Monday, March 26, 2012

It's all in the numbers.

I've been meaning to write this post for a little over a week.  But I wasn't sure what to say.  And still am not in many ways.  But, it needs to get out of my brain, so here it is.

As part of treatement, my nutritionist weighs me from time to time.  I'm totally fine with this.  She doesn't show me the number, I don't freak out.  It's totally fine.

The first time, it felt really weird because she asked my permission to get a weight.  I've never had that experience before.  Scales are something forced on a person publically in the entry hall at the doctor's office or multiple times a day at home in the privacy of my bathroom.  To have semiprivacy and permission, well, that was all new territory.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm in an uncomfortable place right now where I feel like I'm too overweight (which I am.  That's a fact and not solely the voice of ED) but am not sure that I can trust myself to intentionally LOSE weight.  So, it's this body hating limbo. 

As an interesting counterpoint, I'm also totally in love with my body right now.  Since starting running and regrouping my thoughts on food and the permission to eat what I want and when I want it, I have never felt stronger.  Running has completely changed how I feel about my body's purpose and capabilities.  Fuelling it properly has only added to that.  And within those two components, my body has changed.  I can feel it, I can see it, I had to buy new jeans. 

All this has happened under what I had embraced as the "freedom" from weight.  My husband, on my request, took our scales to the basement and tucked them out of sight so I could get rid of my obsessive weighing/punishing cycle.  I've been living free from that and it has felt amazing.  And in my brain, I guess I decided I was pretty darn smart being all nonchalant about what my scale number is or isn't on an hourly basis.  Smug even.

Until my nutritionist said this post-weigh in two weeks ago,

"Would you like feedback on that at all?"


She said it all casually while looking down at her paper, writing.

I was totally confused and the only word I really heard loud and clear was FEEDBACK.

Instant overwhelm.

No I don't want feedback.  I'm too fat.  Why would you ask me to willingly open myself up to critique about my weight??!  If I lost weight, it won't be enough.  If I didn't, it's going to make me feel bad.  I THOUGHT WE WERE LIVING FREE FROM WEIGHT HERE PEOPLE!

I put together an extrememly eloquent response despite the swirling in my head.  Talked of not wanting to potentially derail the amazing progress I'd made towards living scale free, blah blah blah.  A very pretty package which I'm sure convinced her of nothing, but bless her heart, she let me make my argument and agreed.

Then I proceeded to think about it for the entire night all the way into the next day.  Of course.  OCD is FUN.

Thankfully, I had a therapy appointment the next day.  And first thing I said, "I totally freaked out in my appointment yesterday.  Did she tell you?"  Because if I tell on myself first, that makes it better.  I explained what happened from start to finish.  I even tried my prettily packaged reasoning as to why I shouldn't know what I weigh.  I ended with a statement like,

"It finally doesn't matter to me what I weigh.  I don't want to do something that all of a sudden wrecks that!"

And the therapist said, "Really?  Because it seems to me it still matters to you what you weigh.  Otherwise, why would the possibility of finding out matter to you enough for it to be stuck in your head for a day?"

Doh.  I guess that's why she has her job and I have mine.


The discussion continued that the goal isn't to not want to know what the scale number is but rather to know and not CARE what the scale number is.  And clearly, I have some work to do on that.  She explained that it will be up to me to decide when I want to know and start working on the not caring part, but that they need to introduce things like that to check readiness and get the idea in as a seed.  And since I'm prone to panic when a new task is suggested, well, this is a good system.

Do I know where I'm at with it right now?  Nope.  I have visions of me knowing my weight and being all Ghandi/zen when I hear the number.  I have visions of feeling humiliated.  The problem with my OCD/perfectionist/ED brain is that it can't control how I'll feel and that makes it all worse.  For now, my plan is to just keeping plugging away and staying open to the process.  If that means I say yes the next time she asks if I want feedback, well, great.  If it takes more time, that's fine too.  They know what they're doing.  I don't need to. 

And that, right there, may be the hardest part.  Not needing to know.

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