Monday, April 26, 2010

The Scale

All the diets... all the pounds lost, recorded and charted pound-by-pound, then gained without measuring until one day my big-big-girl jeans are so tight I can't stand it. So I get on the scale, face the fact of my highest ever weight, and the cycle begins all over again. How many cycles like that in my life? I don't want to estimate. It's staggering.

I've got will power! Yes, I do. I can do the diets. They all work, because I stick to them. But I am a compulsive overeater and one day, sooner or later, my will power fades, the binges begin again and the pounds come back. Overeaters Anonymous calls it a progressive and incurable disease. Whatever it is, I absolutely know that I can not beat it with will power and diets.

Today is my 10th day of sobriety. I actually think of it that way. Abstinence from compulsive overeating is sobriety in my book. Today I will face my first real challenge of abstinence. My husband and our neighbors are going out for breakfast at a place where we have always enjoyed having pancakes. Although my husband offered to abstain from pancakes and syrup, I told him that I am the one who needs to abstain and that I must get used to having non-binge-trigger foods while those around me are having the very things I will not eat. I pray for assistance with this challenge.

What I really want to address in this post is the scale. I've been thinking about the scale for 10 days, wondering if I should weigh and record my weight. OA guidelines suggest weighing once a month. However, I don't want OA to be all about weight loss. My weight is the result of compulsive overeating, yes. But under my binges and overeating is a deep hole. It is this lonely, frightening, sad place that I want to address.

So I think I will let go of the scale. Let go of the pounds, at least for now. The goal of abstinence is not weight loss for me right now. The goal is sanity!


  1. I think thats a good idea because weight really isnt the issue. For me , when I eat well I feel a sense of calm and strengthwithin me. I feel I am more present in my daily life that I don't otherwise have. If I look at that number is tosses me upside down. I also wanted to say how brave I think you are for doing this blog. I wish I had your courage and honesty about food. I know whoever you choose to tell of this blog will appreciate the conversations. Love Julie

  2. I'm glad you agree this is a good idea, Julie! And thanks so much for the support! It's OK with me if you want to share this blog with anybody you know who might find it useful. Your words about "sense of calm and strength" are inspirational to me! Love, R

  3. Wouldn't it be great if we could step on a scale at any given time without suffering feelings of anxiety, depression or self loathing? What is it about that one simple number that can throw us off into a tail spin of shame? I rarely weigh myself because of the negative emotions that surface. Like, Julie, I try to focus on eating healthy to nourish my mental and physical health. But I've been thinking....I feel like I should be strong enough to truthfully acknowledge that number without shame or anxiety. I'm not saying that I have to celebrate that number, but maybe just accept it and move on. That number should not have that much power over me and my emotions. That number does not define who I am as a person. Here's a thought...what if I stepped on the scale tomorrow, read that number, acknowledged it and then went on to enjoy a happy and productive day? That one simple number only has the power to negatively impact my emotions if I allow it to.


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