The following post was written by a courageous woman. With bravery, she describes a monumental part of her journey while recovering from an eating disorder.
I’m Breaking Up With You
We broke up last night. It had been a long time coming. I knew from the moment I placed your shiny red body into my shopping cart at Wal-Mart that you were a bad idea. You seduced me, telling me you would make me happy and motivate me to lose the last of the baby weight. Had I known that I would fall under your spell, end up being controlled by you, and you would make not my life, but the life of my family a living hell for the better part of a year, I might have left you on the shelf. But alas I am a girl and we’re attracted to shiny things so you stayed in the cart and that’s how our relationship began.
As soon as I brought you inside, I took you out of the box up to the bathroom and stepped on you, the numbers began flashing before settling on a depressing 148.5 lbs, 25 lbs above my pre-baby weight almost 6 months after I gave birth. Obviously I wasn’t one of those women who lost weight by breastfeeding. I decided I needed to step up my game and started paying attention to what I ate and working out. 3 days later I stepped on you again, 148! Yes! You became a constant motivator, seeing the numbers on you go down felt like a major accomplishment. Until one day I stepped on you and the number didn’t go down, in fact it went up .5 lbs. What did I do wrong? Why weren’t you my friend anymore? I skipped dinner that night and threw in an extra workout, determined to not only lose that .5 of a lb but another 2 pounds by the end of the week.
Soon you became an addiction; I was stepping on you multiple times a day to make sure that you never moved. Whatever number you presented to me in the morning determined how much I was going to work out, what I was going to eat and what kind of mood I’d be in. Like a fly caught in a spider’s web I was unable to escape you. You controlled me.
Four months after I started therapy for my eating disorder, I started relying on you less and less. I went from weighing myself multiple times a day to once or twice a week. Every time I would step on you I got butterflies in my stomach and would mutter to myself please don’t go up, and you would reward me with the same number for months.
I ended up forgetting about you hiding under my bed for weeks, and one day I saw your shiny red body peek out and decided I should just reassure myself that I could eat and not gain weight. I guess you’re mad at me because I neglected you under my bed for so long because you showed me that I had gained 3 pounds! 3 pounds (I know to anyone reading this that 3 pounds really only makes a different in infants, sports weigh ins and very little else but when you’re recovering from an eating disorder 3 lbs feels like 100). Not taking into account that I spend the week before with a bad case of P.M.S and ate 10.00 worth of candy from the Bulk Barn to myself and had started working out and could already see some muscle forming again, those 3 pounds felt like the end of the world.
This time though, I handled it differently. I didn’t stop eating, I ate when I was hungry, I didn’t increase my work outs, and when I complained to my therapist about the 3 pounds, she said she couldn’t tell and I looked the same as the week before. She then asked me if I noticed those 3 pounds and answering honestly I told her I couldn’t. That moment was the first time breaking up with you entered my mind.
I spent weeks go back and forth about getting rid of you. I was scared if I let you go I would somehow end up gaining 100 pounds and not noticing. You tempted my from under my bed on a daily basis, almost pleading with me to let you have control over me. Finally I had had enough and realized I needed to let you go.
I wrapped you in tissue paper and put you in a gift bag and handed you to my husband. He took you out of the bag, and asked why I was giving him a scale. I corrected him that you were not just any scale; you were the scale that trigged my eating disorder relapse, and made our lives hell for the better part of the year. Then I told him to smash you with his sledge hammer or run over you with his truck at work the next day.
I have no idea what my husband did with you, if he ran over you, smashed you with a hammer or threw you off the roof, all I know is you are no longer in my house and no longer have control over me.
Sometimes I find myself wishing I had kept you, just because I feel like I need some reassurance that my weight isn’t creeping up. And then I remember all the horrible times we shared, that I am much more than a LED number on a red shiny scale and I’m a million times happier without you.