This post is an installment in “The Binge Eating Diaries” series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience with binge eating disorder. Follow Jacki every other Thursday as she shares the discoveries she’s made on her journey to health and happiness.
The scale has never been my friend. But in all honesty, has it ever done any of us any good? Yes, there’s a surge of excitement when we see we’ve dropped a pound or two, but when we put too much “weight” into our actual weight, I believe we set ourselves up for failure.
Before I was a binge eater I had a stint as an over-exerciser, under-eater with occasional binges and purges. During this time I used the scale multiple times a day – when I woke up, after each meal, after each binge/purge. When I began binging, I ignored the scale completely. So today, as I still battle all-or-nothing thinking patterns, I strive to find a comfortable relationship with the scale just like I do with food.
Along with avoiding the scale and mirrors, I lived in stretchy spandex and baggy shirts for two years so I wasn’t able to assess how much weight I was actually gaining. I could feel my thighs chafing together and my breath growing shorter, but I didn’t want to, and actually couldn’t see it.
Since coming to Green Mountain, I try to use the scale now not as a determination of my success but as a way to make sure I’m still taking care of myself. Now that I feel comfortable wearing jeans and shirts that don’t hide my body completely, I strive less and less for a number on the scale, and more for a happiness number “How the hell do I feel today?!” I try to determine how I feel before I allow the mirror to help me decide how I feel…about how I look.
When I hired a personal trainer a month ago for a few sessions, he began by asking me “what’s your goal?” My response was, “my goal is to be happy.” He smiled at me, a surprised look on this face and I was equally surprised when he replied, “That’s why I hate asking. To me there are two things, how we feel and how we feel about how we look naked.”
So, how do you feel? Before the scale, before the mirror. In a moment when you’re standing, smiling, walking. From 1-10, how happy are you without your own judgments and are you happy with that number?