“Dear” Scale

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Dear Scale,

I know it’s been twelve months since our last encounter.

I remember the moment vividly – not because it was special – but because it happened every day for as long as I can remember.  Each morning I would shuffle, bleary-eyed, into the bathroom and drag you from the closet.  I’d cross my fingers, say a prayer and climb onto your glass platform.

Though you were the cold and silent type, I faithfully sought your approval – waiting upon your flashing black numbers to validate my existence and measure my value. 

A low weight (at or below an impersonal and culturally dictated goal) meant good days, more smiles, a daily allowance of bread or other “indulgences” and a {temporary} peace of mind.

High numbers (above society’s warped ideals of health and beauty) meant horrible days, frustration, mood swings, calorie deficits and compulsive mirror checks to pinpoint exactly where those extra pounds were gathering.

My stomach.  Always my stomach.  That space below my belly button and above my underwear line was home to the pounds that separated me from perfection.  It was the space that kept me from loving you, the space that kept me from loving myself.  “If only a few inches would go,” I thought, “then you’d have something nice to say for once.  Then I’d feel worthy.  Then we’d find love.”

As you know, we never did find it.  But, still I tried to make our relationship work.  God knows – I tried.

It’s just that there were rarely any kind exchanges between us.  You were too unyielding, too blunt.

You constantly told me what I didn’t want to hear while I desperately scrambled, forcing my body to change your mind.  I left our rendezvous disheartened yet determined.  “Tomorrow,” I’d say, “I will try again.  If today I can work harder, run longer, eat less, and lift more, I can wake up and have one more chance at Scale’s blessing.”  Each night, in anticipation of meeting you, I would inventory my food intake and analyze my behavior.

“Will tomorrow be better?”

“Had I done enough?”

“Would you finally tell me what I wanted to hear?”

“Could I allow myself some freedom from the food restrictions and exercise obsessions?”

“Would I ever see that elusive number, the one you teased me with years ago when our relationship was young?”

We both know those answers.

“No.”

“Absolutely not.”

“Nope.”

“Sorry.”

“Never.”

Eventually, I got sick of trying to change you.  I was wearied from waiting for you to come around.  And tired – so, so tired of allowing what you said to control the course of my days, my weeks, my months and years.

YEARS, SCALE!!!

FOR THREE ENTIRE YEARS I BELIEVED THAT ONLY YOU COULD TELL ME I WAS BEAUTIFUL.  FOR OVER ONE THOUSAND DAYS I HUSTLED FOR MY WORTHINESS, UNDER YOUR THUMB.

Until that one, glorious fall morning when I stayed curled up in bed, instead of meeting you at our usual place and time.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and made a decision to leave you.

And it was one of the best decisions of my life.

I’m sorry (not sorry) if you’ve been lonely.  But, we simply weren’t right for each other.  You’re short, cold, stubborn, judgmental and unpredictable.  (Not to mention your lack of facial hair is a complete turn off.)

I’m not sure what I ever saw in you.  I’m not sure why I allowed you to have such influence over me.

I never expected to be one of those girls who sought approval in a relationship.  I didn’t think I’d rearrange my life or put my dreams on hold waiting for another to deem me valuable.  I hadn’t anticipated that someone or something could ever control me.

But you did.

And that’s why I had to break it off.

Last October I broke up with you.

TODAY…

 
 
TODAY, I BREAK YOU!
 

*****

Friends, I’ve found so much joy, peace and freedom since breaking up with my scale.  For most of us, even those of us who have never suffered from disordered eating or body behaviors, frequent weighing is a symptom of insecurity and a trigger for unkind self-talk, body shame, and unhealthy compensatory actions (like skipping breakfast in order to drop a few pounds, running 5 extra miles per week, or otherwise punishing our bodies for having a certain poundage). 

Consider this – any personal relationship wherein your mood and behaviors were dictated by a particular person’s measure of your worth would be deemed dependent and, in many cases, emotionally abusive.  Now, for a moment, think about your scale – does it have a similar effect on you?  I know that mine did. 

There’s a better way.  BREAK UP WITH YOUR SCALE, or better yet –  BREAK IT. 

Scales are absolutely unnecessary.  They do nothing to evaluate our physical, mental or emotional health.  They are not indicators of our worth nor our well-being.  The first time I stepped on my scale I was innocently hoping to measure my progress in a fitness program.  The last time I stepped on it was years later after becoming completely obsessive about my weight and food and eventually turning the corner towards recovery.  The scale is not a friend, a doctor, a coach, nor a god.  It’s a machine that computes a person’s gravitational pull (and quite inaccurately depending on the slope of your floor or the precision of the calibration.)  It’s been one glorious year (plus some) since I’ve weighed myself.  One whole year of giving up the struggle. And the irony is I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. 

You can be too!

I’d love to assist you with your breakup.  So, send me an email at luuhrich@gmail.com if you are looking for a coach and mentor to guide you through the transition OR comment below.  I’ve got your back.  And I’ll let you borrow my hammer.

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5 thoughts on ““Dear” Scale”

    • Thanks so much Shayla. Giving up the scale was incredible a year ago – but breaking it was awesome, therapeutic and FUN. So glad I documented it to share with all of you.

      Reply
  1. I adore this!! And the pics are amazing 😀 I weighed myself recently for the first time in a LONG time and ONLY because I knew the number wouldn't matter. I had tossed mine as well but I was at a friends house and I thought, why not? It used to control me so much and I wanted to feel what it was like to step on the scale with neutral feelings about the number. It was amazing.

    Reply

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