As I mentioned in a post last week, my counselor recommended (okay, demanded) that I get rid of my scale; she'd already mentioned it once before, and I resisted, and I think she recognizes that this is an obstacle in my recovery.
In addition, a great friend who also works with individuals who struggle with disordered eating/thinking patterns agreed, and encouraged me to do the same (thank you, Angie, if you read this); finally, on Sunday, I stepped onto my trusted Tanita, read the numbers, and put it away. It's not gone gone, but it is out of the house.
I am unable to recall my initial encounter with the scale, but I distinctly remember when we became frenemies. That first Weight Watchers meeting weigh-in set the stage for a reward/punishment relationship that has flourished since I was 12: weigh in with a weight loss, get a gold star in my booklet; weigh in with no change, receive a pat and an affirmation to "keep drinking your water" and "keep up the good work;" weigh in with a gain and receive the sad, pitiful look of failure, insinuating that I'd eaten more than I should have, not completed all of my exercise, not "journaled" all of my food each day, or some other nonsense.
A similar scenario has played out many times, both in and out of the "meeting" room; I've cultivated a method of rewarding and punishing myself that no longer requires assistance from outside observers. The number that registers when I stand on the scale has provided so much information to me, over the years: what should I eat today? How long should I wait before I eat again? I'm so thin today; I should try on those pants that never seem to fit just right! Oh, thank God, I can go to the lake today and wear my swim suit. Oh, wow, I should call them and tell them I'm not going to be able to make it to the lake; I'm not feeling too well, anyway.
I'm no scientist, but I have conducted several experiments with the scale; I've hopped on and off, several times in a row, looking for a change. What sense does that make? And how is it that it's different EVERY TIME? For someone who entrusts so many decisions to this device, shouldn't it be a little more accurate?
The logical part of my brain recognizes and acknowledges that the scale is unnecessary and that it is limiting my efforts to be kinder to myself and to love my body just as it is, for all of the miraculous things it allows me to do each day; however, there is certainly an emotional, illogical connection that is tough to break.
A carrot dangles with so much temptation - that number could really bring some added joy to my day or, conversely, it could destroy any confidence I've gained by accepting myself as I am at this very moment.
Thanks to my recent efforts to connect my mind to my body, eat intuitively, focus on how I feel before/during/after eating, praise my body and create a more positive body image, I've not been thinking as much about the number. While I'm not naive enough to think that there will not be times when I really, really, really want to know what "the number" is, the fact that it's going to be more challenging to find out should curtail the desire significantly.
I'm equal parts nervous, anxious, scared and excited to see what this change will bring and, in the event of a complete breakdown, I work in a hospital, so...yeah. Scales everywhere.