Well, I thought I’d create a new series here. Not only am I a crazy person, but I also have battled with eating issues for most of my life, well, all of my life. I can’t remember a day when “my weight” wasn’t a topic of conversation or a point of shame.
I was always the fattest girl in class. Always last around the running track. Last to be picked for teams. No boy ever wanted to date me (that I knew of). Clothes never fit me right and they were all ugly. Friends betrayed me because they wanted to be cool and I wasn’t. I’ve been teased so many times I could never count it all. My pediatrician told me I was too fat when I was like 5-years-old and tried to scare me into being skinny by saying if I didn’t lose weight I would get big fat ugly bulges. I went on my first diet and saw my first nutritionist when I was in fifth grade. And I started starving myself when I was 15. That worked for awhile and I lost a lot of weight to the praise of everyone around me, but then after about 6 months of barely eating (and my hair starting to fall out) I lost control and started eating again. And purging. And bingeing. For years and years. Now I am the fattest I’ve ever been and I’m pretty much the happiest I’ve ever been! So, I’m going to share with you what I know and what I think. You probably won’t agree with me, but then again you might. What I hope is at the end of the day you and I can both look at ourselves in the mirror and say that what we see is all okay. If we can do that, then we can change the world, and changing the world is what I’m all about.
So, for this first post I want to get right to the point. Step one to body acceptance is throwing out the scale! Oh yes, I said THROW OUT YOUR SCALE! Put it in the trash bin, donate it to Goodwill or a charity, sell it on eBay, or (and this is my personal favorite) take a hammer and smash it into bits! While you are smashing it please take a photo or video tape it or something and if you can send it to me. If you allow me to, I will put it up on this site for you. I would smash it myself, but I don’t have a scale! There is nothing good that comes from having a scale. It will only make you feel artificially good or artificially bad. Give me ONE good reason why you need to know how much you weigh. If you have an eating disorder or if you are almost there with one a scale will do nothing for you except help you obsess about your weight.
I know. Get on the scale—no shoes…wait, no clothes better yet! I weigh how much??!! Oh crap! Time to start a diet. Time to exercise. Time to purge. Let me just throw up a little of what I ate for lunch and then I’ll try the scale again. Reset the scale to zero. Get on gradually. Or maybe jump on! Yes! The number went down! As long as I can keep doing this and keep going down I will be okay. Tomorrow: get on scale. Numbers too high! Damn it! Must refuse all sweet things. Only eat good food. Never eat bad food. I must be good, because when I am good and disciplined I will be rewarded with a smaller number no doubt. Etc. I know. I know.
And now it is time to step off the scale. Step away from it. Don’t keep one in the house. Get away from measuring yourself with arbitrary numbers. Do those numbers really reflect who you are as a beautiful, smart, amazing person? What can the number 105 or 155 or 215 or 415 tell me about you? Will the number 105 tell me if you like the color blue or if you have HIV or if you know how to do Calculus or any of the other millions of things in the world that I should know about you? Are you going to let a number that has no meaning define and rule your entire life? Pause. Rewind and read that sentence again please.
What happens if you throw out the scale? What will happen? It probably depends on how far along the eating disorder road you are. If you don’t really care, then good for you, throw it out anyway. It is a piece of junk. If you feel you need to check your weight just to keep tabs, tell me, what on Earth does that mean? You’ll be able to tell if you are gaining or losing weight without a scale, because going in either direction will change the way your clothes fit. So, what is keeping tabs about? If your doctor wants to know your weight, s/he will have their own scale to weigh you. (Not that I think your doctor should be weighing you, but that’s another topic).
You can email me and tell me if you can think of one good reason to keep your scale. I would like to hear of one, because I can’t think of any one reason aside from measuring inert objects with it. Like if you want to weigh a package or your bowling ball or something. Your weight will not tell you if you have a lump on your breast. Your weight will not tell you if your heart is bad. I honestly can’t think of one good reason to have a scale in your home, except if you want to torment yourself. If you want to live a life chained to a scale and chained to a little digital read out or the spinning of that dial it is your choice. To my mind, living a life chained to a scale will continue to keep you focused on external measurements of yourself and your body. It will keep you removed from being inside your body, feeling your own body and it will ultimately NEVER help you to feel acceptance about your own body no matter what you weigh. I don’t care if you weigh 85 pounds or 585 pounds. A scale will never show you what you want it to. It will never give you love or acceptance even if it makes you happy for a brief moment when it decides to produce a lower digit. It is good for science experiments and weighing postage, but it doesn’t belong in your bathroom, in your life, in your private space fucking with your head so bad that you can’t even think straight anymore.
Just do it. Throw it away. Smash it. Get rid of it. It is worse than useless—it will drain you.