The willingness to be willing is the beginning of change
I used to weigh myself once a month, on the first. Only on the first. Because it was a good way to keep an eye on my weight, without the obsession of getting on the scale every day. Or multiple times a day. People with eating and body image disorders can become obsessed with the scale. I was one of them before I put boundaries around my eating. I would get on the scale constantly, looking for the secret recipe for weight loss. Was I down a pound in the last 2 hours? What had I done? Could I replicate it?
It was insanity. I was treating it like science and wishing for it to work like magic. Needless to say, it was neither.
When I quit smoking, I gained at least 30 pounds. Almost certainly more, but I stopped weighing myself. It was devastating to me. I lived in fear of stepping on the scale. It haunted me constantly. Not just around the first, but for the whole month. I started to obsess about how I could stop the weight gain, and lose what I had gained, within days of weighing myself. It was never over.
I started to feel the same crazy I had when I was eating compulsively. I wanted something to work. Anything! I wanted some sort of magic.
So my friend who helps me make decisions about my food and my weight told me to stop weighing myself. She didn’t want me to make myself miserable. My job was to keep my food boundaries, and not focus on my weight.
Now, it’s almost 4 years since I quit smoking. And I have lost what seems to be most of the weight I gained. I don’t know, because I haven’t gotten on a scale in 2 1/2 years.
It makes sense for me to get back on the scale. But I’m scared. The truth is, that experience scarred me.
I was angry at life. I was angry that I did the “right” thing by quitting smoking, and I was punished with the worst possible thing that could happen to a former fat girl. I gained weight with no relation to what I was eating or how much I was moving. It made me feel crazy and desperate. It triggered all of my body image disorders. It was hell.
But now, I think I should start weighing myself again monthly. And that means having a conversation with my friend about it. And I don’t want to. I’m worried. And it makes me feel a little nauseous.
The truth is, what if it’s not enough? What if the number just makes me feel fat and gross? What if I hate myself all over again?
But I guess I am telling you this so I can keep moving forward. When I put it out there, I can be responsible for it. I need to out myself so I take some action. And so I don’t keep all if this fear bouncing around in my head.
I don’t know when I will have this conversation with my friend. I don’t know when I will be ready. The point, I guess, is I’m getting ready. And it’s that, the willingness to be willing, that is the beginning of change.