The relationship continues…

In one of my earlier blogs I talked about my relationship with my scale. My abusive and emotionally unstable relationship with an inanimate object.

Here’s a quick background for new readers: I have been flirting with the scale for years. I remember around age 13 was when I started racing home off the bus to beat my mom so I could weigh in without her knowing. I took baths all the time because the scale was in her bathroom along with the good tub. I would go to the gym just to weigh in and sit in the sauna. It was (and still is unhealthy.) I bought my own scale when I was 17. I kept it secret and drove to the woods to put the box she came in, in the big dumpster. She was a beautiful glass Taylor scale. I weighed myself at least 6 times a day. So like 42 times each week I would know my weight. I began to get good at guessing how much the number would read back. It became routine to weigh myself.

Throughout treatments, therapists and doctors have worked to break me up with the scale, but I have always had access to one. The scale in the bathroom with the good tub was always there- and she still is.

My glass scale ran out of batteries from my frequent weighing in, and I never replaced them….which is probably a good thing. But I still keep her even if she can’t tell me my weight. I don’t won’t to get rid of her. She’s traveled to Ohio, California, and Illinois with me. She’s been with me during my most dangerous and successful times. So, I keep her in my room at home under my dresser.

So let’s move on to current state: we are separated at the moment. I’m supposed to be doing blind weigh ins but I’ve found out my weight each week by doing some distraction. Last week I had a different doctor and she just casually told me my number. It was higher. Closer to the safe zone. I freaked. 

Recovery Liv knows this is good. I need to be at a healthy weight, but Ana still wants me to walk the tightrope with danger. 

I guess this past week, eating has sucked for me. I knew I would be going home and being home = going out to eat. I skipped out on some things I shouldn’t have which makes me feel like I failed myself. 

Today I found out my weight. I’m down again.

I’m happy

I’m scared

I don’t want to lose control

I want to smash all the scales and I want to buy them all

I do not know if I’ll ever be able to simmer this addiction with the number.

So here’s what I’m going to do..

I’m going to listen to my dietcian and EAT everything I’m supposed to and DRINK ensure plus and water. I am going to TELL the doctor they need to hide my weigh better because I will figure it out.

But most importantly I need to listen to my loved ones. I have so much encouragement and support. I am apart of one of the most supportive ED recovery communities and I need to not be scared to reach out. 

Right now, the scale controls me. However, this can’t last and I know it can’t. I have come SO FREAKING FAR in recovery. I will never trigger others by sharing my behaviors, but younger Liv was a dead girl walking. That stage didn’t last. I stopped those behaviors (and some of them I have no desire to start ever again.) so I know this will get easier. The first month will be hard. It’s like an alcoholic not taking a drink. A smoker not taking a smoking break. That’s what my addiction with weighing myself is like. 

So my readers,

My name is Liv and as of right now, I am 8 hours scale free. 

It’s not much but everyone has to start somewhere

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Senior

So today I had my first day back to classes for my SENIOR year of college.

It is crazy to think that I will be done with school this time next year.

I only had two classes today and I am already filled with emotions. I am excited, curious, and thrilled. However, I am also struggling and anxious.

I knew coming back to class and getting in a routine again would be a challenge for me. However, I did not expect it to be this challenging. I made a meal plan for myself, I am trying to stick to a set sleeping schedule, and I am making sure to give myself at least 30 minutes of “liv time” a day.

The only problem is I am petrified to eat again and I am so tempted to buy a scale for my apartment.

Here at Drake I have weekly weigh ins/vitals, I meet with a therapist, dietician, and I call my psychiatrist back home as needed. I do not do blind weigh ins, which is probably something I should work towards.

So not only am I here juggling 18 credits plus about 40 hours of field experience, I am also in some kind of doctor’s appointment on my time off.

Luckily my schedule is pretty laid back this semester even though I have so many credits. I really only have to worry about Wednesdays since I am in class from about 9:30am-8: 20pm.

I had my first weigh in today and I maintained my weight so that’s a good sign. However, if I keep not eating I wont maintain much longer and then I will get sick again. And if I get sick again that means I wont be able to graduate on time and I might have to go residential or something, so there’s a lot on the line.

I want to say that I trust myself, but it’s hard to trust myself when sometimes I become a different person.

I just have to stay focused and be with the things that keep me grounded. I need to remind myself WHY recovery everyday.

I love the families I nanny for and I want to continue doing that for as long as I can.

I love teaching and I want to be healthy enough to be bending up and down without blacking out each time.

I just need to stay aware and remind myself that it is okay to take a break when things get too overwhelming. I am lucky to have no class on Thursdays and Fridays so if I need to go home I pretty much have a nice long 4-day weekend to enjoy.

This year is a big year for me.

All I can say is I am so thankful for the amazing support that I have going into this semester and the unconditional love I receive even when I feel I do not deserve it. Your support means everything to me.

