With tomorrow being the very last day of this one year journey, I have decided that tomorrow will be the day that I smash my scale.
The poll that is up on the website has almost 50 percent of votes saying to smash it, so that’s what will happen.
Throughout my recovery, I have written many letters on this blog. I have written letters to Ed, and I’ve written letters to myself.
And now, I will write a goodbye letter to my scale. I am sorry in advance for it being long, but I just have a lot to say to it.
My letter to Ed was not a goodbye letter, as I don’t think that Ed will ever leave my life forever. However, I can and will and have learned to live above him and to live free of him.
But this letter to my scale, is indeed a goodbye letter, because after tomorrow, when I smash it and then throw it away, it will forever be gone.
I haven’t thought about what I would say yet, so here it goes.
My precious, only trusted, heavy and white scale.
Where do I begin to start to say goodbye to something that over many years, and pretty much my entire life, (except this one year journey) was such a huge part of my life?
Everyday, and many times, every hour, particularly for the past three years, you specifically were my life. There were other scales over the years,but you were the one that Ed and I picked for the worst few years of our time together.
I remember standing on you on my 18th birthday, on my 19th birthday, and on my 20th birthday. I remember standing on you the day I had surgery.
I remember standing on you the day my grandpa passed away.
I remember standing on you on my 21st birthday, and my 22nd birthday too.
This year, for my 23rd birthday, you were not around.
Do you remember the many times that I tried to give you up, and yet I always came back?
One time I gave you up for a week. One time it was for a month. And one time, I was even sure I could do without you because I placed you at someone’ else’s house. Only to find myself speeding over to that house once everyone left for work to go stand on you once again.
Do you remember when your batteries ran out, and I was late to my family dinner, because I had to go to the drug store to buy new batteries for you?
Do you remember the times at 3 a.m. when I would pull you out from under my bed and stand on you when everyone around me was asleep? It was like our own little secret. Just you and me.
Do you remember when I came rushing home from my vacation in Big Bear last year just to run and stand on you to see what bad news you would give me?
I’ m sure you remember everywhere I put you; under the bathroom sink, under the bed, and even in the kitchen one time.
I’m sure you remember the way my feet felt when they stood on you, because I sure remember the cold metal parts of you on my feet too.
I remember the clicking sound you make when I had to turn you on.
That sound will haunt me forever. It was the sound I woke up to every single day, and sometimes in the middle of the night, for years.
And no matter how many other scales I stood on at a doctors office or someone else’s house, you, my dear scale, you were the only one I trusted.
You didn’t even start out as my scale.
You started out as someone else’s scale who I lived with. At first, I only took you out of her closet when everyone was asleep.
And then, you moved with me into my new apartment.
And then you moved with me into a new home.
Somehow, along the way, Ed and I made you ours. We didn’t even care that you once belonged to someone else.
But last January 21 of 2013, I gave you up for good.
For the past year, you have resided somewhere with E (my therapist). I don’t know where, and I really don’t care to be honest.
And I know that E does not care about you either. I gave you to her because her strength is far beyond yours and I knew your presence wouldn’t bother her like it would bother me.
I wonder how you feel now that you haven’t been turned on for an entire year?
Do you feel lifeless? Do you feel dead?
Because that’s how I felt every time I stood on you.
Maybe now you can understand my life with you for those years.
And I might add, dear scale, that tomorrow, I will be smashing you.
But before I smash you, I will make sure to remove your batteries.
You will never be alive again.
I am not sure if you will break completely, but I will be using the heaviest hammer that I can hold and I am going to read you this letter, and then I am going to smash you as hard as I possibly can.
And then I am going to throw you away.
Do you know what I’ve accomplished this year without you, scale?
Do you know that I was the top senior reporter for my university newspaper , even without you telling me what number I weighed during it?
Do you know that my brother called me his hero all because I decided to value myself on who I am, not on you or Ed?
Do you know that without you, I graduated college? I graduated college on a day that I have no idea what I weighed that day.And it was at the best day ever. My Facebook status for it got over 140 likes.
Your weight for me could never get that kind of popularity.
Do you know that my family still loved me this year? Even though I wasn’t the number I always wished you would show me?
Yup, they loved me, supported me and carried me through even without your number.
You used to be my only truth; my only definition of who I was.
But I’ve learned over this past year, that I am not a number.
I am not a size. I am not even a definition of anything.
I am me.
And me is no longer a part of you, and you are no longer a part of me.
And therefore, tomorrow, we will officially part ways.
And I am not only smashing you for me.
I am smashing you for every single person who is part of this journey.
I am smashing you for the other birthdays and days and lives of others your’ve ruined; I am smashing you for every single fighter in the support group ,and I am smashing you for the many people who said this blog saved their lives.
