Its strange how we are such wonderful people full of talents and good qualities and yet far too often we measure our self worth using numbers and letters. We let our grades,weight,income etc. define us and when we do not measure up to the numbers it can feel as though we have failed and are not good enough.
When you have an eating disorder weight can be something you try very hard to control. It can feel like if you gain weight you will lose control or identity. It is often hard to let go of weighing yourself daily. Today I had an appointment with the nurse I see.I look forward to these appointments greatly apart from the weigh in; which I dread. I stepped on the scales and was shocked at the number I saw.It reduced me to tears. I felt pathetic for crying. I swear I am not that shallow or vain, so why does a petty little number mean so much? I felt fine in my body that morning,im not overweight so why do I base my worth on a number?Its all just happened so quickly and I feel so far removed from who I was a month ago.Its important to keep in mind that weight restoration is only a small part of recovery.The really hard part is working on the mental aspects of recovery.
Sometimes it can be easy to believe that life will be great when we attain a certain weight but losing weight is really not the answer to your problems.Hapiness comes from within and if you let numbers define your happiness its likely you will end up unhappy and disappointed with yourself when you cannot control the numbers.Many people are locked in a war with their minds/bodies which you cannot win.You can struggle against your body and try to control your weight but this is tiring.Its not fun being controlled by your weight and rules.Weighing yourself can give the illusion of control.But really you are giving the scales and numbers control.
For me a large part of the eating disorder is not feeling good enough or wanting control.I fear becoming lazy or out of control.The reality is every kg gained is actually gaining back control which the ED has taken away. Also gaining weight is not lazy. Its actually quite hard work and takes a lot of determination and will power to not fall into compensatory behaviours.
When you develop anorexia or bulimia you lose sight of what is “normal” or “healthy”.I feel its like you cross into a different realm and its so incredibly hard to cross back into “normality”.Its so hard to fight the eating disorder.First to eat you have to overcome the urge to restrict.Then during eating its resisting the urge to binge.Then once you have eaten its resisting the urge to purge.I guess my fear with being a healthy weight is that the eating disorder is still there.The external appearance and internal experience are worlds apart.Its like an iceberg,the apparenace of a person is the tip of the iceberg but there is so much underneath the surface which no one can see.
It frustrates me when people over simplify eating disorders to the desire of being thin. Yes that can play a part but its a complex psychological condition. Weight is not so much about look for many but self esteem, self worth, a coping mechanism.
Numbers only have power if you give it to them.Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we appreciated the wonderful things our bodies can do when well nourished.We can climb mountains,birth children,laugh,work, dance,sing and so much more!The internal monologue of self hatred is unnecessary.
I know for sure when I have a family there will be no weighing scales in my house.