My relationship with the scale has been a rocky one from the very beginning. Well, maybe not from the very beginning (8 lb 4 oz was perfectly acceptable to newborn me... I think.) but definately from around age 11.
I remember being horrified the day that the scale went from 99 to 100. Seriously, horrified. Like I had suddenly moved from one group of people (slim and beautiful) to another one (fat and ugly). And of course, slim and beautiful was much better than fat and ugly.
|Scales should NOT be in the family bathroom!|
But the scale was torture for me. I wanted, NEEDED to see a smaller number every day. If the number was the same or (gasp) bigger than the previous day, I would punish myself with worse food restriction and more exercise.
Then, after recovery, it was years before I even brought another scale into my home. One of the things that was stressed in recovery was to forget about the number on the scale, to focus on health instead of weight. Something that I had not expected from recovery of anorexia/EDNOS was to switch from restriction of food to overeating. Apparently, this happens to many recovered anorexics, but I'm so happy that no one warned me of this possibility when I was trying to recover, as it was my worst fear: extreme weight gain.
I went to the opposite extreme with my eating, and gained a lot of weight. It was embarassing for me, to say the least. Family members were super supportive of this development, probably because they were terrified with how skinny I had been the previous year and they wanted me to live. Overweight/obese doesn't always equal unhealthy, but in my case it definately was. Anyway, I kept on feeding my emotions with food and avoiding the scales, while having to go shopping for new (larger) pants every few months. This continued for a couple of years, until I looked like the "before" pictures over on the side of this page.
|This is a number that apparently we should all want to see? |
Why is it always something like this on the box for scales?
Not cool, scale companies. Not cool.
I had to find a better way. Extreme eating (either under or over) and extreme weighing (several times a day or not at all) clearly were not the answers. There had to be another way to go about this, a way to learn about moderation. A way to diet without getting tempted to go back to severe restriction and a way to weigh myself without being tempted to go back to multiple daily weigh-ins.
That's when I found Weight Watchers, and really learned a new way to eat and weigh. Eat everything in moderation and weigh myself once a week. (Of course, this blog post is oversimplifying a lot, since there is limited space, but I also began seeing an amazing therapist, who helped me to see that overeating was not the answer to my problems, and WW wasn't always so easy).
Weight Watchers completely turned my life around. Weighing in once a week was the balance that I had been craving for years. It was a great way to see how I did that week, and to make sure that the scale was going in the right direction. Seeing that number on the scale (220) was terrifying at first, but I soon was only focused on the journey, and my mini-goals (as well as my big ultimate goal weight) and knew that 220 was in the past.
So when did this weekly weighing become a problem?
I have been giving too much power to the number on the scale again. If it's a "good" number, I give myself permission to overeat that weekend as a reward, and if it's a "bad" number, I give myself permission to overeat that weekend as a pity party. Either way, it is overeating.
I was starting to get a little crazy with the number again. I do want to reach my goal weight of 140, and I do think that it's very possible to do so. So when the scale stopped going down (going from 145-148, up and down but always in that range) I began to start... feeling fat again. Which I know is stupid. I'm in a normal and healthy weight for my age and height and my clothes still fit. But for whatever reason, I was letting the number get to me.
Since starting my break from the scale a couple of weeks ago, I've noticed a few positives.
1) I am tracking my food and exercise for the sake of tracking. It's not about my weight right now, it's about my health. I'm following Weight Watchers, and doing everything "right". I know that by doing this, my weight will go down, so I'm not worried about my weight right now. Tracking is just for tracking, and for learning about portion control again, and rediscovering the joys of fresh fruits and vegetables.
2) My weekend eating has nothing to do with the scale. It's still junk-food-y compared to the work week, but that's just what I eat on the weekends! It's not a reward or pity-party anymore. I am tracking my PointsPlus and my calories, and am enjoying my weekend food and activity more than I have in months.
3) I don't care how much I weigh. Right now, at this moment, I just don't care. I'm feeling great about my body and my food and exercise choices. Life is busy, but great. There is too much going on to worry about something as silly as the number on the scale.
And... that's it. This is a loooooooong post, and if you are still reading, bless you. :-) I do plan to go back to regular weigh-ins, because I know that never weighing can be as bad for me as constantly weighing. I will probably step back on the scale in mid-November. For now, I'm enjoying the break.