Do you remember when I gave you to E, my only words when she asked me if I had anything to say, were “hello life?”
I remember that.
I’ve found that my soul is my new truth, and your number no longer defines me, dear scale.
And because of that, I officially say goodbye to you.
Today wasn’t the easiest day .
It wasn’t the easiest when it came to eating, since my body was sore and Ed was loud after my incredible dinner and dessert last night that I let myself fully enjoy without him in my way.
It wasn’t the easiest when my dinner plans that I had made got cancelled, which other than feeling kind of lonely also left me to eat with just Ed. An experience that while was hard, I can say I did pretty well and am proud of myself for.
But I’ve learned throughout this year that not everyday or every hour or even every meal for that matter is going to go the way we plan it.
And sometimes it’s ok for things to be canceled, or for feeling to be a little lonely, or for meals to be a little hard.
Maybe a year ago, before I began walking this path to recovery, I would have thought that today was a terrible day.
I would have thought that whoever cancelled on me is a terrible person, and I would have thought that because Ed is loud today it means I really messed up yesterday, and I would have thought that feeling lonely meant that I am alone in this world.
But I sit here tonight, and I truly don’t think any of those things are true today.
The person who cancelled on me had another plan come up, and while it’s not the same thing I would have done, they are just a human being, who like me, deserves some slack.
Just because Ed is loud today doesn’t mean I messed up yesterday, it means I stood up to him yesterday and enjoyed myself with my family. Good for me.
And just because I am feeling lonely at the moment, I know that I am so far from being lonely in life.
If anything, this journey has brought me the closest that I’ve ever been to my loved ones and friends.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that where at the beginning of this one year journey, I was scared to leave my world of black and white, I can now officially say that I’ve learned and embraced how to live in the gray.
I haven’t mastered it by any means, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning how to live in it.
Of learning how to live in a world where canceled plans don’t ruin my day, where Ed being loud doesn’t mean I am a failure, and where feeling lonely is not a finite definition of my life.
I don’t think perfectionism can exist in a gray world.
I don’t even know if a perfectionist can live in a grey world.
With that being said, I don’t know if I can say that I am 100 percent free of my old perfectionist self, but I can say, that I’ve let go of a lot of her throughout this year.
The more I let my perfecionist self go, the more I learn how to master living in the gray.
The grey used to mean unknown weights, unknown calories and unknown foods.
But now it means understanding cancelled plans; it means knowing that feelings do not define us, and it means knowing the difference between Ed’s voice and my own voice.
If I am only seeing this beautiful part of the gray world after one year of recovery, I can only imagine what other beautiful parts of this world are still waiting for me to come discover them.
That’s definitely a journey that will take more than a year, and maybe it might even take a lifetime.
How blessed I would be to spend the rest of my life living and uncovering this gray world, and not another day living in the perfectionist, Ed-dominated world of the black and white.
Tonight I had my first celebration for my one year mark of this blog, which is officially on Tuesday. It was at the same steakhouse in San Diego that I celebrated my 6 month milestone.
All I have to say about this dinner is that I love bread and butter, and wine, and steak and mostly: I love the icing and frosting and whipped cream that comes on chocolate cake.
And I love the family who I was able to celebrate this first celebratory dinner with.
And I also loved my menu that said “Congratulations Shira on one year, hello life!”
And I love icing-just one more time for the record.
I also went today to go get the hammer that I will be smashing my scale with at the end of this journey.
I set up a poll for everyone to vote on what to do with my scale, and the results overwhelmingly say to smash it. So that’s what I am going to do.
My step mom and my brothers had actually taken the time to make me a special hammer for this day about a week or so ago and even painted it yellow, hello life’s colors, and wrote “hello life” on it.
It was a beautiful gesture and it is a big indicator of the kind of role they played in this journey.
But as they were making it, I wasn’t able to help them. I didn’t even want to pick up the paintbrush.
I wasn’t ready yet to come to terms with the fact that this one year journey is almost over.
I realized that in order for me to truly prepare myself for the moment of me smashing my scale, I had to go through the preperation process myself.
At first I ordered a hammer online, but it wasn’t sufficient enough.
I decided that if I am going to mentally prepare myself for this moment, then I need to start with going to the store and picking out my hammer myself ; feeling it, imagining me using it to smash my scale, and sit with that idea for a while.
This scale was my everything for so many years. It was my definition of who I was. It was my good days. It was my bad days. It was my birthday. It was everyday.
While smashing it will be one of the greatest acts of self love I can ever do for myself, it is also going to be smashing away a part of who I used to be.
So today, I went to pick my hammer.
