So this comes as a bit of a follow-up to TIPPING THE SCALE…
Back in March, I wrote about my battle with some mild weight gain and accepting a changing body shape. After years of fighting various eating disorders, this was the true test of coming into myself. I’m pleased to say that after 6 months, I still have not succumb to my previous ways of weight loss. I had even let the issue go for a while, until recently…
I have been working out in Edmonton for the past three weeks and staying with some wonderful friends. These friends have a scale in their washroom and after four and half years of not stepping on a scale, I was tempted to see where I stood in numerical weight. I thought I would be somewhere in the 160-165 lbs. range. Last time I weighed myself I was battling to remain at 148 lbs., but ended up closer to 152 lbs. You can imagine my shock when the scale read 173 lbs. My mouth dropped (and then immediately shut again for fear of the air adding to the weight). This was boy weight! Ladies don’t weigh that much! I had troubles accepting when I hit 150 lbs. but now I had skipped the 160s altogether and plunged right into the 170s.
SIDE NOTE: For new readers, I would like to state for the record that I am a tall woman and could not be described as fat, chunky, plump or even thick. I have a very nice body, even if there is a bit more around the gut than there used to be. This is all well and good to know, but for someone who has suffered from body image issues and eating disorders, you can know these things in your brain, but that does not stop the obsessing.
So, I finally said “enough is enough” and made the decision to change my habits to drop a couple pounds. I know where the weight came from. I had not exercised since the previous year and spent half my time sitting and the other half sleeping. Also, my diet consisted of beer and fried foods. I hadn’t seen a vegetable in weeks.
I decided that beer was out! As much as I like it, I usually only drink it late at night and in large quantities – this is a bad news equation. It had to go. I switched to sipping liquors which I also really enjoy and drink in much smaller quantities. Also, I bought a ton of healthy snacks and cut out dining in restaurants (which was the cause of most of the deep-fried diet). This not only helped the waist, but also the bankbook. Working nights, I often get hungry late in the evening, so I limited my evening snacking to veggies and some fruit (no more cookies before bed). Finally, the people I’m staying with have an extra bike, so I’ve been biking to and from work. Yay! Exercise! (Boy, was I sore after the first week!)
After making these changes, I was really excited to step on the scale a week later. I wasn’t expecting a drastic change but even the loss of pound would have been great motivation. 176 LBS.!!! I had gone up three pounds!
I know that people say when you start working out you put on muscle and muscle weighs more than fat… blah, blah, blah! That type of talk does NOT help someone with weight issues!!! Not when the number is still higher and all you want to do is shove a finger down your throat to feel that glorious purge of weight gaining food.
Yes, this is the battle that occurs in my head every day. Every morning when I check email and think about skipping breakfast, skipping lunch, skipping dinner, skipping a day of food, skipping two days of food, how long can I go without food? Then when I do convince myself to eat – I could throw up, I could just throw this up, it would only take a second, I don’t even think I would have to do the finger trick (I’m that well trained). Every time you have to pee after eating a meal out and wonder if everyone at the table thinks you’re going to go throw up your meal but you really only have to pee because you are thinking how easy it would be to do, you think everyone else is thinking of that and watching you.
Yes, this is still a conversation in my head to this day. Every day. I have not caused myself to throw up a meal in almost 5 years and have not consciously avoided eating in at least 2 years. That is a tricky one because sometimes you don’t realize that it has become a thing until you’re into it. It’s like a subconscious habit. It’s eating right and regularly that is the conscious effort.
It is especially tricky being on the road, where you are away from your regular food routines and living with other people where you feel your eating habits might be judged or challenged. Especially when most people don’t know that this is your daily struggle. That putting food in your body and keeping it there is effort. That even while typing this, I can feel my lunch in my throat and the allure of running to the toilet is so strong. But, I don’t. And that is a success for the day.
Anyhoo, what I discovered from this last stand on the scale is that it would be my last stand with a scale. Every time I walk in the washroom, I see the scale and I want to weight myself. While I was still living with my ex, I would weigh myself 7-10 times per day. Every time I entered the washroom. If I saw an increase in my weight from the morning, I would stop eating for the day. Scales are the devil.
Since I started eating right and riding my bike, I feel better, I look better and my clothes are beginning to fit again. It doesn’t matter what the number on the devil machine says.
This is my new personal goal/challenge: unless for a doctor, I will not step on a scale again. I will not let myself fall victim to chasing a number anymore. Nothing good has ever come from me knowing my weight.
Breaking habits is hard to do!