I removed the scale from my bedroom this week. There’s nothing helpful or healing to weighing myself every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It creates an obsession with arbitrary numbers instead of an understanding of how I feel, emotionally and physically. I have struggled with disordered eating for more of my life than even I realized. I knew I was not well during the phase of my life when I was binging and purging, but it took me a long time to realize that there were more parts to disordered eating than just those years.
In sixth grade, when I weighed myself every day and ate sparingly at school. Sure I hated that I was sitting at a lunch table by myself and I claimed I was hoarding my lunch money for other uses, but there was more to it than that. I was obsessed with not gaining even a pound to add to my round belly. Encouraged by the adults in my life who were always dieting, I learned that it was okay to be hyperfocused on my size and always trying to shrink, despite the fact that I was still a growing child who hadn’t even hit puberty yet.
This is the body I have. I only get one. I don’t always love it. And that’s okay. My body does a lot of wonderful things. It also does a lot of dickish things (especially for not actually having a dick. Rude). And I can spend my time trying to change my body, mold it to unrealistic beauty standards set forth by the corporations trying to make money off the images they deem worth — or I can spend my time honoring that body.
I know that I function better on days that I walk more. But I also know that sometimes, I don’t have the physical or emotional ability to walk 10,000 steps in a day. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to have both types of days, and I know that I’m doing what I can when I can with the body that I have. And I don’t have to qualify my abilities or inabilities to anyone.
I know that I function better when I eat a lot of protein and whole grains and fresh produce. But I also know that sometimes, I want the physical and emotional comfort of a Cheryl’s cookie (which, yes, are always in my freezer). And that’s okay. Allergies, triggers, and intolerances aside, food is not something that should be allowed or acceptable. Food is fuel. Even the carbiest cookies and fastest food.
And so I take baby steps to remove decades of hurtful behaviors and mindsets. I am eliminating and minimizing diet culture language in my vocabulary (healthy vs unhealthy, good vs bad, etc). I quit Weight Watchers for good. I decided I would never enter another DietBet or Biggest Loser competition among friends. I removed the scale.
If you dig into the archives of this blog, you’re sure to find iterations of all these things. I won’t remove them, but I may eventually update them with thoughts and reflections in my present to acknowledge and honor my past, while also healing myself moving forward.
If I lose weight, that’s okay. If I gain weight, that’s okay too. And if I stay the same, that’s just as okay as either of the other two. (It’s a lot easier to type these words than to feel or believe them in my bones, but I’m trying. Remember that behind every Instagram photo, every confident blog post, every story is a real live person with insecurities and fears that likely mirror your own).
I am not any more or less worthy of love when I am a different size than I am right now. And my appearance? Is the least interesting thing about me.
I’ve always loved September. When I was younger, it was because it signified the start of school. It launched football season for the lifelong cheerleader