*This is a long one. So, for those of you (including my little brother) who wish to “cut to the chase”, the weight total is at the bottom of this post.
Sanity has returned.
It’s amazing how quickly life (or part of it) can spin completely out of control. For me, as you all know from last week, it was my weight…well, not my weight, per se, but my obsession with my weight.
When I started Weight Watchers it was because I was finally ready to do this, lose weight, the right way, the healthy way. I didn’t want to ever end up in that yucky, ugly place again. You know, the Land of Eating Disorders, the Land of the Emotionally Screwed Up, the Land of Starvation. Take your pick…it’s all the same place. In that land, you weigh yourself every day, least twice a day. Sometimes three times. In that land, any time you “slip up” you have to beat yourself, internally or otherwise, over and over and over again. Sometimes the beating involves popping laxatives, sometimes throwing up, sometimes just thinking mean and ugly things about yourself. This a land where you are never happy. Not ever. You may appear happy. You may have moments of laughter and smiles. But the joy of a true life, a life ruled by honesty and integrity, never comes.
You would think the steady decline of the numbers on the scale would do it. And yes, there is this kind of euphoric feeling when you get on the scale and the number is lower, or when you go shopping and fit into a smaller size, but this feeling is ephemeral. I imagine it is a feeling akin to that experienced from a hit of some illicit drug. The problem is, like the high experienced from a drug, without another hit on the horizon, you are left in a state of withdrawal.
Well, no matter what you are doing to your body, it can only lose so much weight. Even starving it will only result in weight loss for so long. And like the addict who requires higher doses to experience the high, the more weight you lose, the more you need to lose to regain euphoria. Eventually, either one will kill you if they are left unchecked.
While I have no desire (in my lucid moments) to return to the Land of Starvation, somehow I found myself on the journey in that direction last week. You all know that I managed to stop in my tracks…but it was enough to really scare me.
Over the last week, I have though often about what it was that put me on that path. If I am going to stay away from that land, I need to figure these things out. I have had all of these little ideas, but I think I might have nailed down one sure thing that sends me into a tailspin. It’s my scale. When I started having “bad “days (days when I wasn’t tracking and knew I’d gone over my points), I started getting on the scale in the morning to make sure that I hadn’t gained weight. If I had, those feelings of inadequacy, of lacking control, of, well really, self-loathing (remember when I was so excited because self-loathing didn’t come when I gained .8 lbs that one week?) would immediately follow. If I hadn’t, I would think that I could get away with what I was doing.
But weight is a funny and fickle beast. It doesn’t react immediately. At least not chez moi. I could eat a whole pizza one day and not “feel” it for four. There’s a reason that Weight Watchers tells you outright that when you are trying to lose weight, you should only weigh yourself once a week. I really think, after much reflection, that the lack of weighing myself in the early weeks of my journey was a big part of my success…and my sanity.
Tonight’s lesson (yes, I weighed in and went to the meeting) was about the journey…patience and perseverance. Those of you who know me know that patience is a virtue that I do not possess. When I want something to happen, I want it to happen yesterday. Well, that’s just not the way it works with weight loss, or anything worth doing, for that matter.
I wish I could explain to you how helpful the meetings really are. There’s a certain camaraderie that exists when you have this group of people who come together for a common goal. It’s funny, working in a counseling center, I often admire the people in group therapy while simultaneously thinking, “I could never do that.” And I’m not going to say that WW is group therapy, but it is definitely a support group, and I love it. I love sharing. I love people sharing with me. Maybe I could do group therapy.
Our meeting leader asked us tonight to think of one thing, just one, that we were going to do to feel successful this week. Since I had already committed to meticulous tracking this week (which I did), I decided that I was going to give up my scale. Put it away…where it can’t tempt me or call to me. (Have you noticed how many inanimate objects speak to me?) That’s it. I have weighed myself twice a day every day this last week. Thankfully, I managed to get myself in the mind frame that, no matter what the scale said, I was going to just stick to my points and follow the program.
While that worked this week, I sat there today asking myself why it was that I felt being a masochist was necessary; why I felt that I deserved the kind of torture involved with daily (bi-daily, for that matter) weigh-ins. If I’m going to follow the program, regardless of what the scale says from day to day, why do I need to know what the scale says?
So, I am standing up right now to go bury the scale in the depths of my closet. While the room under the roof where I live is pretty small, the closet is not…but it is awkward, with a slanted ceiling, which means to get to the depths I have to crawl. I think that should do the trick.
Wow…that was hard. I feel like an alcoholic who just dumped out the last of my stash. Except that I didn’t. I still have the stash. It’s just stashed better. Okay…I’m feeling like I need to do more. My heart is racing. That is sad. A woman tonight, after I said that I was going to give up my scale, said that she started to feel anxious just at the thought of it. That’s how I’m feeling now. It’s one thing to put my scale in the closet, but to get rid of it entirely. I don’t know if I can do it. I’m thinking that’s what I need to do. If I am really going to learn how to eat and kill this demon (or at least domesticate him), that’s what I need to do.
This is how things happen in my life. To get a little spiritual on you (something I don’t do very often via the internet), this is exactly how the Lord works in my life. Unfortunately, because the good things are often the hard things and the hard things are often the scary things…these epiphanies (aka “promptings”) often involve varying levels of nausea and anxiety. Excuse me while I put my scale in the trunk of my car (and vomit). And then tomorrow, Madame Scale is heading into the storage unit where she will remain until I’m ready to maintain.
I’m scared and excited all at the same time. I think this is another step on the path to freedom from the crazies that live in my head.
Oh…and I lost .6 lbs, for a total of 23.6 lbs. I have nothing negative to say about it. I’m not disappointed. I’m not super excited. I just feel good. And healthy. And happy. It’s been a good week.