Monday, July 14, 2008

Discovering "Recovery Thinking"

You can be honest about struggling. Because struggling means you are fighting something...that you're not just sitting there and taking it...or giving in. And THAT is really saying something.

I think a lot about how so many women fear the number on the scale that sometimes seems to be creeping up on them.

I really understand what that is like; I used to feel that same fear of the weight and the number on the scale. It made me crazy.

Recovery can often seem like a battle of your two selves. A seemingly endless ping-pong game.


It comes down to this. You see the number. You wince. You try to tell yourself it's okay because you're trying to be healthy. But it doesn't feel okay. And you don't feel good about it.

You think about restricting.

You know you shouldn't. (Am I right so far?)

And you try to get support from others to keep your saner thoughts in the forefront of your mind.

The thing is, if you give in to restricting to lose OR maintain (your body may, as it changes, find its normal weight is a couple pounds higher than what you've been maintaining, hence the slow creep of the number on that scale) you are going to be back on a downward spiral. So keep that in mind.

It's so easy to say you will only restrict enough to get back to what you feel is a comfortable weight, but that's the eating disorder wheedling its way back into your head and slowly clutching you again until you continue and continue and continue, a lower weight always being desirable.

You know this. It's so simple to say right now that you'd only restrict a little bit, but it's a dangerous move. A recipe for disaster.

I know from experience.

Once, when I tried to recover and got to a "decent" (though still too low) weight, I began to freak out even though I was still determined on recovery, and I told myself I'd only restrict to get a tiny bit lower, just so I'd feel better in my own skin. So I did.

Bad move. I was down to below xx lbs. in no time at all. And I REALLY wanted to get better. But there I was. Back at Unhealthy and trying to climb my way up to Healthy again.

I don't want this to happen to you or anyone. I know the mindset an eating disorder can instill, and I want you to know that you are stronger than your inclination to restrict when you see your weight on a scale.

As I've said before, a scale is an inanimate object that should never define you. I know it takes a while to realize this completely but nevertheless, it is something you can tell yourself over and over again when you feel miserable because the number you've seen isn't the one you'd like to be seeing.

And eventually, the more resistant you become against restriction and other eating disordered behavior, the less that number you see begins to bother you. It goes like this. You see it. You don't like it. But you don't feel the desire to restrict.

Days go by.

You see it. You don't like it. But you pass it off in a couple seconds and forget about it for the rest of the day.

Days go by. You see it. You are indifferent. You neither like it nor dislike it.

Days go by.

You see it. You are indifferent. You may not even feel like stepping on a scale is important in your life.

Days go by.

You see it. You are indifferent. You feel good. GOOD. Because a number doesn't dictate your mood.

Days go by.

You see it. You like it. Why? Because it means you are free at last from the power of the scale and the number.

It could take months, years, maybe a decade, but it can happen. Remember that when you step on the scale and try not to let it ruin your smile or your day…because the day you stop letting a number ruin your day, you are one big step closer to peace.

2 comments:

Steph said...

I haven't weighed myself in well over a year, or two now maybe, and I'm fine with it (definitely a lot less anxious!). I can't say how many times I used to get on the scale and cry because I was a pound heavier than the day before.
But I've found that going by the way my clothes feel works just as well. And I'm happy I'm not addicted to a scale anymore.

Arielle said...

Steph,

Exactly. :) I don't have a scale in my house and haven't for a couple years either. It doesn't matter. We are not a number so we should not associate ourselves with one, you know?

Stay strong. Thanks for visiting.

Much love,
Arielle