The Bathroom Scale
By Christine Saah | Guest Blogger
My family didn’t actually have one until I was in middle school, but I remember most of my aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family usually had one. I was unaware of my weight except when I would get my yearly physical at the doctor’s office or when I got to hop on a scale at a friend’s house. Going through puberty, I used to think it was fun to find out what I weighed and what my height was. However, I had a doctor that changed my entire view on weight. I was about 13 at the time when he told me that I needed to lose weight and should work out. I wanted to cry. I knew I was exercising; I was on 2 basketball teams and a cheer team! My mom told me not to worry about what the doctor said, but I was never the same.
My family finally got a scale, because my Mom and Pops were trying to watch their weight. We also got a stationary bike. I loved that bike. I would just ride it for fun. I also started weighing myself, because the scale was there. I noticed that if I exercised more, my weight would go down. My aunt, who always made comments on my weight, would say that I was looking very good. It was good to hear positive things about my body, especially after the experience at the doctor’s office. At some point the scale broke, but I still felt anxious about not knowing my weight. I didn’t weigh myself everyday, but I probably weighed myself more than I needed to.
Fast forward a few years and I found myself extremely concerned about my weight and appearance. I wanted to make varsity basketball after only one year of junior varsity. I pushed myself incredibly hard and made it. I started developing an obsessive mentality with exercise and weight. I started a diet program at 16 years old and it required the input of my weight each week. I did it once a week, but I started realizing the difference in the number at different parts of the day. I started weighing myself multiple times a week, than everyday, and eventually multiple times a day. This behavior continued into college and escalated as I developed an eating disorder. It used to be a struggle for me to not run back to my dorm room and weigh myself. At one point I had a panic attack, because I gave my counselor my scale to hold onto. Even though I wasn’t recording my weight, or even losing weight anymore, I had to weigh myself.
When I fully developed my eating disorder, I traveled everywhere with my scale. I wrote down my morning weight and my night weight. I made the obscene goal to weigh less than I did in the morning. I was scared to drink water for fear that it would tip the scale in the wrong direction. I eventually had to get rid of the scale, because it caused anxiety. Every time that I kept a scale close by I fell into temptation much easier. The scale used to make or break my day. I would be scared if anyone else stepped on my scale and after someone did step on it I didn’t trust the scale. I gave this scale way too much power over me.
Now I no longer weigh myself unless I am at the doctor’s office or working with a professional fitness coach at my school. I refuse to let a number on the scale indicate my level of fitness, my beauty, or my worth. Getting rid of temptation is exactly what God wants us to do and it is the only way to be strong enough to fight the daily battle that comes with an eating disorder. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t tempted to go out and buy a scale some days, but I instantly say a prayer when those thoughts flood my mind. I also remind myself that I am made in the image and likeness of God and God loves me no matter what I weigh!
P.S. You are enough.