I first began a half-hearted journey to recovery about 2 years ago, and was always determined that I would not get rid of my scales. I swear I spent more time with them than with most of my friends, with paranoia leading me to check that my recovery meal plan hadn’t made me gain a stone overnight, or double my weight in the time it took to eat a meal (it never did.) When people asked I claimed I was simply ‘recovering at my own pace’, not wanting to scare myself by launching myself into the unknown without a ‘safety net’ and that by keeping an eye on my weight I could prove to myself that nothing awful was going to happen. (I should mention here that my weight gain was being monitored by my support team so I didn’t really need to check that out myself too.)
The question is- did I really believe what I was saying? Yes and no. If I’m honest, the continued obsessive use of my scales held me back, kept me within my own warped world of compromise. I used their reading as an excuse not to eat- in exactly the same way I had done before I embarked on ‘recovery’.
In fact one of the best things I’ve done in the last two years was making the decision to get rid of my scales. Not only did I decide to get rid of them, oh no, I decided to take a hammer to them. (Unfortunately said hammer failed to smash them despite my best efforts which resulted in me dropping them from a first floor window repeatedly before finally reversing over them in my friend’s car- which was incredibly satisfying!)
And the result- I haven’t been weighed in 3 months. I have no idea if my weight has gone up, down or fluctuated. What I do know, is that I have been eating properly, indulging every now and again, drinking when it takes my fancy and my clothes still fit.
No-one is defined by a number. It baffles me to think how many years I judged myself so strongly by something as minor as a number, how many days the reading put me in a foul mood, how many times I refused to go out because the number was ‘too high’ thus proving that I was a horrible creature who couldn’t possibly show her face in public (I know, I know- it sounds incredibly overdramatic to the rational ear.) Let’s be honest, a number can’t be bad. It is after all just a number and should not be held as a reason for self-punishment.
The same goes for foods- having spent years trailing through supermarkets frantically working out the calorific value of everything in sight I now choose by taste. I eat foods I like, I don’t search out the lowest calorie foods, I don’t even let them register. Why should I? And yes it felt scary to begin with- but it’s also been incredibly liberating.
Living number free has been amazing. My days are determined by the work I do, the people I see, and I feel of more worth and value than I ever did when the numbers were at their lowest. No-one’s worth should be defined by a number, as humans we are more than that, more complex, more interesting and more important than any number on any scale could ever be.