The Scale Jar

Me and my scale are having a tough time breaking up. SO i had an idea. What better way to motivate myself than with money? 

Being a college student on a budget, any extra cash I have is nice to spend on an occasional chai latte or some random thing I don’t need but at the time feel like I MUST have. This is when the scale jar idea came to mind.

I weigh myself at least 3x a day still. This hinders my recovery because I am still OBSESSING over my numbers. So from now on, if I want to weigh myself, I have to pay.

Each time I weigh myself I am charged 50 cents. If I weigh myself more than once in a day, each time I step on the scale the fine increases a quarter. 

It does not seem like a lot initially but considering I weigh myself 3x a day everyday, it could add up quick.

So obviously I am not going to want to be wasting my money on weighing myself. That’s foolish. There’s so many better ways to use my spare change.

The only problem with this is accountability. Will I stay true to the jar? Will Ana be stronger? This will be a test on trust within myself. I feel confident that I will remain honest and stay true to the scale jar.

Any money collected in the scale jar will be saved up and donated to NEDA (along with more since I am really hoping to not accumulate much money from laying to weigh in.) 

So friends, let’s see if this helps. I sure hope it will be the motivation I need! I’ll post about it again in a few weeks to check in on how my progress with the scale is going.

Oh and here is a picture of the jar. Keep in mind crafting is NOT my thing 

Weight Restoration

Being weight restored is a good thing. It is a sign of progress and healing. It is a sign that my body is being fed and I am getting healthy again. Weight restoration is a great thing…but to me, it still feels like one of the worst things ever.

A couple days ago I finally hit the number that I am supposed to be at. I have not seen this number range in about 6 months; so seeing myself back in this range definitely hit me a little too hard.

My first instinct was that everything I did was wrong. That eating what I have been eating is bad for me. I kept telling myself I need to eat less now. I need to work out more. I CANNOT let myself gain more weight.

But then I started to realize that if I keep eating normally I will not continuously gain weight. I am getting to the point where I can maintain a healthy weight, which is good. Heck, its great.

However, dealing with the new number range and being weight restored is still a tough mental battle. I need to let myself know that just because my weight is healthy that it does not make me a failure. It makes me a fighter. It makes me a survivor. I am destroying Ana bite by bite.

When these bad thoughts and ED behaviors come to mind, its when I really need to practice what I learned during inpatient, therapy, treatments, groups, ect. I notice myself getting mean sometimes to people around me. I do not mean to say or act the way I do. It feels like it is Ana inside me trying to pull out any string to fight.

Yesterday Ana tried to convince me to not eat when I got upset over something. However, I realized the only person who is affected by this is ME!!! Hurting myself more does not fix anything! Nor does hurting other people. So while I am going through this rough stage of being weight restored I am going to focus on the things I love.

I am going to spend more time free writing, running, and being with kids. I will enjoy  walking my dog, listening to music, working on my mindfulness wall. I have these healthy ways to combat the negativity and this is what I need to be doing. Feel free to ask me to spend time with you to do any of this stuff. I may not want to talk much, but I will always enjoy the company.

I have gained weight, but that is not what I need to focus on. I need to focus on the other things I have gained. I have gained life back, friendships, and happiness. I have gained hope and energy.I have gained the strength to liv[e].

The scale

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I stand on a scale and let it determine my worth. I stand on a scale and let it determine my happiness. I stand on a scale and let it determine what I will do for the day. I stand on the scale and become obsessed. I stand on the scale and lose control.

My relationship with the scale is definitely not healthy. I always think about when I can stand on the scale again in secret. I dread the weekly weigh ins because I want my weight to be only something I know. The person who weighs me in is not allowed to tell me what I weigh, but I always find a way to figure it out.

The scale now lives in my house. He lures me upstairs all the time. Trying to get me to check my numbers every hour. Scale, why do you control me so much? All you tell me is a number- my relationship with gravity. Why am I so obsessed with having to know this number?

One of my long term goals is to not longer be so reliant on the scale. I want to be able to get through the day without obsessing over when I can recheck my weight. My short term goal until then will be to practice mindfulness activities to stray me away from the scale upstairs.

So hey, mom. I know you are reading this. Do not read this and hide the scale from me. That wont work well with me. Yes, I know, the scale is toxic for me. However, this is something I need to work on myself. If you hide the scale at this point now, I will find ways to obtain a scale. If you get rid of the scale, I will sneak one into the house. Right now my ED is so focused on the number. I need to prove to myself that I can live without the scale. I need to fight this alone because when I live on my own one day, it will be up to me if I buy a scale.

I need to work on becoming stronger than this puny piece  of technology. I need to work on defining my worth by who I am as a person- not by the number I weigh. This is something that only I can fix.

The scale drives me insane. I probably think about the scale 15-20 times an hour. Short term goal, to think about this object less. Long term goal, to not think about it at all.

I know I am stronger than my scale.

You will not be my obsession much longer.