Thursday, April 26, 2012

Obsession over a number


Where did this obsession with numbers come from? The scale, jean size, dress size, etc. Every time I get on the scale, which can be several times a day, I watch the little light blink... blink... blink...as the scale is figuring out my weight. Judging me. I stand there waiting impatiently and hold my breath. I think light thoughts, hold in my tummy, and sometimes lean a little one way or the other.... I realize this has no effect but I do it anyway. It is as if I am trying to will the scale to give me a number I will be able to feel good about.

Unfortunately, I always step off the scale feeling disappointed and bad about myself. Why did I eat that piece of cheese, I should have exercised more today, non fat milk would have saved me SO many calories, etc. The list of skinny thoughts go on and on and ultimately lead to one thing; I hate myself.

So much pressure goes in to one number. The question is however, what is that number? I have tried to contemplate at what number would I be happy about myself, proud of who I am, or feel beautiful. Guess what, there isn't one. Well, for me that is. This pressure of putting my self worth into a number is as I am finally comming to find, pointless.

I have weighed as little as 105 lbs and as much as 155 lbs in my adult life. I was not happy at any number I saw on the scale. Not when it went down and certainly not when it went up. I used to be a swimmer, swimming 2.5 hours a day a minimum of at least 5 days a week. When I got to college and burned out with swimming I started running. At first I was lucky if I could make it one mile on the treadmill at a 12 minute mile but pretty soon I was running up to 9 miles a day at 10 minute miles or faster, 7 days a week. After college and grad school I have fluctuated with exercise and of course my weight but never with my scale and weighing habits.

I have tried to only weigh myself once or twice a day and of course have even tried not weighing myself at all. I have grappled with the idea of removing the scale, my now lifelong friend out of the bathroom and perhaps into another room. Heaven forbid I were to throw it away. GASP! Even the thought drives my already high anxiety through the roof. Deep breath.

And so my obsession has continued for years. I know that these actions are detrimental but how do you stop this obsession that has become an addiction? Is there an "AA" type of program? Has this become an OCD scenario? Where do you go to look for help? Do you even want help? I have been struggling with this in therapy for years. Yes, years! And yes, in therapy.

Recently however, perhaps I have found an out to at least my constant "weighing in" addiction. That however is for my next entry.

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