Day 12: Changing My Morning Routine

Every day for the past year and a half, I have started my morning like this:

I wake up, walk to the mirror, lift my shirt, inspect my body and then weigh myself.  And even though for the past 12 days I have not weighed myself,  I have continued this exhausting process of what I call body checking every single morning.

My body checks go exactly like this:

First I look at my waist, then I look at my upper stomach and then I move down to my lower stomach.  After this I look at my chest bones, my shoulder bones and then my arms.  Lastly, I look at my cheeks and my jaw bones.

Once I get dressed, I complete the body checking process by checking how the  front of my legs look in my jeans, then the inside of my legs, and then the outside of my legs.  Every single part of my body has to be in check-meaning that it has to look exactly the same way it did the day before, and if it doesn’t,(which lately it definitely hasn’t), my eating disorder starts to tell me all the unhealthy things to do to fix it.

Ever since I have stopped weighing myself,  my body checking has become more intense than ever before. I find myself checking how my stomach looks and how my skin hangs from multiple angles in the mirror every single morning.

Beyond that, every day this week when I have gotten dressed, I have purposely made the conscience choice to wear the skinniest and smallest pants that I own to see if they fit tighter on me.

And it really makes me think, “why am I doing this to myself?”  It is pure cruelty.

If I saw a woman on the street treat herself the same way I have been treating myself,  I would take her hand, look into her eyes and tell her how beautiful she is and how deserving she is of treating herself well.

It makes me so sad to think that I would treat a complete stranger better than I treat myself.  It is a true measure of how far I have let my eating disorder go, and it hurts me to realize that.

But instead of continuing to feel sad and sorry for myself, I am going to make a decision right now to make a change.  I am committing to myself and to those reading this blog entry,  that I will not body check today when I get out of bed and I will not try on pants that I know I bought when I was starving myself. I simply will not do it.

I cannot say that I can do this every day, but I will do it for today.

The reason I will not body check today is because I feel that I need to make a change in the way that I treat myself, and it is going to start now.

I know that if I challenge myself every single day to make one small change at a time,  that I will successfully carry myself all the way to the finish line of recovery.

I know that getting up and getting dressed in my bathroom without a mirror will be extremely hard.  I know that learning to be kind to myself again will take a lot of time and adjustment–but I am ready to make it happen.

Today, instead of walking to the mirror and lifting my shirt to look at my stomach,  I am going to walk over to that mirror, look into my own eyes and tell myself, “hello life.”

Day 11: A New Kind Of Friday

Hello everyone,

I am so proud to tell you all that I was able to successfully go through with the back weigh yesterday and not turn around to see the number.  I feel like I have just over come the first of many challenges that I will be facing on this journey and I have you all, my incredible family, friends and supporters to thank for it.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much for your love and encouragement.

On that note, I am happy to say that today is a new kind of Friday for me. I know that statement might not make a lot of sense, so let me explain what I mean.

When I was still weighing myself, Friday was considered my ultimate weigh in day.  I would starve all week to prepare for Friday.  In other words, Friday was my judgement day.

Depending on what that scale said on Friday, I would either have a great day or a horrible day. It would tell me if I let myself go out to dinner with my boyfriend on Saturday or not.  It would predict my entire weekend for that matter.  That number would determine what I would eat that night at Shabbat dinner with my family and exactly how little or how much.  Sometimes it would even be the deciding factor if I would even go to dinner at all.

And this preparation for Friday would last all week, but Thursdays were particularly intense.  Thursdays would be the day that I would restrict calories and my fluid intake the most.  Thursdays were also the one night a week that I would see my grandma for dinner . Because of Friday,  my grandma and I would only eat at one restaurant only; the restaurant that I could get a salad with only lettuce, tomato, and  cucumber with no dressing.  Even on the days that even I was so sick of this restaurant, and I am sure my grandma was too, she continued to go for me because that’s what I was comfortable with.  I let my eating disorder take control of my one night a week with my grandma and it pains me to think how selfish of me that was. I never want to let that happen again.