I even got yellow spray paint to color it with Hello Life colors.
I picked up every single hammer in the isle. The light ones, the big ones, and even the ones I couldn’t pick up. It took a while until I found the right one.
After practicing picking it up and pretending to smash something with it, I had chosen the right one.
My hammer that my family made for me is going to stay with me and in my room forever as a reminder of what it symbolizes; love and unconditional support. For whatever reason, that hammer was meant to serve that purpose for me as a reminder of that love.
But this hammer, the one I got today, this will be the destroyer of my scale.
So today I took one step toward accepting the ending of this journey and also one step toward celebrating the end of this one year journey.
I celebrated with my mom, aunt, sister and grandma, and had the most incredible dinner ever.
My sister even asked me how I feel, and I told her that I can’t believe it was real. And when I looked at her when she asked me that, I couldn’t help but remember the very first day I got my meal plan, and she came and ate lunch with me because I couldn’t do it alone.
Tonight was a celebration of not just this one year of recovery and one year without a scale; but a celebration of the relationships and love that come from being in other relationships than just with Ed.
And I got the hammer that will be used to smash my scale.
I am still not sure I am ready to accept that Tuesday is quickly approaching as this blog has become a huge part of my life, but I am doing all the right steps to mentally prepare for it.
Hello to my first celebration for this one year journey, hello to the hammer that will smash my scale and hello life.
Happy Friday everyone,
So I ate a hamburger for lunch today. With fries and with ketchup.
I was full all day after it.
I didn’t work out today because I wanted to get my hair done instead before I left to come visit my mom in San Diego.
I didn’t measure the dressing on my salad tonight at dinner.
I didn’t blot the oil off my pizza that I had at dinner either. I didn’t even take off the pepperoni.
I ate pizza even after I ate a hamburger for lunch. A hamburger that I ate because my family I was with wanted to go to this restaurant, and I didn’t want Ed to get in the way of that.
And until Ed set in later, I will say that the hamburger was pretty good. My pizza was good. My dressing was good.
However, Ed is not good and he’s not letting me off the hook easily tonight.
But I can tolerate Ed because I am proud of my small victories today.
It’s not about the food, it’s about not letting Ed dominate and control my life and I didn’t let him tell me to choose food that only he approved of.
I chose food everyone around me wanted.
Making that choice might be small but it counts.
Eating ketchup still counts.
Not dabbing the oil off my pizza still counts.
Not changing restaurants from what my family wants to something Ed wants still counts.
Even though I only have 4 days left of this one year journey, these small challenges are not that much easier .
But at the same token, they are also not less accounted for just because it’s almost been a year that I’ve been in recovery.
These small victories still count, even though part of me feels like I should be at the place where these challenges should be normalcies.
Where ketchup should be normal; where a hamburger and unmeasured dressing should be normal.
But they’re not normal yet and that’s ok because as long as I can still celebrate them I am still winning.
Today I celebrate my challenges that turned into victories.
I celebrate the small victories that still count.
We don’t get to pick when our challenges become things that are no longer hard for us.
But we can pick to celebrate being a victor of those challenges while they continue to choose to present themselves.
As long as my challenges are still here, I will celebrate my victories from them.
And as long as I can do that, I know I’ll be ok. Maybe even better than ok.
Happy Friday Eve everyone,
It is a little bit crazy and bitter sweet to think that this is our last official Friday Eve post together.
With that being said, today’s post is probably one of the most meaningful ones I have ever written.
When I was locked in my eating disorder, every Thursday night I would go to dinner with my grandma. (This was before I live with her like I now do.)
Thursday nights were our night to be together.
And every Thursday, we would go to the very same restaurant where I would get the very same salad of lettuce, carrots and cucumbers, and no dressing. It was crucial that Thursdays were Ed’s days because Friday’s were a major judgement day for my weigh ins.
On day 18 of this blog, I wrote about how on the night before that day, the second Thursday of this one year journey, I decided to take my Thursday night’s back from Ed.
That day, day 17 of this journey, I told my grandma that we could go to a new restaurant for our Thursday night dinner. We went to a fish house that she liked, that I liked and that my cousin liked who was going with us that night.
I remember writing that post like I wrote it yesterday because I remember sitting on my bed crying tears of victory and joy as I wrote it.
I felt like I could fly. It’s similar to how I am feeling right now too.
Tonight, the very last Thursday of this one year journey, my grandma had planned to go to dinner with my aunt, uncle, cousins and us to that very same fish restaurant.
When she asked me if I wanted to go, I almost couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even realize the irony in the entire thing until a few hours later.
I could have not gone tonight. I was tutoring late and I could have said no and everyone would have understood.
