I Went Without My Scale For A Week And Here Is What Happened
My scale ran out of battery last week.
I had bought the scale at my pharmacy and it came with one of those flat, circle batteries. And to be honest, I had no idea where to buy a circle battery to replace the dead one. I also actively prevented myself from searching for one, and as a result, I wasn’t able to weigh myself for a whole week.
For me, a huge part of my eating disorder is tied to the scale. One of the symptoms of anorexia is a fear of weight gain, and I can definitely say that that fear is applicable to me. Even though I can recognize that I am underweight and medically, it would be advisable for me to gain weight, I still have this huge fear of the number on the scale going up. In the depths of my disorder, weigh-ins become very frequent, too. At the height of it, I would weigh myself over ten times a day. Some days, I would step on, step off, and step on again, over and over, wishing for a different number (a lower number) each time.
So what was it like to not be able to weigh myself for a week?
It was anxiety-provoking. Not being able to know (and then control) my weight is a situation that makes the eating disorder in me panic. How will I know if I should have “x” to eat, when I can only allow myself “x” if my weight is down? How will I know what portion sizes to eat if typically my daily intake is based on the number every morning? How will I know if I should eat less to prevent weight gain? How will I know if I should eat more to prevent weight loss? How will I eat and control my weight if I don’t know what my weight is?
Not knowing my weight has been messy. It has left me confused and panicked. All of my “scale rules” that determine my food intake were thrown out the window since I didn’t have access to a scale.
But in a weird way, I also felt liberated. I no longer had to do my pre-weigh-in rituals every night and every morning. I no longer had to use the number on the scale to dictate how much I could eat every single day. My head was still filled with numbers and weight-related thoughts, but the thoughts were a lot less present and overwhelming.
So what did I learn from having no batteries in my scale?
Well, I was a lot happier. I had a much easier time at work since my mornings were not spent obsessing about what the scale had said at 6am. Eating became somewhat easier, since I wasn’t as stressed about eating one day and seeing potential weight gain on the scale the next morning. Overall, I felt a lot more free, and I know there is a direct correlation between the freedom I felt and not using my scale.
I did Friday to Friday without weighing myself, but in order to be completely transparent with you, I admit to buying a battery, and I weighed myself Saturday morning. The result is hard to digest but my intentions were good - I wanted to make sure my recovery was on track. And that’s kind of a first for me. Usually, my goal in weighing myself is to make sure the number is going down. And that’s not why I weighed myself Saturday morning. I wanted to make sure my weight was going in the right direction. So that’s progress, I suppose.
Moving forward, my goal is to continue distancing myself from my scale. My therapist weighs me every two weeks, and I think I will do blind weigh-ins for a little while. I would like to focus on developing a good eating structure and continue working on increasing food variety and food quantities, and I want to do that without incessantly thinking about weight, numbers, and BMI. In terms of my scale at home, I am not ready to give it up just yet. But if I can limit the at-home weigh-ins to once a week maximum, that would be a huge victory.
Recovery is not easy, and it’s not linear. But it is important to focus on the small victories. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.