But yesterday I had a totally different Thursday night experience because I knew I did not have to weigh myself this morning–the beginning of many weigh-less Fridays.

I was actually able to take my 3 younger brothers out to dinner and even frozen yogurt.  Not only that, but I was even able to eat the same food with them at dinner that they were eating- something that would never have happened before I started my path to recovery. And even though the voice of my eating disorder was extremely loud in my head, I found the strength to silence it just for those few minutes when we were eating together.

Last night was made up of tiny moments of freedom from my eating disorder – and I hope to hold onto those moments as long as I can and use them for strength and encouragement during times of weakness.

The fact that I was actually able to eat on a Thursday and then wake up this morning and not weigh myself marks the official beginning of a new kind of Friday for me, and I have to say, it feels pretty damn good.

Last night after we got home,  the four of us just sat on the couch and watched tv together.  As we were watching tv,  I found myself literally just starring at the faces of my younger brothers.  I was starring at the most beautiful, innocent and loving faces in the world–and at that exact moment last night,  I remember genuinely thinking to myself, “hello life.”

Day 10: Drained

Hi Everyone,

I went to sleep last night feeling sad and broken.

After what I felt was a day of successful recovery,  I had someone who I barely know message me to let me know that they don’t think I have an eating disorder.  For whatever reason, this comment really threw me off.

Who is this person to tell me about my struggles?  Who is this person to try to take away my pain and tell me that this journey–that this fight for my life–is not really happening?  It is times like this, where I start to get doubtful about myself, that I need to remind myself of why I am here and why I am writing this blog: and that is for my life, and what others think of that cannot be a priority to me.

This morning, I wake up writing to you all knowing that I need to go visit a doctor today for a full physical exam and I know he will be asking me lots of questions about my eating disorder; but most importantly and most frightening, I know he will weigh me.

Of course, I have already made the decision to do a “back weigh,” where I turn backwards when I get weighed so I do not see the number.  But to be so honest, I truthfully do not know where I am going to gather the inner strength to stand backward and not turn around and see what that scale says.

This is where I need to remind myself that I am more than a number .

But I know that no matter how badly I feel the need to turn around and look at that number, I know I will not do it and I will keep my commitment and promise to myself.  Because even though I am fearful and unsure at the moment, there is one thing about me that always holds true, and that is that I never give up-and I sure as hell am not going to start now.

I have made the choice to be scale free for a year and that is what I will do.

How will I do it?  I do not know.

Right now, I feel hopeless and extremely alone in this fight for freedom.

The strength that I felt  I had the past few days seems to be so far away from me right now.  I am trying to sit here and close my eyes and tell myself that I am strong and that I can do this, (by this i mean my recovery) but I just cannot seem to find it.

I feel broken, I feel lost, and I feel drained- but I know that I need to pick myself up off this bed and go face the world today head on.

I need to remind myself  of the reason I am on this path to recovery in the first place, and that reason is called life. 

So,here is what I am going to do:

I am going to get myself together, sit up straight, and tell myself over and over again “hello life, hello life, hello life.”

Day 9: Taking Back My Body

Hello to all my amazing supporters,

Today, I came to find that I really did not know who or what was looking back at me in the mirror after I got dressed.  I knew it was my body, but it did not feel like that.  I felt like it was a being whom I had never met.

All of our relationships in life, whether it’s with a friend,lover, or acquaintance, usually go something like this: both people meet, they get to know each other, then they start to like each other.  From liking each other, they grow to loving each other, and from that love they grow to trust each other.

Right now, I am in two different relationships.

The first relationship is my relationship with my eating disorder, who I am fighting with every ounce of strength I have to break away from and to ultimately end this vicious cycle of abuse.

