“It’s about more than the number on the scale.
It’s about loving my body.
It’s about embracing what maintenance looks like.
It’s about nourishing my body with foods I love and exercise I enjoy.
It’s about hope.
It’s about PEACE.”
This was my reason for stepping off the scale for the month of May, and stepping into freedom.
I was above my goal that I set at Weight Watchers and I had started to give the number I was seeing on the scale a little too much power.
I have wanted to share how my month off the scale went, but to be honest, I’ve been scared to do so. What I learned was different than what I anticipated. I thought I was going to abandon the scale and throw it away for good… keep reading to find out if that’s what happened or not.
I’m learning SO much these days. I always had all or nothing thinking, but over the last decade, I’ve realized that that way of thinking doesn’t serve anyone… let alone myself. The more I break free from that way of thinking the more free I become.
So, once again. I’m breaking free.
What I learned the last month feels messy. It feels scary to admit and in a lot of ways, I don’t want to to be honest. But, part of sharing my journey is being vulnerable and sharing all of it… even the parts that may warrant backlash and judgement. But, here I am, owning all my imperfections and embracing my truth and sharing it, unapologetically.
This is MY journey, and over the last several weeks what I have learned is my journey isn’t for everyone and I am working on being okay with that. There are people who don’t want to be a part of my journey, and though that feels personal, I’m learning I need to work hard to not take it personally. There are people who don’t agree with my thoughts, and I’m trying to be ok with that too. This is my journey. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else except for me, even if it stings a little.
I need you to hear this before I tell you how my month went… what I discovered in my month off the scale is my story.
What works for me may not work for you, and that is totally ok. This is not about comparison.
I spent YEARS in therapy. Every day I’m learning more and more about what it looks like to be in recovery from binge eating disorder and the things I have to avoid, and things I’ve been able to add back into my life. (i.e. I will NEVER ever do a detox again. Ever.) There are things I can do today that I absolutely couldn’t do right out of therapy, I’ve worked up to this point of recovery, therefore it’s going to look different for me than someone who is still struggling with binge eating, or is still in therapy.
I do not have all the answers. I just know now what works for me, because I’ve put in the work to figure that out. My advice to you is to put in that same work in your own journey. It is worth the self discovery. The freedom and peace you will find when discover what works best for you is worth every ounce of work you put in figuring it out.
Now, I’ll get to it…
Emotionally, how did I handle not weighing for one month?
In the beginning I was totally fine. I had my scale in my bathroom and wasn’t tempted at all. About mid-month though, I wanted to see the number. If anything, just to know where I was. I didn’t want to weigh to beat myself up, or to see if I’d been “good” or not… in all honesty, I was just plain curious. I never stepped on my scale during my month away, and by then end it was challenging for sure.
Years ago, before binge eating therapy, the scale RULED me. It determined whether or not I was going to have a good day or not. That number determined whether or not I was ugly, worthy, or important. I have spent the last decade taking power away from the scale, and I am SO much better today than I used to be. With that said, prior to my “No Weight May”, I was using the scale for information, and not having that “data” felt a little strange for me.
I gained 5.2 pounds in my month away from the scale. Was I frustrated? Yes. Did I beat myself up? No.
This was an experiment. I needed this experiment and I’ve needed the last few weeks to process it to be honest before I could share how I will be moving forward. I’ve had long talks with my husband, I’ve spent some time in self reflection, reflecting on what this means for me and where I am in recovery.
Am I weighing myself again?
Yes, I am. This is what works for me and it’s taken me a few weeks to accept that I’m not a failure, or doing something wrong, because I weigh myself.
As I sit here typing this, I have tears streaming. I’m going to pour my heart for a moment…
I feel stuck many times between two worlds. I lost 100+ pounds on Weight Watchers, but I am in recovery from binge eating disorder and eat intuitively. The first thing I learned in therapy was diets cause disorders, and many would argue with me that Weight Watchers is a diet. I haven’t treated it like one the last 2.5 years because of what I have been through, and I work very hard not to treat it like a diet.
I listen to my body, and I eat when I’m hungry, regardless of how many points I have left for the day. My body and it’s hunger cues will always trump smart points. It’s a deal I made myself when I walked back through those doors. No more restriction. No more all or nothing thinking. No more diets.
Figuring out where I “fit in” is proving to be harder and harder for me. I love using Weight Watchers as a guideline, but then I feel like I don’t fit in with the intuitive eating community either because I shouldn’t be on any type of program. I feel like I don’t make sense to a lot of Weight Watchers members because I don’t live and die by Smart Points either. It’s a weird, strange and lonely place.
In the last week I’ve found some hope in the book by Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness. What I’ve learned is that I don’t fit perfectly in either “camp”. I’ve created my own… and that is NOT failing. It is becoming. Becoming my truest self… even if it means I stand alone. I’m learning more and more about who I am and what works for me and learning to be exactly who I need to be, unapologetically.
I want to feel understood. I want to have a tribe. I want to offer encouragement and hope… and some days I feel like no one else can relate to me and I’m standing in the wilderness by myself.
It can be really really lonely here. But, I’m fighting the loneliness. I’m fighting the urge to totally withdraw. When I withdraw, I sink back into binge eating and I can’t do that. I won’t do that.
During my month off the scale, a dear friend of mine shared a song with me that I’ve had on repeat for over a month. It gave me the courage to walk away from being a Weight Watchers Ambassador and the courage to start pursuing the path that works best for me, even if I’m all alone. The song is Grace by Rachel Platten and this verse inspires me…
To step inside my mind and help me be a better person
Release the better version of me
‘Cause right now, what I wanna do is scream it
I need grace ’cause I’m running low on faith
And I really wanna change my heart
‘Cause I’m falling apart these days
And what I really need is grace, grace, grace
I forgot the most important thing I know
That there’s nobody else I have to be
There’s no one else I need to please
I have the answers that I need
How did this experiment change my journey?
This experiment was proof that I was using the scale as information only and was totally fine doing so, which is why I started weighing on my home scale again when I want to. Sometimes it’s daily, sometimes its not, I weigh when I feel like it with zero expectations.
I’m officially up 14 pounds from my Weight Watchers goal weight and though I want to get back to where I’m more comfortable, I don’t beat myself up when I see the number on the scale. I am learning. This is a process that is going to take time. I don’t know what I consider my goal weight anymore, but I know how I want to feel and that is what I’m working towards.
I’m fighting for a feeling, not a number on the scale.
I am confident in my decision to weigh myself and know what I weigh, and do not feel like it is an issue for me in regards to my recovery from my eating disorder. If I feel that it is becoming an issue, I will promptly head back to therapy. I’ve been two different times, and I know when I need to have a mental reset.
What did I learn?
- I am perfectly imperfect.
- I am a fighter.
- I will never give up.
- I do not have all the answers, but I always want to learn.
- What my journey looks like today may look totally different in a year, and that is ok.
- Change is good, though it is hard.
- I am more than the number on the scale, but it’s ok to know the number on the scale too as long as I promise myself it is used only for information and NOT to beat myself up.
Every day I wake up and recommit to my mental and physical health and promise myself that today I will do my best to give my body the three things it deserves most… grace, forgiveness and a lot of love.
**Since this post was originally shared I have left Weight Watchers and fully embraced Intuitive Eating. You can read more about my decision on my blog post, “Why I Quit Weight Watchers“