Whenever I think about sharing what I’ve been going through on here, I get wildly overwhelmed. There’s just so much to share, easy and hard, that I just don’t even know where to begin. But then I thought, why not just start off slow? One step at a time.
[WARNING: This post contains descriptions of eating disorder behaviors. Don’t want to trigger anything in anyone. <3]
[not sure source of pic, sorry!]
The first memory I have of a binge is when I was four years old. Yes, four. My mother and I were living in an apartment and my mother is sitting at our kitchen table with a friend of hers. I remember sneaking into the kitchen, opening the fridge, and sitting on the floor and eating an entire package of Kraft American Cheese slices in secret. Over the past 26 years I have thought about that moment and told myself, “I wonder if I would have this problem if I had never done that…” Which is silly, because of course I would. That moment wasn’t the reason I have my issue. It’s just, what I assume, was the beginning.
But this isn’t about that completely today. Today we are going to start off small, because that other problem has so much to it. What we are going to start with is my unhealthy addiction to the scale. I know a lot of people struggle with this. Personally, I never saw me getting on the scale as an addiction. Mainly because it wasn’t. I’d get on every couple of days and, of course, let it dictate my mood. But it was never to the degree that I had let it become.
The real addiction started after my gastric bypass surgery. It became so fun to step on the scale because it would show several pounds lost so often, it was exciting! I was always in a great mood because it was always going the “right” way.
Then when I began gaining, it was no longer fun. It was an obsession and it was a punishment. I began stepping on the scale between 10-20 times a day. Yes, that often. I’d step on it anytime I woke up, drank a lot of water, went to the bathroom, ate food, took a nap, before and after a shower, before I went to bed… And it would never ever be what I wanted it to be.
If it was showing I was losing weight, I would reward myself by eating a little more because I was doing so well! What would a few extra cookies hurt? If it showed I gained (which obviously it would throughout the day) I would punish myself. I would verbally beat myself up and tell myself how I’m a failure and unlovable and undeserving of anything good in my life. Then I would binge. I would binge because the scale would say I’m gaining. So if I’m already gaining, well then who cares any more? Why bother? Might as well just eat what I want because it was all going to hell anyways. I had this weight loss surgery, which any idiot can lose weight on, and I can’t even manage that. Great job, Tab!
I completed my first week of eating recovery and it has been very difficult for me. I am having to admit to things that I’ve never told anyone and I’m having to tell my addict that she can’t have the fun she wants to have anymore. Hardest, I’m having to give her grace. She still keeps trying to find ways around it and I’m having to break her heart several times a day. One of the ways of breaking her heart was to take the scale away. My husband has been a great supporter of me, so he took it away upon my asking. However, my addict wouldn’t let him get rid of it completely. It’s still here. It’s still in the house somewhere, he just hid it. Luckily for me, he hid it in the garage and he knows I’m too terrified of bugs to look for it. (haha)
Not having the scale in my sight and at my disposal has upped my anxiety like crazy. I cry when I want to weigh myself so badly that I can’t stand it anymore. Tears just explode from my eyes because I’m shaking and I can’t think of anything else to do. I have to talk myself down from an attack as I stand in the spot where it’s supposed to be in my bathroom, that it’s okay if I don’t know my weight.
The program weighs me once a week. I have to stand on the scale backwards and they don’t let me see the number, it just goes straight into my file. That’s one of the hardest parts for me, that someone else knows and I don’t. So then I start to count down the days until I have a regular doctor appointment (52 days) so that I can see the number when they weigh me. Which terrifies me as well, because what if it doesn’t show that I’ve lost anything in 52 days? What if I’m still a failure? So should I tell them not to let me see when I step on? Yes, I should. But my addict is trying to talk me out of it right now. I haven’t gotten there.
This is a very long journey I’ve entered into and I’m terrified and hopeful at the same time. Thanks for being patient with me as I share this one step at a time. And know that if you’re struggling with the same, you are not alone. Thanks for loving me.