More than a number

As yesterday’s Instagram post above implies, something important happened. I’m not calling it a breakthrough or the solution to all of my problems, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

I removed the scale from my apartment.

Say what, you think? For someone with a history of eating disorder, this is a big step. When you’re sick, the scale is your best frenemy. It can make you ecstatic or instantly ruin an entire day. For months and years, I’ve let the scale have too much power over myself and my mood. When I stepped on it and the result was good, I felt like the queen of the world. If the result was bad, I was literally in tears or close to. Or I’d drown in a poisonous spiral of self loathing and hate. It was scary how much power the scale had over my mood.

Recently, I’ve caught myself thinking several times that maybe, my weight isn’t all that defines me. Maybe, I’m actually perfectly OK, regardless of what the scale says. Yesterday, I had a good WOD at CrossFit. My split jerk felt strong and solid and the following WOD was awful, but I gave it my best and tried my hardest. Even if I realized very quickly where my weaknesses still are. But, I tried. There was something about that effort that gave me a big boost. It’s hard to explain in words, but I felt like some kind of pressure had fallen off my shoulders. It wasn’t about what my body looked like or weighed, it was about the fact that I put in the effort.

I hadn’t stepped on the scale in a while because I was scared. I know I gained some weight from the way my clothes fit, but I’ve been too scared to get the confirmation. There’s a scale at the box and after the WOD, I stepped onto it. I was curious. That’s all there was. I didn’t feel any pressure of having to weigh a certain amount because I knew I wasn’t weighing in under my normal conditions (empty stomach, first thing in the morning, disrobed, my scale). The scale showed a good amount of kilos more than I would have liked, but surprisingly, it didn’t upset me. No, because it didn’t change anything about the WOD at all. Weighing more than I had hoped for didn’t diminish my effort.

I did some more thinking as I got home. I thought about the scale in my bathroom some more and I realized that I didn’t like how much power it had over me. I didn’t like how it made me feel. It led me to the thoughts above.

The scale doesn’t define me as a person. It doesn’t define whether I’m kind, caring, lovable, empathetic, successful, hard-working, funny, smart, educated, open-minded, accepting or honest. It doesn’t define whether I’m a good daughter, trust-worthy friend or desirable as a woman. No electronic device should ever hold this much power over me.

That’s when I decided it’s time to detach myself from it. I’m not ready to throw it out for good. There’s still some ED in me that wants to hold on to it. But for now, the scale has no right to rule over my life anymore. I reckon the basement is a good place for it until further notice.

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