Monday, September 22, 2008

Weighing In: An Update

"I wondered why I wasn’t stronger. I didn’t have the “better” eating disorder. I wasn’t anorexic. In my twisted mind, I was weak because I was unable to completely deprive myself of food."

I read these words from my friend Kate and felt such a sad kinship with what they express. I must confess I have felt this way myself. I don't have the nerve to have a "real" disorder, like bulimia or anorexia. I just have an inordinate attachment to my bathroom scale, an obsession with what I eat and how my body looks as a result.

I have been "scale-free" for over a week now. It has been an interesting week. At times I feel liberated and carefree: there is no concrete sign of my inability to deprive myself, no measure of my failure proclaimed clearly on an LED screen.

Sometimes, though, I've felt dangerously alone.

If I lack a scale to measure my worth, how will I know if I am OK?

Should I eat this or that? Should I be punishing myself for eating that slice of pizza? Did I eat too much, exercise too little?

Am I a good girl or a bad girl?

I've said this before, but I can't overestimate the power the scale has had over me. Without its clear unbiased voice shouting approval or dismay each morning, while I stand naked, both literally and figuratively, upon it, I feel lost. Am I a success of a failure?

I must find other ways to determine this. There are better ways to find my worth. There are more accurate ways of understanding my value, of appreciating what I have to offer to the world. There are greater measures of the good I can do, the ways I can heal and support, the gifts I can bestow.

There have to be.

1 comment:

Kate Wicker said...

Keep it up, Cathy. As a preggo right now, I wish I could ditch the scale. It can be so controlling. Know that you don't need its number to validate your worth. You are beautiful on the inside and out.

The best cure for scale sickness, I've found, is doing exactly what you're doing. Getting rid of the darn thing and focusing on other things. It's not easy though. I'm really not supposed to ever weigh myself anymore, but I can't help it. I have to sometimes step on the scale just to see "how I'm doing." Yet, when I need the scale to answer that question, then I'm probably not doing all that well. :)

I admire you in so many ways. God bless you, and thank you for your beautiful honesty!