But for some reason, eating at home tonight alone with Ed, even though it would be a more comfortable meal for me, especially on a day that I only worked out for about 15 minutes, just didn’t seem as appealing to me as it once was.
What once would seem like a perfect night for me at home alone with me and my Ed food, no longer seemed like a fun night tonight.
So I cut my tutoring ten minutes short so I could make it to this dinner on time.
I was starving when I got there. I don’t know why, but it was just one of those days where you just have to listen to your body–even if it’s hungry all the time.
Luckily for me, the waiter brought out a fresh loaf of bread and butter right as I sat down, and he even messed up my order.
The two side orders I got were wrong. So instead, I got the two wrong side orders and the two right ones a few minutes later.
And I enjoyed all four of them, including my main meal and my bread and butter.
I even got a ketchup stain on my jacket. A ketchup stain, guys—ketchup was something I didn’t eat for years when I was locked in Ed,and now it has stained my jacket.
If it doesn’t come out, I will proudly wear that jacket anyway because of what it symbolizes.
I remember sitting at the table tonight, feeling nice and full, and thinking to myself how this journey has truly come full circle.
343 days ago I sat at that restaurant with the same people, and I remember the one bite of bread that I had. I even remember the butter I put on it.
It was unlike anything I ever remember tasting.
And now, I sat there tonight, choosing to be present and choosing to honor my family, but this time around, 343 days later, I was so much more free than I was the last time.
In that post on day 18 , which I titled “A Victorious Thursday,” I wrote, “Eating at a new restaurant may sound silly to some people, but for me, it was symbolic of telling Ed that he will no longer get in the way of my relationships with those who I love and care about in my life.”
Here I am on day 360, and I whole heartedly can say, that I’ve proved that line to be true.
From my second Thursday of this one year journey starting at this restaurant with me trying a bite of bread, to my very last Thursday of this journey ending at this restaurant with a ketchup stain on my jacket and a few pieces of bread and my four sides later, I can truly say that this journey has come full circle.
I called it from Day 18 ,Ed–you won’t get in the way of my life anymore.
I was right.
I let someone else pour milk into my coffee today without me measuring it.
I ate a piece of the special black and white cookie today that my grandma bought me yesterday.
I even had a job interview today that I think went really well.
But that’s not why today was a good day.
Today was a good day because I was inspired, lifted and filled with complete joy.
This joy did not come from Ed and it did not come from my own personal recovery.
It came from the recovery paths of others who have been walking this journey with me.
As you know, there is a Hello Life fighter support group online. Over the past few weeks, these fighters and I have grown to become friends, supporters and safe people to lean on for one another.
Over the past few days, they have blown me away.
And today, it was just the icing on the cake. Totally no pun intended .But I do love cake and I do love icing and I do love these strong women, so I think it’s ok to say that.
We have one fighter who is eating a lunch tomorrow with her co workers. A prepared lunch that she did not make; a social lunch. She is a recovery hero.
We have one fighter whose new years resolution included being more kind to herself. She is a recovery hero.
We have one fighter who is the spiritual guide for this entire online support group. She is a recovery hero.
We have a fighter who just joined our group and sat at a table with her children while they ate food. She is a recovery hero.
We have one fighter who is letting her mom move in with her in order to help her stay on track with her recovery. She is a recovery hero.
We have a fighter who despite not feeling well and being in physical pain, stays full of light, hope and optimism and continues to not let Ed be her escape. She is a recovery hero.
We have one fighter who ate a Hershey Supreme with her family this past month. She is a recovery hero.
We have a fighter who cooked her husbands favorite meal for his birthday this year. She is a recovery hero.
We have a fighter in France who continues to push through her hardest days. She is a recovery hero.
We have a fighter who reached out when she was having a hard day. She is a recovery hero.
And lastly, we have one fighter, who right now, has friends over her house where she put out a chocolate cake, cheeses, crackers and pepperoni and veggies with dip.She even posted a picture of this on our support group wall.
She is being present tonight. She is not letting Ed have her disinvite her friends over tonight because food will be there. She is a recovery hero. And seeing those pictures almost made me cry.
They symbolized freedom. They symbolized her taking her life back from Ed.
And this post is in honor of her, in honor of the recovery heroes both in the support group and outside of it who email or comment or read this blog every day, and who are all around the world. I wish I could list everyone but it would be hundreds of people.
If this year has taught me one thing about others, it’s that nothing in the world, even our relationships with our own eating disorders, are stronger than the support and understanding that we can have for each other as people.
Today, these heroes are my inspiration.
They will be my inspiration when I go out to dinner right now.
They will carry on into being my inspiration far past when this blog is over in 6 days.
In honor of my recovery heroes, hello life.