The second relationship is my relationship with my body.  Me and my body feel like two completely separate entities; like two separate beings.  For as long as I have been in my eating disorder, my body has not been a part of me-it has been part of my eating disorder.

Today, I am taking back my body from my eating disorder and reclaiming it.

For the past year and a half, I have known my body only through these few things: my number on the scale, by what bones I could see or by what skin was hanging off me. I apologize if this is a graphic image for some readers, but I said I would be truthful on this blog, and this is part of the cold hard truth of what an eating disorder looks like.

It is now time to find a new way to know my body. and to be very honest, I don’t know what that way is yet. If I look at myself for too long, I find a never ending list of imperfections.  If I don’t look at myself at all, I feel I am running from the truth.

So for now, since I can’t tell you anything I like about my body, or truthfully know anything about my body, me and my body are simply in the stages of just meeting each other again, and I am going to have to be OK with that.  I have hope that one day we will like each other again, and eventually love and trust each other.

There is however, one good thing that I can say about my body, and that is that I am extremely grateful that it has gotten me to where I am today.  Despite the fact that I starved it and deprived it of so many essential nutrients for so long, it kept me alive and brought me through until today-and for that, I am deeply grateful and appreciative.

On the same token as me pushing myself out of my comfort zone today and forcing myself to say hello to my new body and try to be as accepting as I can of it, comes me finding a glimpse of inner strength,holding my head high and being able to smile and tell myself, “hello life.”

Day 7: Body Soreness

If this is your first visit to my blog,let me start by saying that you should read the “about me” page before this post, so this entry makes sense.

Although this is my first documented post about my one year without a scale, I am already 7 days into it.  I was talking with my therapist, and for our purposes for this blog, we will call her E.  I was telling E about my idea for this blog and how documenting my journey of a year without a scale might be  a cool idea and that I would make a final decision by Friday.  When E asked me why I was going to wait until Friday, I really could not give her an answer.  So world, here I am.  I have officially made the commitment for be scale free for an entire 365 days and my documentation starts here.

The firs thing that I need to say is that I am going to be completely and utterly honest on this blog.  There will be nothing that is sugar coated, nothing that is fake, and I cannot assure you that everything you read will be happy or positive, but I can promise you that it will be the truth.

So I am just going to dive right in.  Today I feel horrible.  I woke up with my entire body feeling sore all over.  This happens to me every time i basically eat any amount of substantial calories. My entire stomach and chest feel like they have bruises every where.  I have accounted this feeling to to0 much sodium intake the day before, but I am still not sure if that totally makes sense.  If this has ever happened to anyone else out there in the world,  I would love to know so I can see that I am not the only one.

For me, the biggest challenge of my day so far has been being able to be kind to myself and eat and drink properly when I feel this soreness every time I move.  It’s like a constant reminder of the pizza, wine, cake and chocolate I ate last night-the results of  having one glass of wine too many.

This is where this blog comes in.  I know that I have two choices today.  Choice one, which is to sit at home, forget about school and my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday and sit all day drinking only tea and coffee and obsessing over how huge I feel I have become in the past 7 days, or I can be proactive, write this blog ,focus on school and not let this eating disorder take over my life for yet another God damn day.

While choice one is by far the easiest choice above all, it would be letting my eating disorder win me over and on a day like today where I am celebrating a milestone,( one week of being scale free), I am not going to let that happen.  So choice 2 it is.

I am not sure how I am going to get through today, I am not sure how many times I might cry or cringe when I walk past a mirror, but one thing is certain; I will get through it and I will wake up tomorrow and my life will go on past this uncomfortable body soreness and obsessive negative thinking.  It will, it will, it will.

And in my weakest moments, like right now, where I can feel my tummy growling for food and I know I need to go eat lunch, I will remind myself of one thing: saying good bye to my scale means saying hello to a new life.

So I will end this first entry how I am going to end every single entry for the next 358 days, by saying this simple and yet very true statement: Hello life!