Happy 3rd Hello Life anniversary fighters!
Three years ago today I gave up my scale for good. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, and at the time, I didn’t even know why I truly wanted recovery. I just knew one thing: that I didn’t want to let this scale, this Godlike object, to control my entire world anymore.
Seven days after I gave it up, I found myself wanting it back.
I missed it. I missed its certainty; I missed its validity; I missed its complete magical ability to tell me if today was going to be a good or bad day and if I was a good or bad person just by stepping on it. I missed the certainty ; that black and white; that flies out the door the minute we choose recovery and balance. That’s the day-day 7- that I started this blog.
I knew if I made a commitment to the world, even if no one else read it other than my family, that I would have to keep it, or otherwise fail in the eyes of the many people reading. And truly, even had I gone back to my scale, now I see that it would not have been a failure; it would have been another bump in the road.
But because of the incredible, beautiful and overwhelming support I received on this blog from people all over the world, I didn’t go back to my scale. We, as a community of fighters, made it through that year together. And on Jan 21, 2014, I smashed my scale for all of us.
It’s been three years now since I have ever stood on my scale and I still have not ever gone back to it or to any other one.
The only time I ever stand on one is when I have to at the doctor’s office, and even then, while Ed is still screaming at me even now, I do a blind weigh where I close my eyes, stand backwards AND have the nurse turn off the scale before I open my eyes again. I even have the nurses black out my weight on my after visit summaries so I can’t see them. Sometimes, they offer to not even type it in until I leave.
There have been times, on my hard days, where I can feel my eyes wanting to glaze over to the computer so I can try to see which numbers the nurse’s hands press.
But I never do it.
Even when Ed tells me, “Shira, it’s been three years. You’re ready to see the number now. You are strong enough to see it.” That’s when I have to fight the hardest.
He is wrong. Ed is always wrong. It takes strength to choose recovery. It takes strength to not stand on that scale; not the other way around. And in all reality, Ed is also so wrong . I’m not ready to see that number on a scale right now. It doesn’t mean that is my reality forever-but that is my reality for right now.
I haven’t seen what I weighed for three years and I am still not ready to see it and still don’t want to see it.
It doesn’t mean I don’t think I wouldn’t love myself anymore if I did see it, because I know that even though it would deeply trigger me, I would.
It doesn’t mean that using a scale isn’t the right path for other people.
It just means that for me, I still have not found a reason to ever see that number again.
Maybe one day if I found a valid, scientific, proof verified reason, it would be different. But for now, there is nothing that scale can tell me.
It can’t tell me how I am doing in my job. It can’t tell me how I am as a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, or mentor. It can’t tell me how healthy I am. nope. It can’t do any of that.
But my recovery, on the other hand, it can do that.
Choosing to live in recovery can tell me how I am doing at work because it allows me to open myself to the advise and also criticisms of others and not break myself apart over it.
Recovery allows me to feel good about myself for being a good sister, daughter, girlfriend or friend not because I weighed a certain amount while baking someone cookies who I cared about, but because I get true joy out of making others happy.
But even with all of that said, there are always times, especially this past year when I’ve gotten to be the biggest I ever have been since I started recovery, that I wonder about the scale. There are still times I cry over it and my body. And that’s ok with me.
I sometimes still ask myself, “What do I weight right now? Is it the same as I was in college? Or that one time I went to prom? Or is it the amount I was when I bought my old favorite jeans?”
Sometimes I feel so tempted to know the number that I have to literally sit and ask myself, “Shira, what will come of this if you do this?” And I will walk myself through the whole imaginary scenario in my head until the conclusion wraps up which is a possible relapse. And then I move back on with my life.
Three years without knowing what I weight and in recovery doesn’t mean I don’t ever think about it and it doesn’t mean it always easy. That’s why I started this blog: to show my true and raw journey to recovery.
It does mean, though, how much strength, hope and compassion we as human beings are made up of.
Who would have thought that three years ago, a blog, this blog in fact- could connect so many beautiful souls around the world? Who would have thought it would lead to support groups world wide and to a nonprofit one day?
I never would have thought that.
And somehow, the universe had this grand plan in mind for me and all I have to do is continue to follow it.
No scale or number or size of jeans in the world could ever bring me the kind of joy and true and deep appreciation that I have for my life and for being able to help others that my recovery journey has given me.
No number in the world could fill me with the kind of deep rooted and connected gratefulness I have for my life now.
I am so grateful for all of you who have supported me these past three years. I don’t have the words to say thank you one million times over, but if I could, I would.
Why I have been blessed to have so much support from my family, friends and strangers who I never even met is a question I can’t answer. But in the mean time, I am going to continue walking this path that has been so gently and graciously put in front of me.
Our journey in helping each other find true self love beyond a number and a beyond any eating disorder is only just beginning fighters. Your support and love can truly change someone else’s world, and for whatever it’s worth, it has forever changed mine.