I used to rely on a scale to tell me how I was doing.
This little device measuring my right to be happy sat in it’s usual spot on the bathroom floor. Everyday, I’d tense up the moment I knew I’d be stepping on it to find out the “number of the day.” That number let me feel either great or awful about myself.
If you’ve ever done the same thing, you probably know what it means to have an ideal number in mind. This is the number you’ve used to tell yourself how well you were doing at this weight loss journey. It was, for me, a subtle form of torture.
I used the scale as my personal measure of success.
It wasn’t just an every now and then kind of thing.
My compulsion to weight myself may have started at once a day. But, it quickly grew into two or three times throughout the day, and sometimes even more.
Even when I wasn’t on the scale, I’d obsess over what it’d say. Every single bite of food equaled a possible fluctuation in my goal weight. I was under a spell I didn’t know how to come out of.
My self-worth was held hostage by a fixation on a number I made up as my “ideal” weight.
If you can relate, I see you. I get it. I’m also committed to being honest about what it takes to truly transform your relationship with weight so you can release yourself from the hold of the imaginary perfect number…so you can have your life back. The truth is – there is no single study out there that could tell me or you the perfect number we need to weigh in order to be okay. We’ve been duped into believing if we get even one digit closer to this imagined goal, all will be well. Unfortunately, the stress this lifestyle of weighing, dieting, and yearning for perfection creates more damage to your body internally and externally. It also seeps into every other part of your life and affects your physical, emotional, and social well-being. How can we put ourselves through this and call it a “healthy lifestyle?”
This little device on the bathroom floor had truly taken hold of my life and affected everything.
One minute, I’d feel so uplifted, so happy, and even overjoyed if I saw the number drop.
The next day (and in some cases even the next minute), I’d be looking in the mirror and see a completely different person.
Nothing was real. Everything I saw or thought about what was “right” or “good enough” was imagined based on an attachment to an image of who I thought I had to be.
The part that so many of us miss is this: even when you do get to a goal weight or change the way your body looks, you still find something wrong. You become so attached to the constant seeking and validation of measuring yourself by numbers, scales, and clothing sizes.
I looked to my scale for comfort.
I looked to my scale for reassurance that I was okay.
The number it revealed was a reflection of my self-worth. It was an obsession and I was caught in its power and its grip.
Have you ever felt the following:
- Your confidence on some days totally depends on how you feel about your body
- If you find out you’re closer to your goal weight, you instantly feel better about yourself
- If you find out you’ve gained even a pound, you can feel your self-worth plummet
- You really want feeling comfortable in your body to come easier – why does it seem so much easier for others?
If you said yes to anything, I was right there with you.
I would either feel confident or a great sense of accomplishment and victory when I would weigh what I decided was “acceptable.”
I would feel worthless, incapable, and in a terrible mood if the number on the scale missed the mark. ALL of that would spill over into the whole day, impacting all of my relationships, including with my family. I would feel like a failure and not worthy of their attention.
I spent so much of my life in this trance. I missed out on seeing my true inner and outer beauty. The power of the number was huge in my world and the more I focused on it, the bigger a deal it became. The scale had become my significant other.
That’s why I think it’s important to talk about it now. It’s important to say aloud and tell the truth about how hard it can be to see yourself, to love yourself, and to free yourself of the prison of scales, ideal weights, and learned images of what a body deserving of love is supposed to look like.
You always deserve love. You are always worthy. And I know how hard it can be to unlearn the things we were taught to think about our bodies.
Even now, there are some days that are gloomy and this shadowed part of me wants to speak. Those are the times when I don’t always appreciate the woman looking back at me in the mirror and I may be judging her harshly with my inner critic backing me up.
Thankfully, and with the help of grace and a true sense of self love and self -worth which is always instilled deep in the center of my being of who I really am, I am more often than not celebrating the woman I have become and can reflect back on the journey of what I call my life’s story with full appreciation for the blessing it gave me in the gift of my compulsions. If you can relate to any of the following, please do share.
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