Every single morning began the same. Wake up. Think about what I ate the day before. Consider what I’d allow myself to eat this day. Go to the bathroom. Then- step on the scale. This went on for decades of my life.
Every. Single. Day.
But morning wasn’t the only time I’d step on the scale. My dance with the scale picked up speed over time. I’m not exactly sure when it went from a daily ritual to something I repeated all through the day. Like an itch I just couldn’t scratch, no matter what the scale said, I wasn’t happy. I had to keep getting on it. Over, and over. And over again.
A No Win Situation
If the number went down, I felt euphoric. For about three seconds. Then the anxiety swooped in. Taking my breath away. I needed to keep the number from going back up. I just needed to make it smaller.
If the number went up- total panic occurred. I became obsessed with the desire to lower the number. Shame overwhelmed me because there was confirmation I was disgusting. Worthless. A failure.
Sometimes I’d step on and off the scale. Over. And over, and over again. Was that number right? Surely not. I’d step again. If the number went up by even one pound, hysteria filled my body. My heart beat rapidly, my throat dry, as if my entire life was suddenly on fire and I had to extinguish it.
No matter what the number said, the scale caused me panic and fear. And only contributed to my obsessions.
A Realization About the Scale
One day, after stepping on and off the scale over and over again, I became overwhelmed by the reality that no matter what- stepping on the scale led to feeling awful. And yet, it felt like I simply could not resist the urge to step on it. It was screaming at me from the bathroom. Any time I laid eyes on it, I had to check. Just to see.
Suddenly anger washed through my entire body, as if a fire burned in my belly. I realized- this scale is never ever going to help me. Impulsively I grabbed a hammer and took the scale out to the patio behind my apartment. Raising the hammer as high as I could, I brought it crashing into the scale that held me captive.
Over and over again I bashed the scale with my hammer. And with every loud wack, I felt a tiny bit of freedom spark within me.
I was no longer going to allow this piece of machinery to define my worth as a human being. I would not give it the power anymore to determine my mood. Or my meals. Or my feelings about myself. It could not determine my value as a human.
I was taking my power back.
And it was one of the many steps along the recovery journey that helped me keep going forward.
So, if you’re still weighing yourself, consider letting go of this self destructive habit. Your health can not be measured by your weight. The scale measures your gravitational pull towards the earth. It doesn’t measure your worthiness. Your beauty. Or your ability to be loved. It doesn’t measure your physical, mental, or emotional health.
Sure, there are some things it can measure. Like how attached you are to diet culture. How strongly you’ve linked your self esteem with a number. And how unhealthy this attachment is. It can measure how deeply you’re sinking into the delusion that controlling your weight will magically control your life. But are these the things you want to spend your life energy on?
Or do you want to choose something different today? Do you want to choose a new path. One that leads you to freedom. To living authentically in your body at her natural shape and size. Do you want to step on the scale again, or do you want to step forward in your life?
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