In our society, we seem to equate weight with health more than anything. Weight is seemingly such a defining factor in beauty standards, fitness, and overall happiness that the scale is worshiped and cried over more than my 8 DVD collection of 'Harry Potter'.
Recently, I feel like I'm only good enough if I'm at a certain weight. Like if I can control my weight, I can control how people perceive me or what happens in my life. It's a toxic mindset, but one that I can't seem to get rid of and see so many other people struggle with.
The scale is a way to determine my day, my week, if I'm healthy enough, and most importantly- to know that I haven't gained 'too much' weight.
As many people know, I am a recovering anorexic and have been out of treatment for almost 2 years now. I am open about my experiences and honestly killin' the recovery game (which is kind of scary to say, but hey, wins are wins). But, one thing that I could never seem to stop doing once I came home from treatment was to weigh myself.
I never owned a scale, but as soon as I found out who around me had one, I couldn't help myself stepping onto that unforgiving monitor with fancy little numbers that would determine my mindset for the day. I knew it was toxic and totally not helpful, but I couldn't help myself from wanting to know so I could add them up to know my worth.
Knowing the number means I can somehow keep it under control, like a pet that's misbehaved. I have to be able to justify what number pops up or else I must be condemned.
But the thing was that I could go for a few days and not step on a scale. I didn't feel like the world would implode or that I wasn't in control. But as soon as that scale was put in front of me, it's like it was begging me to find out its secrets. My therapist would ask me why I would keep tempting myself, keep feeding that addiction, if I claimed to be in recovery. She compared it to a recovering alcoholic sitting at a bar. They'll go the bar, order a drink, bring it up to their lips, but not take a sip. Almost giving in to the temptation and still digging into those addictive qualities.
So I decided I wouldn't step on the scale.
I was tired of stepping on the scale and being defined by what I saw. I didn't want to be controlled by it and the only way I could stop letting it get to me was to stop feeding the addiction at its source. I didn't have a goal in mind, but I knew that I needed to lessen the time I spent on the scale and therefore less time thinking about the number it told me.
I never knew how hard it would be to quit something so minuscule in life. It took me the first few weeks to just stop thinking about how much I weighed. I could no longer use the scale as a way to dictate if I was doing okay or eating enough and I had to start just trusting myself.
It was terrifying.
Then, after a few more weeks, I realized I thought less and less about the number I could potentially weigh. I didn't have the incessant need to get on the scale, my mind was more obligated with significant thoughts, and I ate what I wanted by being able to trust myself without the scale.
Maybe I'll see how much I weigh tomorrow, maybe when I go to the doctor's, or maybe I'll just never, ever see the scale again (hopeful thinking).
I may be wrong, but from what I've learned in my small, insignificant time on this earth, is that weight doesn't really matter or equate to health in any way. Eat what you need and eat when you want, figure out how to live life to the fullest without letting yourself get in your way, and stop worrying about how much you weigh- life's too short to measure your worth on a scale.