much in the right perspective. A few days ago I was in the gym about to weigh myself on their super-fantastic carefully calibrated scale that is like a piece of nuclear equipment and one of the gym workers (petite young lady) came up and asked if I knew how to use the scale. "Yes," I said, "I've used it many times." Then she stood there. And I stood there. And finally I SNARLED at her: "I'm waiting to do it in privacy" and she slunk off.

    I felt bad about the whole situation. I felt bad that I snarled. I felt bad that I assumed (and I have no idea what was on her mind) that she wanted to watch me so that she could have a private moment of snark. Or maybe she thought I was just too old to know how to use the scale (which only involves pushing a series of buttons--a motivated rat could be trained how to use it). But I also felt bad that I did not have the confidence to go ahead and do it and that my voice was filled with hostility....

    So you are a much braver woman than I am. Good for you!

    2087 days ago
    Big thumbs up from the 50+ gals! You go girl!
    2088 days ago
    I like your confidence! You did show the youngsters! emoticon
    2088 days ago
    You showed them what it means to be comfortable in your own skin. Good for you!
    2088 days ago
    They won't remember your weight, but they WILL remember your self confidence!! And they will probably be thinking they hope they look half as good as you at your age!! Awesome!
    2088 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Good for you stepping forward to show 'em how to get it done. Let's hope that's a lesson they take with them - not that you were weighed or the amount but that when push came to shove and someone needed to step forward you did it without hesitation!
    2089 days ago
    You are a rock star! emoticon
    2089 days ago
    Wow! That took some courage! emoticon emoticon
    2089 days ago
    You Go Girl! Now that's showing 'em! Good for you! You are right! All the silly hang-ups we have about things -- and in most cases -- nobody cares or remembers!

    I'm proud of your "let's get this done" attitude! I hope you are too! emoticon
    2089 days ago
    Way to go. Good way to set an example for the youngsters.
    2089 days ago
    You are a brave and confident woman!!
    2089 days ago
    Inspirational! Thanks for sharing.
    2089 days ago
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