When we are working on recovery we have to work really hard to set ourselves up for success and remove the common barriers that prevent us from getting well. One of the things we can do to help us recover is get rid of our scale. I know how even the idea of this seems impossible but the truth is scales constantly sabotage the efforts you make to overcome your eating disorder.
When you struggle with a restrictive eating disorder the scale tends to have significant control over so many parts of your life. It tells you if you are allowed to have a good day or if instead you deserve to be punished and have to starve yourself more. It determines how worthy you feel about yourself and increases your anxiety. Scales give more power to the eating disorder voice in your head and prevent you from listening to your body and trusting what it is telling you.
So what does this tell us? A scale doesn’t help us, it harms us. It makes it impossible to feel okay with ourselves and even more impossible to feel okay with recovery. Scales prevent us from ever trusting ourselves and tell us that our worth is determined by a number on a screen. You are so much more this. The more you rely on your scale to tell you if you are okay, the harder it will be to be okay. The reality is if you hav
e a restrictive eating disorder, recovery means gaining some weight. It doesn’t mean getti
ng fat…your bodynaturally doesn’t want to carry excess weight… but it does mean getting your body to the healthy weight that it is meant to be at. It also means learning to love yourself for who you are and what you represent, not what you weigh. It means understanding (instead of fearing) your emotions and actually being happy on the inside.
So what do I recommend?
- Prepare yourself to be anxious. It isn’t an easy thing to do and getting rid of your scale is going to cause your anxiety to spike. Know that this is normal and that in time it will pass.
- Plan a perfect day for yourself. The side of you that wants to be healthy knows what a perfect day would be – access this side and plan out exactly what you would do if you had an entire day to spend just how you want.
- If you have more than one scale in your house, start by getting rid of all but one of them.
- When you only have one ask someone who knows about your eating disorder to help you by taking the scale out of your house. The reason being that if you personally throw it out there is a good chance you will go dig it out from wherever you tossed it. If nobody knows about your eating disorder then take your scale somewhere public to throw it out. For example, drop it off at night in the garbage can outside your local convenience store. The likelihood of you going back to get it is significantly lower if it has been left in a public place.
- After getting rid of your scale, execute your perfect day.
Scales serve no purpose and getting rid of your scale is a big step to take towards getting better. It isn’t an easy one to take but it is critical to changing your thinking and helping you move forward.