The Binge Eating Diaries: The Weight of It All

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Jacki is back with another insightful look at how she’s working through one of the issues that was at the root of her binge eating to begin with.

I hate going to the doctor’s office for a number of reasons.

My overpriced health insurance only allows me three “affordable” visits per year, so each time I feel like I’m getting robbed… which makes my anxiety worse, which makes me forget while I’m really there, which makes me spit out every thing that could possibly be wrong with me, which makes me sound a neurotic hypochondriac.

But my least favorite part about going to the doctor’s is…

Getting weighed. There, I said it!

After they slap you across the face with a big fat co-pay, but before they poke, prod, and send you off for a myriad of “maybe” tests… they make you stand on that ginormous, terrifying scale.

I swear I gain 5 pounds of fear right before I step foot on those things. (At least that’s what I tell myself…)

So, knowing that the initial weigh-in was going to be the hardest part of an upcoming visit… I almost didn’t book myself a much-needed appointment until I felt better about my “assumed” weight.

Throughout my restrictive eating days, binge eating years, and a lifetime of body image issues, I’ve learned that focusing on my weight doesn’t help “keep me in check”; it throws me completely off balance. I’ve shown a pattern of becoming absolutely obsessed with numbers.

Nowadays, I focus on how my body feels.

So the thought of getting weighed on someone else’s time – almost convinced me to push back my appointment at the risk of seeing my actual, numerical weight.

I’m embarrassed as I share this truth with you all. I feel petty! But I have put so much weight on my weight my entire life, that this anxiety is very real to me.

Anxiety Outweighed My Health Concerns

So even though I scheduled this visit to figure out why I was experiencing sharp stomach pains, cramps, constant headaches, and mystery bug bites… I was mostly upset about stepping on that scale.

Oh, the logic! The glorious logic!

And here is the deliciously rational icing on the cake…

After I initially booked my 4:30 pm appointment, I realized what I had done. I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, which would mean I wouldn’t be weighed on an empty stomach.

It’s even more difficult to admit that once I realized my “mistake” I actually called back to try and swap my appointment for a morning slot!

But the stars were not aligned with my anxiety. It was time to face the truth – I had a 4:30 doctor’s appointment and I was going to get weighed. Period. End of it.

Coping With Scale Anxiety

get off the scale quote I couldn’t decide whether I should laugh at myself or swaddle my emotions.  After all, even though this might not have been a big deal to someone else – this situation was alarming to ME. And because I couldn’t change the time or refuse to get weighed… I felt out of control.

So, I giggled to make light of the situation and told myself that I was okay and that my feelings count – no matter what they’re centered around. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to feel nervous, it’s okay to feel not okay while we’re working through things.

But I couldn’t completely calm my nerves just yet. I needed to have a plan…

So I ended up exhausting about 3 collective hours of my life contemplating whether or not I should look at the scale once the deed was finally being done.

And this is how that “me” vs. “myself” conversation went:

“Do I turn around, step on backwards, and ask for the number not to be spoken out loud? Do I see where I’m at after such a long time of NOT focusing on that damn number? Why is this driving me mad?  

Would refusing to look mean I’m scared of the truth? Does looking mean I’m giving in to temptation to judge and torture myself?

Or does not sneaking a peek mean that the number doesn’t matter and I choose not to let it affect me today? Or does looking mean I’m not scared because whatever it says – it has no hold on me?”

So. I weighed the pros and cons – weighing in on my own weight… ha!

And I decided to go with the following option: “I won’t look initially, but if I want to look later, I can. I need to focus on the real reason I’m here. My body needs me right now regardless of what that scale says. I am not that number. That number actually holds little weight.”

But here’s the kicker…

They skipped right past the whole friggin’ thing. Blood pressure. Check. And off I went. No scale. No weighing. Nada

I have never felt such a fierce combination of relief and anger. All of that energy… all of that worrying…

Acknowledging And Accepting My Feelings

But I wasn’t silly for feeling how I felt. I acknowledged my fears, I talked them out with myself, I empowered myself to be okay with any decision that I made. I stood by my side. I didn’t melt into a puddle. (Success!) I problem solved. I made progress. I accepted my feelings and went through with my actions. I didn’t let fear win. Jace (my strong, kick a$$ alter ego) took hold of the situation and I got through a particularly trying day with my head held high. And for this, I am proud.

As we try to overcome the urge to judge ourselves and to ignore society’s view that the number on the scale somehow makes us “better or worse”, let us keep one thing in mind…

We are not measured by the weight of our bodies, but by the weight of our hearts.

Until next time,

Jace

Have you struggled with a situation similar to mine? Please feel welcomed and safe to comment below. 

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2 responses to “The Binge Eating Diaries: The Weight of It All”

  1. AmberLynn Pappas says:

    Great post! A lot of people think about “white coat syndrome” and the effect it has on blood pressure, but I don’t think many health care providers consider what weighing someone does to their anxiety or sense of self-worth. I’m glad you came through with a positive plan and reaction.

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Jacki Monaco

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