13 January 2016

The downs and ups of life and scales

Or should I be more honest, and say the downs?  Yes, Let's go with that for now. Not downs, as in emotionally, but downs, drops, falls in weight. 

Let me set the scene again, I stopped seeing my dietician Ms. F more than 18 months ago now, I left the eating disorders unit a year later, back in May 2015. Fully discharged after three months of step-down sessions. Back in 2011 when I was admitted in a blur of anorexia, and started the long, long road of recovery, a target weight of 60-odd kilos was floated around, knowing realistically, ideally in their eyes it'd be a bit more.

The bit between August '11 and now is pretty much what this blog is. Let's not go over and over all that and let's fast forward to now shall we?  

When I left the EDU and waved farewell to Dr. B we put plans in place for monitoring my weight, without falling down the trap of getting scales at home. That's been successful and works for me. Once a month I get up and go to the leisure centre and jump on the public scales. Yes, there is still a routine there, I won't eat before hand, I do wear the same outfit and it plays on my mind the week and days before, but it doesn't consume me. 

But it's when we dig down to the facts, numbers, digits and what that means to me, it's where it's less clear than the routine I've now established to gain them.

When I last stepped on the scales at Kinver, my weight wasn't 'quite' where they would have liked it. I stepped off and was very blase with Dr B about being able to push on, fully recover and do the last bit myself. Not blase in a 'I'll get away with anything I want' rebellious, let anorexia takeover way - I don't want that. But more-so in a 'it doesn't matter...it'll happen as life happens' sort of way. Quite frankly, I didn't care. But also had a niggle of 'I'm fine at this weight thank you...' For now at least.

But that's the thing. I was fine at that weight, but I'm no longer that weight. 

It's lower. Whether I like it or not, whether it's intentional or not, whether I think I look it or not, whether I feel it or not. It is lower. 

Now, it's NOT been intentional, but I'm not kidding myself, I feel better about it being lower, than I know I would if it had gone UP the same amount. I haven't consciously sat down, colluded with anorexia and had an urge to LOSE weight. At all. That much I know. But that's also dangerous, because I can quite happily live like that, because I don't feel restrictive and restricted. 

Do I like it? I don't like the fact that I know other people will judge me, and whether they are honest to my face about it. It's just easier to swallow than gains. 

As for thinking I look and feel five kilos lighter than a year ago? Not. a. Chance. 

I just don't, In fact, over Christmas my weight went down slightly again, a few grammes, but still down. But I spent some of December feeling the old, greedy, gluttonous, unhealthy, piggy thoughts. But it was down. Do I BELIEVE the number. Well I am not blind I can SEE a lower number on my little print out, I know the digits are fewer than the ones in November. I get it. But I also don't. 

I have always fallen into the trap that I think LOWER weigh-ins are the anomalies, this has been the case throughout recovery. Gains felt forever, losses felt temporary. I still have this mindset about  my weight and that's how I've wound up here I think. Every month I've told myself it wouldn't be the case next month, so I just carried on the same. Not restricting more, not counting calories any more closely, not eating more, not reducing exercise, but also not increasing it. I KNOW there are things Ms F. and I worked hard to put back in my diet, which since leaving I've not eaten in a 'no big deal' way, I am aware this is how it's dropped. That's were I'm realistic in how recovered I am.

Every month just believing because I DON'T FEEL or SEE anything BETTER or THINNER or LIGHTER in the mirror, because I don't feel any different in my own skin, or feel any more comfortable in my own skin. 

I've just carried on as I was - not trapped, clinging on to ED, but not massively challenging or moving any further away either. Just generally keeping things the same. 

But if we take the cold hard numbers. They are down. I'm not out, but they are down. But the thing is now, what am I going to do about it? Hm.


  1. Wow...the more I kept reading this, the more I could completely relate! This is EXACTLY what happened to me...now I'm trying to fix it.
    I think, as soon as the ED starts to get quieter, it doesn't necessarily mean we're "okay" and managing life etc etc...it quite often means we're satisfying the ED so it's not rearing its ugly head! Unfortunately, in order to "beat" the ED, we need to do the opposite of what it wants...which, unfortunately, means it will scream at us & making life a living Hell. But we can push past that...I believe in you, keep going, you're stronger than this! x

  2. The problem is where does it go from here? I said the same my weight dropped and I would stop there I really would and soon the thrill of losing weight takes over and you keep going; "I will stop when I reach xxx", "I'm not actively restricting so it's fine". Then you drop too far and before you know it you're trapped back in the familiar cycle, the one you promised you wouldn't ever be in again. Then you hit the desperate point...where you're stuck and you can't get out. When you're desperate for someone to save you but at the same time you're scared someone is going to take it away from you again. You need to make that decision before it's too late and it's no longer your decision because the eating disorder is completely in control. I sat there today telling my manager I was having to be signed off work, I promised myself I wouldn't do that again. When walking home from the train station is so painful, you remember the depths of how bad it feels and why you promised you would never return to that dark place where you felt like the only way out was death. So ask yourself, where are you going to go from here?