As I’m writing this, spring is on us and for some reason, a memory sprung up in my mind about my senior year in HS.
I was dying to get out and move on in so many ways.
Not just from my town but from the shadow of what I had become known by, my eating disorder.
I recovered in full view. Everyone knew. Probably the whole town. So in many ways, it motivated me to push myself to do hard things, to not be known as the girl who wouldn’t eat, aka, makes everyone uncomfortable.
Looking back, that makes me chuckle because most of the world needs to arise from their stupor about their own body biases, food issues and discomfort about talking about struggles that aren’t visible and I am super glad I could be the one to wake people up a bit.
What all this has to do with weight is this:
I was actively trying to eat what I wanted and needed. I knew all eyes were on me and even though I hated it, I also knew that no matter if I stayed the same or gained, some people were going to be supportive of me no matter what and some people were going to gossip that it wasn’t enough or it was too much.
That’s what people with their own un-examined wounds do. They see someone with a body that is a “thing for them” and basically, unless they do their work, they can’t manage their emotions about it.
Once I realized this, I was determined to be more okay with myself and this process.
So I let the scale go.
I decided to eat the food and let my body get where it needed to be to not be in threat of not getting enough,
When my mind said better stop but I still felt pulled in someway to eat and I knew I wouldn’t be nauseous from food, I ate.
I trusted that my body would take me where it needed to go. And that things would settle and so would my cravings and hunger.
Sometimes I had some gentle containment with eating to keep me from under-eating and that I could always eat more.
The signals did get clearer. And the trust grew.
And for 6 months, I had no clue what I weighed or how much I’d gained.
Now I won’t say that I didn’t dabble with restriction or binging again. I did. And that always happened when I was suppressing something: a thought, an emotion, feeling alone, saying yes when I meant no…..
But I also knew that I clearly wasn’t the boss of what my body needed to weigh to be less obsessive.
And clearly, people were going to have an opinion anyway, so might as well value my own and the ones from people who could get past my weight gain and know me, ask me how I was and have real conversations.
How I was able to let go of the scale and not know what was happening was for this reason alone:
I tried to control, run, numb and make myself believe I was more confident and in control with weighing less. I faced the facts: I didn’t get happier and more confident with weighing less and knowing the numbers. And weighing less didn’t make people less judgmental, more awake or open or me more strong.
It made me a total ghost in my life. Just drifting in between anxious moments.
So I went the other direction. Towards life. Real conversations and experiences that proved that there is goodness and safety. I just needed to stop looking it for it in the surface things life body and what others might think.
So keep pushing. Check in often for what you need, what and who you value. What you are doing all this for.
If you are waiting for everyone to get it or agree you are going to be disappointed. Not because they are bad but because they are people who have wounds just like you and I.
So if knowing your weight just triggers you to worry about what other’s think. Put the scale away. Smash it into a thousands pieces. Or let someone be in charge of knowing for a while.
And I bet you you move forward more quickly because you can focus on what your body is saying, what your heart needs and the life you are reclaiming.
PS: If you are looking for more support,
1) Enjoy these free case studies with tips how to have freedom from food and weight worries: http://bit.ly/2IfVZp2bodypeace
2) Put to use today these action resources to help you learn about eat without being obsessed or on a diet or worrying about your weight: www.tracybrownrd.com/free-gifts
3) Introduce yourself here: https://www.tracybrownrd.com/get-started. I love hearing from people about where you've come from and what your dreams are for full freedom from weight and food worries.
YES! This is exactly where I am. I have had a mismanaged and overmedicated chronic illness for 7 years. When I had to go back on a medication that I knew would increase my weight–I put a stop to weighing myself. Getting well is far more important. In this time, I have learned that I am very harsh in my criticisms of my body. I also have started being aware of the specific feelings that spur my eating. I am off of the medication now, but still won’t weigh myself. Instead I am working on body positivity (today I am wearing a dress that challenges my thoughts to the extreme!) But you are 100% right, that those who would criticize me would do it no matter what, and I wasn’t happy when I weighed less anyway. It isn’t about my weight–it’s about the trauma I have endured and coming to terms with those feelings. I am not sure that I will ever weigh myself again. :O) And that’s okay.