I refuse to let this weekend be known as the weekend where my boyfriend found me crying in the bathroom at a tailgate.
Or the weekend, I left my house five different times with the intentions to purge.
Or the weekend, I binged every four hours because I promised myself I would never eat again.
Or the weekend, I called my mom and told her I couldn’t handle ‘it’ anymore.
No, that’s not what this weekend will be.
This weekend will be the weekend I shattered my scale and freed myself.
Let’s back up some:
All this time I have had a scale, knowing I shouldn’t. I knew the anxiety and pain it caused me. It tormented me, laughing at me for the corner of my bathroom. And whether I was feeling in charge of my body and life or not, the scale always had the power to crash my world. And that’s what it always did. And I had enough.
After weeks of eating right (or atleast trying to, binging is always right around the corner as a coaxing mechanism) the scale was calling my name. Now I had already been on it plenty of times to check to make sure I wasn’t gaining too much weight and to continually remind myself I weigh more than I want to. But lately it has been calling my name more. I will be sitting at my desk feeling overwhelmed with school and the scale says ‘come to me and I will show truly if you are strong‘. I’ll be contemplating if I deserve to go out and scale tells me ‘step on up and I’ll let you know if you are too big to enjoy life‘. I will be wondering if I am full or not, trying to give myself a full body scan and the scale yells ‘get on me and I will tell you if it’s even worth it‘. The scale is not my friend but time after time, I listen to him and not me and everything I know is right.
I would never allow anyone I love to allow a number on a scale to define their life or even their mood for that day. It’s just a number and numbers don’t define a person. A number is simply a name for the amount you weigh on the earth, not the amount of importance you are to the world. The number has no idea of whether you are a good person or not, if you live with intergrity, or if you battle your demons every day. The number is not a reflection of you, nor should it be.
But for me, it dictated my mood and my attitude. I woke up on Saturday and felt bad. I had gotten carried away with eating frosting, cookies and smores with friends. It was normal and everyone else enjoyed their night while I sat there knowing the next day would be a roller coaster. I stepped on the scale to see a number I was appalled with and immediately knew I was too fat to eat at the tailgate, go to the football game, or even run. I was too fat to live. I was too fat.
While trying to pull myself together I began to feel angry. Why does it matter to me? Why can everyone else gain a few pounds after a fun night and still get to have more fun? Why was I different? Why did my weight affect me to such a degree? I got angry and threw the scale across the room and left my house determined to make the best of it. I couldn’t. I spent the whole tailgate ashamed that I was eating even though I wanted to purge. I felt gross that others were able to eat and move on while I was ruminating on how much I ate. I was disgusted of how my clothes felt. I hid in the bathroom crying. Crying for everything I was missing out on and crying because the negative talk was so intense. My boyfriend found me and tried to help and I wiped away my tears and tried to move on. I was feeling a little better but the negative talk followed me to the game and then throughout the night. And as always, it came back to that damn number on the scale.
When I got home that night, I took the scale and throw it outside. I felt more empowered and was proud of myself. Out of sight, out of mind. My boyfriend thought I was crazy for a) having a scale and b) so violently throwing it but I knew it was what I needed. The scale, the tool of torment, out of my home and my life.
But the next day, I still felt horrible. The binging of the weekend had affected not only my mood but I was physically affected. I was lethargic and tired. I wanted to binge more but I also wanted to purge. I grabbed my keys five different times thinking ‘I will just take ten laxatives and get it out of me as quickly as possible’ or ‘i’ll run for an hour and half and not refuel afterwards’ or ‘maybe if i take 5 stackers (the diet pill) I will burn it all off’. I couldn’t imagine any of them truly releasing all the anxiety that was building in me. I felt like a pressure valve about to explode. I was shaking and was having trouble breathing. I was having a panic attack and it all came back to that damn number on the scale.
I called my mom, crying and begging for some sort release. I knew she couldn’t make me feel better about my body, accept the number on the scale, or make the binges not have occurred but she just kept calm and talked to me. Most of all, she reminded me I wasn’t a number. I wasn’t the number on the scale or the number of my jeans. I was a survivor, a teacher, a runner, a daughter, a girlfriend….all the things the scale never told me. The important things to me were the things the scale would never recognize.
And once again I got angry. Damn that scale for making me feel less of a person. Damn the scale for putting me in such a funk I couldn’t run this weekend. Damn that scale for making me a bipolar bitch on Saturday. Damn that scale for making me weak. Why couldn’t the scale ever remind me of all the things I am, not the things I am not? I wanted revenge on it for controlling me. All the anger and resentment I had needed to be taken out and I knew just how to do it.
I went out back took the scale and smashed it up against a tree 4 times. It still wasn’t broken. It was a resilient little f’er. Just like ED but I wasn’t giving it up. I kept throwing it and I realized that I was actually crying. Crying this time because I was being freed. I kept throwing it harder and harder until I heard the crack and I was looking for. It laid in a heap in the woods.
And I felt freedom. Freedom to be find new ways to define myself, not by the number on the scale. I am not sure how long I will be able to stay away from it but right now, this is what I need. No pressure or stress to deal with a number. I don’t even like numbers, I actually hate math. So being freed is my new mantra.
And it feels so much better than seeing the number on the scale go down.
Are you willing to be freed from the numbers too?