Part 2: The day that I threw out my scales

Working again with my beautiful kinesiologist, we dug deep into the issue of my eating.

It was confronting, and terrifying with a lot of layers and levels to get through. We eventually got to the root cause of my need to stop eating.

It was as though this pattern had completely disappeared. It didn’t even occur to me to skip a meal and I finally had found some peace.

What I didn’t expect was that there was more to get through.

There was the flip side which was over eating to cope with the huge amount of emotions which were now coming to the surface. I’d never learned to cope with them authentically as I’d either stopped eating to control them, or over eaten to suppress them.

I very quickly put on quite a few dress sizes, jumping from barely a 6 up to a good size 10 then even maybe a size 12.

It took a lot of mindfulness, but I refused to limit what I craved in any way to prove to myself that the pattern was truly broken.

Eventually I saw however that this cycle as it continued was also not healthy. I was eating non-stop and having panic attacks when I would stop. This too was an extreme version of what I wanted to be.

With some more help, patience and persistence I eventually realised that loving our bodies isn’t about limiting our food, nor is it about eating anything and everything. It’s about peace and respect.

If we’re hungry, we should let ourselves eat.

If we physically, not mentally, crave a food then our body probably needs something in that food.

Listen carefully and the answers are there, though sometimes not on the surface. Figure out what it is really crying out for.

Sugar cravings may be a sign of low insulin and that you need a piece of fruit, or more protein in your diet longer term to help ease these energy spikes. Maybe you even need magnesium and rest to naturally recharge so that your body is less reliant on instant food energy.

If you “feel” like eating a whole tub of ice cream well sometimes that’s okay too. Just get to the bottom of why you wanted it once you are done so it doesn’t become a habit.

There are probably some emotions you’ve got to unbury, or you are severely in need of more energy and that’s the fastest way your body knows how to get it – via sugar.

Our bodies are constantly communicating with us, and if we listen they very clearly tell us what they need to remain healthy, strong and keep us feeling great.

By listening, there’s no need to limit food or follow the strict guidelines of a meal plan.

Our food requirements change as our lifestyle changes, and our bodies know this and share it with us.

But there are still those scales that we force ourselves to get on.

I had been doing incredibly well recently and eating what I felt I needed each day. I felt strong.

I could see my body slowly slimming down and a good amount of healthy muscle building up again.

Then I jumped on my scales.

That number brought back every controlling voice I’d had during those 11 years, and made me want to curl up and hide from the world.

I’d gone from feeling healthy, strong and good about a body that was slowly returning back to a state of optimum health, to cancelling plans with a friend that night because I didn’t want to leave the house.

I decided that I was unworthy of a fun night out with him, our friendship and to be seen in public because of a number on a scale.

Nothing has the right to make me feel that way. I had given this piece of technology and plastic too much power.

I gave it that power and I could take it away. So I threw out my scales forever.

That is the moment that I finally let go of eating disorders on all levels. It’s the moment I decided I was ALWAYS worthy of love from myself and others, and that I am worthy of all of the amazing things that this life has to offer.

Learning to listen to what my body truly wants and needs is the only diet I’m interested in now.

Whether it’s a number on a scale or number on your jeans, this does not dictate who we are, or what we deserve.

We are so much more than that.

We are a soul, we are a heart, we are a mind and we deserve to be loved, happy and fulfilled ALWAYS.

There will be times when we need a bit of extra weight for one reason or another, but if we keep listening to what our bodies really need we’ll find a happy equilibrium minus the control, panic and mental abuse cycles.

We’ll find our happiest, healthiest version of ourselves every day. That’s the measure that matters.

Much love,

C

Part 1: The day that I threw out my scales

A flat piece of plastic is all that it is. 1.1kgs of it.

This 1.1kgs of electronics and plastic has ruled my life for over a decade.

It has no emotions, no sense of muscle versus fat and no perception that women hold water at a certain time of the month.

Most of all it has no idea that we are people, and so much more than the number that they assign us.

So many of us have deemed this small piece of plastic and electronics the ruler of our self worth and leader of our confidence.

No more.

Growing up I had always been happy, energetic, healthy and a little bit lanky. As hormones kicked in and my food allergies developed, all of a sudden I became much larger and my body shape changed.

Combined with bad skin and low self confidence, I hid from the world. I tried to be as unseen as humanly possible.

This isn’t easy when you’re nearly 5.7” and seem to draw attention from strangers anyway.

I enjoyed a world of books, movies, my family and occasionally friends outside of school.

As my mum got sicker and I was old enough to figure out how the story with her was going to end, my mental state deteriorated quite quickly. I’ve touched on this in past posts.

The biggest physical change was that I went from around a size 18 very quickly down to around a size 8.

I became obsessive.

I spent my nights exercising after I’d made sure that Mum was cared for and comfortable. Late into the night I’d run up and down the stairs or power walk laps of the house so I didn’t wake anyone up.

I had my routine down.

It was easy to skip breakfast as this wasn’t monitored.

For lunch I’d delay getting to the table with my friends until right before the bell. I could then grab my lunch as if I was going to eat it on the way, and throw it into the closest bin as I left their view.

Dinner I’d have to eat a little, but would complain about being tired and not hungry to help me get away with barely touching what was on my plate.

This is where my eating disorders began. There are so many to choose from and it seemed to be a constant rotation between one or the other. 

The body dysmorphia associated with eating disorders, or low confidence in general, shaped what I saw in the mirror with its suffocating grip.

I’d look in the mirror and still see a size 18 body when in reality I was barely an 8. So I’d continue, never enjoying my body for what it was.

This cycle continued for 11 years.

It peaked after my dad died. Even I could see that I was skeletal and my closest male friend, whom we’d never had an argument before, sat with me until I ate a full meal the day before the funeral.

He was one of only two people in my whole life who was bold enough to call me on what was so clearly visible. We argued, but he didn’t care. I wasn’t allowed to budge until the whole meal was gone.

It was childlike on my part, but that moment changed my entire future.

He helped me see what my body looked like to others in terms that I understood. He compared me to someone else who I’ve always admired as incredibly slim and beautiful, and told me I was now much smaller than her.

I was shocked, and it clicked that what I saw in the mirror wasn’t real.

When I left my home town and returned back to my life I got help.

I’d been to a few people for one or two sessions about eating at certain points in my life but this time was different. I saw the impact it was having on my long term health and wanted it to end.

I was ready to let it go.

Drop back next week to read more about how I finally managed to conquer the scales and all that they represent.

Much love,

C