Deep breath neeed here. Some honesty.
This is a post for my lovely virtual friend Hope Virgo and her #dumpthescales campaign.
Warning – there is mention of weight and scales here. Possible trigger.
This is the reality of being in recovery from disordered eating.
I am 49.
I am a senior leader in a school.
I am empirically very good at what I do (Ouch. It feels uncomfortable saying that but it is true.)
I am a good enough wife and mum.
In the holidays, I went to my childhood home where there are scales. I have no scales in my own house and could tell you that I maybe weigh 9 and a half stone but most of the time I don’t know.
Years back, it was a very different story and the scales ruled my life.
When I got home to Dorset, the scales told me that I was 9 stone 5 (first morning, no clothes, post exercise.) I felt happy with that.
There was no change to this for the next four mornings.
I then went to France. No scales. Food. Wine. Daily exercise. Relaxation.
I came back from France and back to scales in my parents’ home. On the first morning back the scales showed 9 stone 9.
Free floating panic. Self hatred. Suddenly my clothes felt tight. I did not want to eat. I felt guilty. Stupid. Ugly.
I engaged with all the positive self-talk and self-help strategies that I could.
I got through it.
The next day the scales told me 9,5 again.
I felt relieved, delivered, forgiven.
What is it that a small metal measuring device can render a grown, strong, capable woman so disempowered?
What is it?
What is it that the anorexic voices are always ready to pounce?
How can I be so self-absorbed, ungrateful, unaware of all that I have when others have so little?
The homeless, the starving, the really needy….
I don’t know.
But I do know that there are lots of us who are in the same boat and that it isn’t something that we can easily out-think or overcome.
And that we stand more chance of overcoming it if we are honest about it.