Throwback to the day I got rid of this battery-powered machine that dominated every waking minute of my life. My relationship with this scale was twofold.
- It was my safe place, but also my danger zone.
- My happiness, but also my depression.
- My best friend, but also my worst enemy.
- My hate, but also my obsession.
- My sanity, but also my insanity.
This scale meant absolutely everything to me.
I couldn’t go an hour without it. I can’t even count the amount of times a day I pulled it out from under my nightstand. It became almost robotic. When the batteries died, life stopped. All that mattered was how fast I would get a fresh new pair to bring the scale back to life.
This scale made me cry, but also made me feel like I was in a state of euphoria.
This scale made me deprive myself of absolutely everything & I mean everything. Yes, even a glass of water before bed because I knew that the water would reflect as a higher weight on the scale.
This scale made me count my cherry tomatoes & weigh everything from rice cakes to spinach leaves to make sure my weight wouldn’t change from one day to the next.
The number on this scale determined how much I was allowed to eat or how much I would have to starve & count the hours until morning when I’d have another shot at a permission slip to eat.
This scale was toxic, but I didn’t know it until the toxicity took over my life.
This scale made me miss out on life. It made me miss family events, weddings, birthdays & dinners because I knew I wouldn’t be able to weigh myself at the right times. I brought it with me on trips & weekend getaways, out of fear that I wouldn’t be able to weigh myself. If I couldn’t take it with me, I wouldn’t go.
This scale was the fuel for the progression of my eating disorder. This scale led me to my rock bottom.
I became emotionally, mentally & physically attached to it. I became obsessed with it. I became so dependant & reliant on it that it determined my mood, my behaviours & the way I chose to approach my day. I became reliant & dependant on something that was slowly killing me, but I couldn’t stop, no matter how hard I tried. I always found myself going right back to it – for comfort, for pain, for happiness, for sadness. I couldn’t let go, until I realized that letting go was the only way I could truly & wholeheartedly recover from my eating disorder.
When I finally decided to get rid of it, my life completely changed from one day to the next.
I stopped weighing. I stopped knowing. I stopped caring.
I began to weigh my happiness based on how healthy & energetic I felt & not on a lower or higher number on an electrical screen. I stopped weighing my food, counting my cherry tomatoes & depriving myself of everything from a hard candy to a glass of water before bed. I finally got to experience the feeling of actually enjoying food & eating to heal & for benefits. I finally realized that I had wasted two years of my life being trapped & stuck, being too preoccupied with knowing, caring, weighing & counting.
Knowing the scale was no longer under my nightstand was a tough pill to swallow. It scared the living daylights out of me to know that I would no longer wake up in the morning & jump right into my safety net’s arms. It gave me all kinds of anxiety to know that I would have to eat breakfast without knowing if I weighed less or more than the day before.
But instead of caving & running back into the most toxic relationship of my life, I let myself feel & fight the fear. I woke up & didn’t weigh myself & eventually, I felt free. I found ways to cope with the anxiety & I ate breakfast anyway & eventually, the anxiety subsided & went away.
Truth be told, when you break up with your scale, you grieve the loss in the same way you would grieve the end of a toxic relationship. It breaks your heart at first. It kills you. You miss it so much that you want it back, even though you know how bad it is for you. You feel tempted & you have to fight it so hard. You break down & cry.
But eventually, you heal & you realize you only held onto the toxicity for comfort & not because it made you happy, loved or feel good. Your heart is whole again. You’re alive & healthy. You no longer miss it or want it back. You never want to see it again. The temptation is no longer there. You feel happier & more liberated than you’ve ever felt.
And you look back on your life & wonder how you stayed in that relationship for so long.
That’s me today, almost a year later. I now know in retrospect that it wasn’t me that justified staying in the relationship with my scale for two long years, even though I suffered more & more each day. I now know it was my eating disorder.
But what I also know is that taking matters into my own hands & ending that relationship to heal from that same thing that got me into that relationship in the first place was the best decision I ever made.
P.S. Here’s the link to the blog post I wrote when I finally got rid of it: Peace Out Scale, It’s Been Real a.k.a. I-Said-Goodbye-To-My-Scale-&-I’m-Finally-Free