Scale Stories

I had a major realization yesterday. It was one that surprised me, then grounded me.

Let’s rewind about six years. I owned my own scale, my gym had two available scales, one in the locker room and one by the weight machines, and the mall where I worked had one of those crazy scales that you put a quarter in to see your weight and your horoscope or something else ridiculous like that.

I visited these above scales, whichever was most convenient, several times a day. Maybe that crazy scale at the mall was on to something, because each time I stepped on the darn thing I found out how my day was going to go. (i.e. A lower number meant good day, higher number meant bad.)

To make a long, sad (but triumphant, yes!) story short let’s fast forward to a few months later…late May, 2006. I’m trying to sound nonchalant by saying “late” May when actually I know the exact date, May 22nd. I know the exact pair of jeans I was wearing, exactly what I did that morning, what I ate, and exactly what I did the rest of that day. I arrived with my mom at the Research Medical Center’s eating disorder unit, and the very first thing we did was an assessment with the nurse which involved me changing into a hospital gown to be “officially” weighed. The funny thing is (not funny…ironic maybe?) I could have told the nurse myself my “official” weight pretty close to the tenth of a pound. Once I was changed, the nurse (I can remember exactly what he looked like and the color scrubs he was wearing) asked me to step on the scale backwards.

Backwards. Hmm.

This became routine every morning in treatment before breakfast. Change into that beautiful gown and step on the scale backwards. At first the sound of the nurse adjusting the scale was daunting. I strained my ears to decipher where…what number…the nurse might be stopping on. However, the more days that passed by and the healthier I became, the less and less daunting it became. It more or less just because a routine thing to do…just another part of the day…and before I knew it, I really wasn’t thinking about what the number was.

When I left treatment, I knew that getting rid of my scale was going to be an important part of staying healthy. I had my mom dispose of it before I got home. However, I knew there’d be other places that would tempt my curiosity…the gym, the mall, and the doctor’s office. But I successfully avoided all of them.

When I’d go to the doctor for an annual physical, check-up, or because I was sick, as soon as the nurse would ask me to come back and step on the scale I would politely decline. Only one time did the nurse ask me why, and I explained and that was the end of that.

I’m not sure the exact length of time that I went without weighing myself or actually knowing the number. It was a long time, though…over a year at least.

One day at another doctor appointment the nurse asked me to step back to the scale. I took a deep breath and I did what she asked. I made the decision to step on the scale for the first time in a long time because I felt ready to handle whatever number it threw my way. The number wouldn’t affect me anymore.

Since then I’ve wondered about what my number was, I’ve stepped on the scale occasionally, but I never let it change my mood or how I viewed myself.

Now let’s fast forward back to this week. Tuesday evening, as I was waiting for my husband to get home from basketball practice I decided to have a late snack. I whipped out a bag of tortilla chips and the rest of my homemade salsa and started munching away. After a few minutes I thought to myself Angela, you shouldn’t eat this late, you have a doctors appointment tomorrow and you’re going to be weighed. Soon I rolled up the bag and put the food away. Yesterday morning my alarm went off early to get in the day’s workout, but I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Quickly I told myself Angela, you need to workout this morning, you have a doctors appointment this afternoon. Once I was in town I called my sister to see if she wanted to meet me for lunch. When I called I asked her if she’d rather just get some coffee instead because I was telling myself Ang, you don’t want to eat too much right before your doctors appointment.

Then it hit me.

I was letting the darned old scale control my actions. I was allowing a number, a number that wasn’t even real yet, scare me.

Silly me.

I went ahead and met my sister for lunch and I ate whatever I felt like at that moment…which happened to be chips and salsa (go figure!) and mozzarella sticks. Then I went to the doctor with a smile on my face, and I stepped on that scale with a smile in my mind because I knew that I was conquering that negative voice inside my head.

The number that lit up on the scale only confirmed the fact that I know I am stronger and healthier than I ever have been in my whole life…and each day keeps getting better and better.

ang

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12 thoughts on “Scale Stories

  1. Wow…I love this. Because I honestly have not weighed myself in YEARS because I have always been afraid of the number. until now. I am just about ready to finally weigh myself and see the number. It feels freeing not to be scared of it anymore, and not to let it affect me. Good for you!

  2. This is beautiful.
    Honestly I am so glad you shared your story.
    I don’t own any scales but I weight myself whenever there are scales, almost like it’s a compulsion, and yes I let the number dictate my day.
    One day I want to get to the stage that you are at now. I want to be able to step on the scales and not even care what the number says and whether it’s gone up or down.
    One day I want to forget about numbers and just live my own life.
    Thank you for writing this post, it really had an impact on me.

    • Thank you. It is a hard road, but you can definitely get to where you are free from those numbers! Just believe in yourself and keep reminding yourself that you are so beautiful…because you are!!!

  3. Good for you! One day, I hope to ditch the scale. But honestly, I’m a weigh-every-morning girl. I can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll wait a few days after a heavy eating weekend, so that I wont feel terrible about myself. Honestly, I don’t let the number control me that much – even though it might sound like it. I just like to keep myself in check. I eat pretty much what I want (to an extent) and the scale kind of keeps me in check.

  4. That is awesome! I used to be the same way with the scale (higher weight=bad day), but I’ve pretty much broken up with it completely. To be honest, if i am eating healthy, exercising consistently, and enjoying life… who cares what that number is, as long as I know I’m healthy.

  5. I love this post. It shows such an amazing progression. You’ve come so far and have conquered so many demons! I am so proud of you and happy FOR you that you’ve overcome that darned scale and are happier and healthier than you’ve ever been. Rock on sista. You are amazing.

  6. love the your stories. Glad that you overcome the scale….I am still struggling with it every morning. Hopefully, one day will stop weighing myself every day.

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