Goodbye, Scale. Hello, life.

One year ago, on March 27, 2020, I smashed my scale.

Actually, I smashed my TWO scales. You see, I had a spare scale I hid in my closet, "just in case" my primary scale broke. This year, on March 27, 2021, I celebrated being one-year scale free.

Yes - my attachment with the scale was that strong.

Deep in the eating disorder, the scale became my thermometer. I checked daily, even twice or three times a day. In the morning, I checked before breakfast. If it was higher than yesterday, my brain ran through the previous day. What had I eaten wrong? Did I not exercise enough? How would I compensate for this today? Which meal could I skip today?

If it was lower than the previous day, there was a brief moment where I could breathe. But only until the instantaneous thoughts began: "great job!". But this was not enough. I had to be 'extra good' today to ensure that TOMORROW'S WEIGHT was the same as today, or even better...lower.

This cycle brought me to a point in my life where I was too thin to walk. My muscles ached, and they were wasted. I was irritable. Isolated. I fought with my parents and sister, who watched me waste away. They begged. They cried. We screamed. We fought. I ate at times to 'shut them up', to 'get them off my back'. I ate hardly enough to sustain me. I was 'living' simply because I was breathing. But inside, I was dying. I was wasting away. I was tired, devoid of energy, joy, and life.

Until one day, my body fought back. You see, you can only fight your body for so long, before it has it's way.

The body always wins.

But you already know about that part of my life. If you don't - or need a refresher - head back to the start of this blog. Back to April 2012, where the darkest part of my life - ensued. Starving, sedated, with organ failure. Attached to a dialysis machine and a ventilator. Nearly dead at the age of 19.

Thank God, I recovered. But even after this episode in 2012, the scale was still important to me. As I ate and recovered, my weight went up. And of course, this was painful. To recover from the eating disorder, I had to eat beyond what I wanted to. I had to battle the monstrous disorder several times a day during meals. And the number on the scale crept up. So did my distress, my frustration. I knew weight gain was 'right' for me. It meant my organs were repairing. It meant I was regaining my life. I was winning.

But, it sure felt awful. The eating disorder did not like this. I hated the scale. I wanted to get rid of it. But I felt like I needed it. It was ‘security’ that I was not 'gaining too much'. Of course, however, this was a fallacy. The scale did, at times, remind me that I was not 'ballooning up'. But it never made me FEEL GOOD about myself. The number that flashed on the screen never made me happy. It never made me feel strong. It never made me smile.

I tried weighing myself less often. A week apart. Then a month. And it helped. But when the 'month mark' came and it was 'time to weigh myself', the number still affected me. I cried. I screamed. I began reviewing my meal intake the day before, wracking my brain to see what awful thing I had consumed to make the number do this. I could never win. The darn box of metal dictated my mood.

It was not until last year that I decided, as a gift to myself and to my mom and sister and dad (I LOVE YOU FAM!), I would get rid of the scale. And so, I grabbed my hammer, and smashed the life out of my scales. And into the trash they went. Just like that - the very last attachment to the eating disorder was gone. 

Bye-bye, scale.

Hello, life.

I have never regretted that decision. Of course, right after smashing them, I was proud. I was elated. Why hadn't I done this before?!

But the next day, anxiety returned. How could I have smashed the scale?! Did I have enough time today to go buy a new one? You know, just in case. Just in case I needed to know my weight one day. I wouldn't use it, I told myself. I'd just keep it, whenever I had to check my weight.

Then I stopped myself. NO. NO. NO. We are not going there. Eating disorders are tricky things. I would never 'need' to know my weight. I would not need a scale in my house to do this. If I had to check my weight, I would do it at the doctor's office. I did not want to know my weight. I did not need to know my weight.

And here I am, one year later. Scale-free. I have not checked my weight in an entire year. And I have no desire to do so. Granted, there are many times when I see a scale and get curious. Sometimes I have the odd thought: 'but if you don't check your weight, how will you know if you are 'okay'? If you are not eating too much? If you are moving enough?'

How do I respond? I KNOW I am fine. I feel good. I feel strong. I can live my life, day to day, without counting my intake. I don't need to write down every meal I eat. I don't need a box of metal to tell me how beautiful, strong, loved, and smart I am. I refuse to let a number to dictate my mood or self-worth. I can enjoy my meals, with some chocolate too (because we all need chocolate...!).

Smashing my scale was the best thing I ever did. I have never looked back, and I never will. My weight is truly the least important thing about me. That silly number says nothing about who I am - or even my health. So many factors go into what constitutes our health. Weight is not an adequate indicator of health. Nor is it an indicator of how capable, determined, amazing, brave, unique, wise, and treasured we are.

I used to be a scale-addict. And now, I'm free. My body is strong. My heart is open. My mind is clear.

If I can do it, you can, too. Smash that scale (hammers work well. So do heavy boots). Toss it out the window (but make sure no one is underneath...). Own your life. Own your health. Reclaim your inner beauty, strength, and confidence.

I never thought I'd ever be a year-free without weighing myself. It was the hardest thing I have done. And it was the thing that gave me complete freedom.

I can't wait to write another blog in another year, where I am two-years scale free. And the same in five years, and ten.

Because no one should live their life being dictated by numbers or a scale. No one should ever feel that they are 'not allowed' to eat something because of their weight. Or that they 'have to' exercise because of that silly number. No one should ever - even for a moment - feel inferior, unattractive, or unworthy because of the scale.

Goodbye, scale.

Hello, life!



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