Sneaky scales: are they an essential?

This morning I’m talking about the good ol’ scales. You might be in recovery from an eating disorder and still have a sneaky pair of scales that you cart around everywhere. You might be a friend of someone who weighs themselves all the damn time. Or you might not have an eating disorder but still have a pair of scales in your bathroom that every now and then you feel the impulse to stand on and disappoint yourself every time. Here’s the thing: I don’t think one recovering from an eating disorder should be weighing themselves – it’s counterproductive. And I don’t think one can be fully recovered from an eating disorder and still desire to weigh themselves incessantly. Obviously, the urge will still come up every now and then but one who is fully recovered – they can make the decision to not weigh, I believe.

I haven’t weighed myself since the 31st December 2011. Before that one incident, I hadn’t known my weight for about 4 months. I was your average anoretic or bulimic – I weighed myself constantly. When I moved out of home, I took my scales with me. I would go to the gym and weigh myself, then do three classes and weigh myself again to make sure the number had gone down. If it hadn’t, I hadn’t worked hard enough. I would wake up every morning, go to the bathroom and then weigh myself in only my underwear. If the number had gone up, I’d go for an extra run that morning and only eat an apple until dinner time.

It seems to be the norm these days to have a set of scales in your bathroom. Everyone does, right? When I first moved into Y’s place to start house-sitting for her, she had scales in every bedroom. Knowing that may tempt the eating disorder and send me spiralling down, I politely asked her if she could move them. She put them under her own bed with her other pairs of scales. This incident dumbfounded me – is it so ingrained into us as a society that our weight is so significant that we even place scales in our guests bedrooms? I don’t even know what the norm is anymore.

This morning I woke up with this verse from Matthew 5:30 rolling around in my head:

“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (NIV)

Please don’t switch off yet! I want to make a really big point here.

Whatever causes you to stumble, whatever sends you spiralling down into a hefty relapse, whatever gives the eating disorder a one up on you – cut it off, so to speak. Get rid of it. It might seem impossible, but it is VERY possible. It might appear difficult and it IS difficult. But not too difficult. It is better for you to get rid of your scales than constantly fight the temptation of using them. And this applies to other things too – not just scales. It might be the ‘safe plate’ or ‘safe spoon’ that you can only eat with. Put it at the back of the cupboard and brave some other eating utensils. This is a bit strange, but for me, I had to get rid of a pair of “slimming” underwear that I had purchased for my year 12 formal. Basically, they sucked your gut in. I decided to bite the bullet and put them in the bin. I bet you can think of a stack of things that you’re still clinging to which is giving the ED a one-up on you -cut it off. Anything that is holding you back from a full recovery needs to go.

So, if you’re still bearing with me and this lengthy post and you’re NOT the eating disordered type, I have a little challenge for you too: if you do have scales in your bathroom, why? Are they necessary? Do they make you feel good about yourself? Do they make you feel bad about yourself? Do they improve your life on a day-to-day basis? Do you want your children to see those scales and abuse them by overusing them and becoming obsessed about the number that it reads? Don’t be fooled, kids can and will become obsessed with what the scales say. I weighed myself regularly when I was nine years old. If you don’t really know why you have scales in your bathroom and they really aren’t doing you any good – I dare you to throw them out. I dare you.

So there you have it – my little rant about scales for the morning. I hope it’s been somewhat thought-provoking and challenging for you. And I hope you find the courage to throw away the scales for good.

Bekah xo.

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14 thoughts on “Sneaky scales: are they an essential?

  1. We have scales at home, which I don’t make a habit of using. After 2 years of scoliosis bracing, surgery recovery and medications that cause weight gain, it’s not a good feeling.

    I think it is ridiculous though that emotions are so tied into that number. I guess it’s easier for us to conceptualise; higher than this number, bad, lower, good, rather than focusing on making time to be active, and making the best food choices that we can.

    • Good for you! I think when you know it’s a difficult thing for you and you recognise that you become emotionally caught up in what the number is, avoiding it is really the best thing to be doing. But also in doing that, I think you’re making a stand and saying “actually, it’s really not that important to me and I can choose not to do it”. So yeah, good stuff!

