Well what do you know, two posts in a week! During the semester, I think one post a week will be the norm. I’d love to write more often, but I think aiming for two posts a week will add more stress to my life. But I have fall break this week, and thus more free time. Yay. That and I realized something. Something I want to share with you and hear your thoughts on. Something I didn’t think could ever happen. I don’t remember what I weigh.
After a period of weighing myself incessantly, I went for several years without knowing what I weighed. In eating disorder treatment, weighing myself was strictly off limits. When I transitioned from my eating disorder doctor back to my primary care doctor, my eating disorder doctor sent a note for them to put on my file saying not to tell me my weight. (And after that, they put up a sign next to the scale saying that if you don’t want to know your weight, just step on the scale backwards and no one will tell you or ask questions, which I LOVE.) And so, for the past four-ish years not, I’ve stepped on the scale backwards. Recently, it’s been less because I think knowing would send me spiraling back into disordered thoughts/behaviors and more because I really don’t care.
But this summer, I was in for a check-up and, as usual, stepped on the scale backwards. And when I stepped off and turned around slip my sparkly gold Birks back on (yes, they’re the only shoes I ever wear), I accidentally caught sight of the number.
It was the highest weight I’d ever seen my weight. And it didn’t bother me. But what did bother me was the fact that I now knew my weight and I wouldn’t forget it. Much like if you used to count calories, it’s hard to forget to the caloric value of foods. And if it went up during college…
Nevertheless, I pushed the thought out of my mind, didn’t think about it again until a few weeks ago. Because life is so much more than what you weigh. I only thought about it because I had to do a nutrition project for a class (which was based solely in the diet mentality–but that’s another story), and the project required me to know my weight.
I tried to remember. But to my surprise, I had no idea. I don’t remember what I weigh. Only a month or so had passed since my doctor’s appointment. I made a guess because I don’t own a scale and I wasn’t going to weigh myself for the project.
How? The thought shocked me. I don’t remember what I weigh. It made me think about what had shifted over the last few years. There’s no formula to magically stop you from obsessing over your weight. But if you’ve spent a long time placing your worth in your weight, here are a few of the things I think have helped me overcome my obsession with weight.
Get rid of toxic, weight-centric messages. It’s surprising how easily negative messages and images can seep in. A social media detox is a great starting place. In some cases, of course, this is easier said than done. Family members, friends–everyone is susceptible to the diet mentality, and sometimes people we care about perpetuate it. But removing as much of it as possible from your life will help.
Create a healthful environment for yourself. I’m an auditory learner (something I discovered this year) and podcasts are a great way for me to do this. Check out this post for some of my favorites. (Not all of the ones listed are about body image–one is a writing podcast–but most are.) These two blogs are a few of my favorite resources as well.
Make a list of things/activities that are truly important to you–things that have nothing to do with your weight. We all know there are more important things in life, but the act of writing them down and having an actual list makes it more real.
Have conversations with people who can encourage you in the right direction. This may mean a therapist or an anti-diet dietitian; it may mean a friend or your mom.
These are things that have been helpful for me. I hope they’re helpful for you. Of course, I don’t have it all together. Things will come up. But–and I feel like I say this all the time–the important thing is to give yourself grace.
What are the things and/or people that help you overcome fixation on weight?
Linking up for Thinking out Loud!