For most of my life I had no relationship with the bathroom scale. I never monitored my weight, I had no desire to. Although I have always dealt with body issues and weight problems, I never could bring myself to step onto the scale and face the reality check that awaited me. Even at my heaviest weight when I decided for the first time I needed to make a change, I could not bring myself to look at the number. Like a coward I made my mother look at the scale for me on the first day of my first attempt at losing weight 9 years ago. For the next 5 months I dedicated my days to working out and was convinced that was all I needed to do in order to lose weight. Why did I need to know what that number was? I worked out 5 days a week, but proceeded to lose very little. Of course it is hard to track progress without some sort of tool so if I was not going to step onto the scale I would have to go by my pant size. After continuing to stay about the same size months in I just accepted this higher weight was my destiny and that I had no control over my body. I would have to learn how to accept and love the larger me.
Fast forward to over 4 years later and here I was, 26 years old and still feeling a hatred for my body. I would have weekends where it was hard to get out of bed and face the world. Putting pants on made me sad and depressed. Going out with friends left me feeling low because I was not nearly as thin as they were. I hated feeling like I could be happier, but feeling powerless to get there. It was then on New Year’s Eve 2010 I made a decision. For the first time in over 15 years I stepped onto the scale and decided I could in fact make a change.
For the next 6 months the scale became my best friend. I would exercise, eat well, and the next morning I would wake up so excited to see what my new friend had to say to me. It was like Christmas, I could sometimes hardly sleep in anticipation of seeing what my hard work would pay off to be.
Once I hit weight maintenance my relationship with the scale started to change again. It became more of a love/hate relationship. Some days it would reward me, while other days I felt punished. After a weekend celebrating out with friends I would cringe on Monday morning to step onto the scale. Was I going to see a number I liked or one I hated? It took me a while to be able to learn my body and become in tune with my weight. I would fluctuate 5 lbs any given month, but for 2 years I stayed within my designated range. I started to accept my friend for what it was, matter of fact. Some days it would make me feel good other days discouraged, but overall I worked to not let it control me. It gave me information and it was my job to interrupt it for myself.
About 5 months ago the scale and I started to have a fight. The number on it started to slowly inch up. Why would my friend start to betray me? Nothing had really changed. My eating habits and workout routines were the same, maybe a little more weight training. Could it be muscle? Was it something else? Why would one day my body no longer do what it has been doing for years? My pants all still fit about the same, so why would my weight be up so much?
This has been my new struggle as of late. For the first time in 4 years I feel I have no control over my body. When you spend so much time learning what your body is telling you and how to make it feel good, how do you handle it when your body revolts?
First I need to trust that I am doing everything right. I am working out daily and eating healthy, so why does a number matter? For the first time in 4 years I have decided I need to take a break from what once was my friend and confidant, the scale. Let me say this so far has not been easy. I continue to try, but yet my friend finds its way back into my life every so often. I guess these things take time. A date with my scale once every couple weeks is far better than my once daily check in. With time maybe I will learn to get rid of my co-dependent friend. Until then I will have to learn that a number is just that a number.