Read Today's Guest Post by Laurie Weaver.
Good-bye Sweet Scale, I knew him well…
Good-bye Sweet Scale, I knew him well…
It’s day one of our separation, my former beloved scale and me. I’m surprised by how very much I miss our dysfunctional relationship and by how much I defined my life by trying to meet its irrational needs.
The closest thing I can compare the antsy, ‘don’t know what to do with myself’ feeling is to when I gave up smoking. Giving up smoking is HELL on WHEELS. I had to spend about 1000 months sitting in the bathtub eating Milk Duds because I never smoked in the bathtub and the sugar gave me a rush similar to the nicotine.
Lordy, I haven’t thought of that in years!
How can NOT stepping on a physical object give me withdrawal symptoms? This is NUTSO! Suppose I just hadn’t gotten around to stepping on it yet, I wouldn’t care. It’s the whole “quitting” thing. But what am I ACTUALLY quitting?
The scale is a symbol of my deeply entrenched diet/compulsive/binge cycle. It’s the arbitrator of when I do what actions in this cycle. It’s the Lord of my brain. The director of all. The Czar of potato chips or broccoli. How can I cope all on my own?
Hmm, even rereading these true feelings kind of gives me the willies.
Let me try logic to calm these feelings – doesn’t usually work with me, but let’s give it a go.
Self! Listen Up!
1. Our body weighs whatever it weighs whether or not we are on the scale.
2. The scale never changed one once of weight.
3. We did that by our behaviors.
4. We BASED our behaviors on the FEELINGS generated by the daily scale number
5. How did THAT work out for us HMMM??
Hmm, logic is kind of bossy. I don’t think I respond well to bossy while in the painful throws of withdrawal. Let’s try empathy. More my style.
Self Honey, Come let me give you a hug!
1. That scale has never been kind to us and we deserve kindness and respect.
2. I love you self no matter what we weigh.
3. It’s OK to be whatever size we are because we are MORE then just our body.
4. I know it’s scary, but the scale can’t tell us how you feel inside.
5. It’s going to be ok. We can trust our body to tell us what to eat.
Wow, I feel kind of better with the empathetic approach, but still suspicious and slightly pissed off. Like when your mom tells you that you are pretty when all of the kids call you names based on your looks, and when the therapist says how good you are when you are paying money for them to be “into your feelings”. Nice to hear, but I can’t quite let it in.
How about I try the rational “What the hell have we got to lose?” approach?
Self, let’s think about this together
Q. Self, what’s the Worse that can happen?
A. I can gain 100 pounds and not notice.
Q. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not a chance in hell, and 10 you can bet your life, how likely is that to happen?
A. Umm 2?
Q. How likely is it you will start to pay more attention to your inner feelings without a daily weigh-in?
A. Umm 10?
Q. And on a scale of 1-10 if this doesn’t work out for us, can we change our mind?
A. 10, but I would look like a failure and a fool if I changed my mind.
Q. What’s wrong with that?
A. I’d feel badly
A. Because if I appear perfect and good and that all is well with me, people will finally accept me.
Q. Who has accepted you more? The scale or the brave companions who listen and participate in your show who know you are NOT perfect?
A. I guess we can toss the Milk Duds.
It’s now been over 3 months since I’ve set foot on a scale and I can tell from the fit of my clothing that my size has not changed. It’s a miracle! For the first time in over 50 years I have not let my mood nor my behavior be driven my that “Magic Number” of how gravity is reacting to my particular mass on any given day.
I still have days where I feel fat. These days usually occur if I ate salty foods the day before or if it’s a very hot day today, or when emotionally, I’m not feeling great about myself. As I progress with learning to eat according to my own emotional and physical needs, I’m beginning to trust my body and myself.
It is strange to be driving without an external map, floating freely without an external compass and to be living an authentic life based on how I feel inside vs. what society or the latest diet theory is directing me to do or feel. At first I felt lost. Now I feel free. In the space that used to be reserved for endless calorie counting, or food equations or obsessive worry about what restaurant my friends might pick and could I eat there, or would I be a killjoy, I now have time to live.
I’m studying voice acting and singing lessons for the first time. I joined a writers’ social and writing exercise group and I actually attend. I say yes to social invitations and ask other people about their lives. I enjoy the food I choose to eat. I regret no food. I lash myself about eating no more.
My physical body is still over 200 pounds since 208 was my last recorded number and my size has not changed.
My emotional weight?
Light as a feather.
Laurie Weaver is the creator and host of the popular podcast and blog, Compulsive Overeating Diary which is based on her real and truthful ongoing journey to learn how to live a life free from the fear of food, where she enjoys food and where she builds authentic relationships vs. using compulsive eating behaviors to push people away.
Following a serious biking accident, Laurie retired young from a corporate job in technology and dove headfirst into learning what retirement had to offer. Laurie is also a formally trained educator. She’s created and presented many diverse educational seminars ranging from teaching techniques, to programming concepts for the non-programmer to how to discover your retirement identity. Laurie’s known for her sense of humor and for making even the driest topic sizzle. Now she’s out to bring that fun and joie de vivre to retirees, brave companions and other adventure seekers.