A One-derful Reunion

onederland“It’s a silly machine with some numbers on it. It can’t hurt me. It can hurt my feelings, but not me,” I whisper to myself.

Almost as if she could sense my fear and anxiety, the nurse puts a soft touch on my shoulder. “Take a deep breath in and release,” she instructs. I do so, hesitantly. I would’ve preferred to hold my breath. I would’ve tried to hold it long enough to end up on a stretcher and get transported to anywhere else — Mount Everest in a bathing suit, perhaps? Anywhere but in this room. The room with the scale. The dreaded scale.

You might think this is an overreaction to a silly small appliance. One that can easily be defeated with a baseball bat in a wooded area. For me, that was a fate far too fair for an object that caused so much damage to my mental health.

For years, I hid behind a camera. I dimmed my light because of my lack of confidence. I discounted my victories and successes because I didn’t want to be the center of attention. I didn’t want people looking at me. I ran, and I hid. I believed my worth corresponded to the numbers on the scale. In some unhealthy aspects, I still do. (I know, I know. I’m in therapy.) This little machine with its big numbers scared me. That much I knew. I also knew that this time would be different. Stepping on the scale this time would be different.

In 2023, I wrote, “I Dream of Onederland,” and I have — nonstop. But after an embarrassing event last year, I’ve been working my butt off nonstop to face the scale. I pushed myself in ways I never thought possible with the hope of reaching Onederland once again.

READ: I Dream of Onederland

I spent months doing research, learning more about food, and tracking what I ate. I stopped eating fast food and made sure to get my workouts in. Taking my medicine, vitamins, and supplements became second nature to me and a welcomed part of my routine. Mental strength was just as important as physical strength in this endeavor. After spending hours and hours on homework assigned in therapy, I found myself pushing myself to face my fear and weigh myself more often.

My article in 2023 was raw. It was vulnerable. It was a page from my personal journal. It was my life. I shared one of my toughest battles with the public. It was one of the things that weighed heavily on me — my darkest feelings stemmed from my self-worth and my weight. Before welcoming the new year, I went back and reread my 2023 article. This year, 2024, was going to be different. This weigh-in was going to be different. I’ve put in the work, and it was my time. This weigh-in was going to be different.

And it was.

I closed my eyes. Squinted so hard you would’ve thought I was looking for something microscopic. I felt different. In the silence of waiting for the scale to reveal the new number of my worth, I took notice of small changes in myself. My clothes were no longer fitting. My bras were loose. My yoga pants were stretched out in some areas and saggy in others. I had to change my lucky notch on my Garmin watch (which is about time, since I have a new watch — new watch, new notch) to keep it from falling off. My 3XL clothes that helped me hide so much of what felt like flaws, were feeling like tunics.

“Beep. Beep. Beep” the scale mocked. “Oh, honey. You can open your eyes,” the nurse told me. Without opening my eyes, I turned and stepped off the scale. The nurse looked at me with such sorrow and sympathy. It was almost as if she had once been in my shoes at one point. She understood on some level. She led me to my new room, sat down, and entered my vitals into my chart. Before she left, she softly said, “You’ve made great progress. You should be very proud.” She closed the door, and I waited for my doctor to come in.

After our long and drawn-out appointment, my doctor leaned forward and said, “I am very impressed with your weight. I hardly recognized you when I walked into the room.” I smiled and silently nodded, a gesture of appreciation. Before leaving, she shared a few other things I had overlooked, or hadn’t thought of. “You are radiating confidence.” “You seem happier.” “You’re smiling with your teeth again.” “We spent more time talking about your future and less about your A1C.”

Confidence. Happiness. Joy. Hope.

For so long, my self-worth was wrapped up in the numbers on the scale. It shadowed the traits that make me… well, me. I turned my focus inward and wanted to work on me — my understanding of my physical health and my mental health, and the results paid off in more ways than one.

What was my number? Not that you’re asking — but 193. At my appointment, I was 193 lbs., and as I am writing this, I’ve reached my lowest weight since I graduated high school.

I did it. I made it back to Onederland. But more importantly, I made it back to me.

Brittany Hutto
Brittany Hutto was born and raised in a small (but fast-growing) town in Florida. She married her high school sweetheart and is the mother to the most kindhearted and adventurous little boy named Mark. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Florida where she majored in Public Health and Health Education. She served her community during her time working with underserved populations. After a complex pregnancy, she and her husband welcomed Mark to the world at 27 weeks and 4 days. She stepped away from her career to become a stay-at-home mom so that she could take her son to his many specialist appointments, therapies, and surgeries. She works tirelessly to ensure her son is happy, thriving, and meeting every milestone. Brittany enjoys many activities with her family. In her free time, you may find her reading a good book, spending time with her family out on the boat, DIY projects, and giving back to the local NICU. She currently manages her own blog which invites you to come along on her and her son’s journey from complex pregnancy, to the NICU, and every diagnosis and surgery in between. Brittany also manages a program called Mark’s Mission which gives back to local NICUs. She is an advocate for NICU support and research and is a current student pursuing her Master of Public Administration with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Health Care Administration at the University of North Florida. Her dream is to establish Make Your Mark as a non-profit organization to give back to more local NICUs and serve as a resource for local parents with children who have superpowers.


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