      I wish more people could see that making time to be active, making good food choices, eating a chocolate biscuit everyday etc are all such wonderful things and so, so much more rewarding and freeing than standing on the scales day after day X

  2. I used to weigh myself eight times a day, minimum. Given that I’m out of the house at work for 9 hours a day you wouldn’t think I’d even have time to fit that many in, but I managed it. 😉 Then I went cold turkey and didn’t weigh myself for 4 weeks… that was horrendous in the beginning but got better. Nowadays I weigh myself once in the mornings and it doesn’t have the power to dictate my whole day’s mood (or food) like it used to. I wrote across the scales in permanent marker “This number does not define you” and that actually helps, especially on days when I see a number I LIKE. Still, I plan to ditch the scales entirely eventually, but one thing at a time. I stopped counting calories in the last couple of weeks and that’s caused me enough anxiety – I know myself well, and I know that making too many big changes all at once doesn’t work for me. Small steps that will last, not huge leaps that won’t.

    • I think the important thing here is that you’ve recognised that it’s something you need to tackle and you plan to once you tackle the calorie counting – that’s really, really good. You can’t recover in a day! It’s like I had to learn to eat with a dessert spoon istead of a teaspoon and I had to eat out of “unsafe bowls” and I had to stop measuring things – but trying to do them all at once would obviously send one back into a relapse. So yes – as long as you get to it soon and don’t procrastinate and perhaps ask someone to keep you accountable – I think that’s okay for sure. Well done re calorie counting too, so proud of you lovely xo.

      • Thanks. 🙂 I’m proud of me too. Of course, I still KNOW the calories of practically everything I eat; I’m just not adding it up or logging it anywhere. And I’m not letting fear of the calories keep me away from the GOOD yoghurt – by which I mean the non-diet, thick, delicious and expensive stuff. I really do hate “diet” yoghurt… 😉

    • (Hopefully) after awhile you forget what they are. I don’t even think about calories anymore, let alone count them. Hope one day soon you find yourself in that position too.

      I used to eat that crappy no-fat yoghurt – you know the green packaged one? Can’t remember the brand. I think it’s Yoplait? Anyway. Never, ever again. Usually have Vaalia now, (now THAT is the good stuff) or the red packaged one … Can’t remember the brand of that one either! Just ate some yoghurt for supper; good stuff.

      • P.S – supper is what I have with my cup of tea around 9 – NOT dinner! Made the best soup for dinner, moroccon lentil soup and some toast. So lovely on a chilly night like tonight X

      • Nestle diet yoghurt (the Weight Watcher’s approved one) is the worst. So runny and tasteless. Blergh. I never again want to eat anything with “Diet” on the label. I love Gippsland yoghurt… not sure if it’s available in NSW, but it’s really good. Not QUITE as good as King Island Dairy yoghurt but that’s massively expensive. Only for a treat!

      • Vaailia (I seriously don’t know how to spell it) is so expensive! Actually, most yoghurts are I think? It’s $6.40 (they’re having a 33c less sale – ha!)

  3. Oh I’ll just jump in and agree with Sue Ellen! I love Gippsland! I tend to only buy the good yogurts whenever I see them on special or reduced (*blush*) but I do refuse to go back to those diet ones ever again! Yay for proper yogurt 😉 x

  4. Thank you so much for this post though. I’ve resorted to only weighing myself when I see the dietitian once a month- and there it’s blind weighed. Unfortunately I do slip and probably give in about once a week ‘just to check’, but I’m working on that still. I would love to never weigh myself again. I’ve come to realise it’s just a number after all! I much prefer going about my day as normal then to let an insignificant ‘shift’ alter my entire days plans!

    Brilliant bible verse too- God has such PERFECT timing doesn’t He? 😉

    • Yay! I was like that too, only being weighed when I saw my dietitian and yeah, I was blind weighed. Generally speaking though, I’ve managed to avoid the temptation of the scales. Keep working away at it, you’ll get there for sure! So glad that you work so hard to not let it dictate your day or week or how you eat – that’s super dooper good news 🙂 X

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