cutselvage

It’s never easy, and it never goes away.

Possibly triggering – some diet/weight-loss talk.

 

I don’t own scales.

I haven’t done so for a long time now.  There were a pair in the laundry in the house I lived in in Japan, but they didn’t work properly.  In my current house, there are some in the downstairs bathroom, but I live upstairs.

So I haven’t weighed myself, in, oh, at least six months.  Because it triggers me.  I slip back into self-loathing, disordered eating thoughts.

Last night I was at a friends house drinking cheap wine and watching silly movies.  I went to the bathroom, and there’s a pair of scales.

And I stupidly weighed myself.  I’ve gained approximately ten kilos since leaving Japan.  And straightaway my mind went to “If you just go on that shake diet again, you’ll drop ten kilos in two months!  Then you’ll be back to normal!”  And somehow that thought seemed okay, because if I lost ten kilos, I’d still be deathfat.

Not gonna lie, the temptation was overwhelming.

I’m still learning how to be a size acceptance activist, and it’s constant struggle to fight against those ingrained thought patterns.  Even as I type this, there’s a little voice in the back of my mind reminding how easy it was diet when I last worked in an office.  And there’s an underlying fear that no matter how much I do or don’t diet, I’m just going to keep gaining weight.

I know, objectively, that diets don’t work.  I went on my first diet at 79 kilograms just on ten years ago, and I now weigh 114 kilos.  Throughout that time, I’ve dieted, restricted, binged, and purged.

It doesn’t work.  I know this.

Every day is a struggle.  So every day I read Notes From The Fatosphere, every day I read Fatshionista, and every day I try and surrond myself with people who love me for who I am, and who are as passionate about acceptance as I am.

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  • 1Sonya1

    It really does never go away, does it? I've found myself, even now, slipping into those thought patterns and dwelling on what I'm eating. Being at an inbetweenie weight doesn't help, because back in the day, I would say: “Omg, if you could just lose 10 kilos you'd be slimmer! Like everyone else!”

    So while our personal experiences are different because WE are different, there's a similarity as well. I do much of the same when I start to slip into the patterns: surround myself with positive friends, wear my favourite clothes, read positive blogs and try to be nice to myself. It helps.

  • http://elasticwasteland.etsy.com/ kiki

    i know EXACTLY what you are saying here! my parents have scales in their bathroom – weighed myself when i first arrived from melb, same weight i've been for 2 years 113kg. THEN i weighed myself about 2 weeks ago (3 months or so later) 8 kg's heavier. gained 8 kgs since leaving melbourne! had to check myself before i spiraled back into shaming and hating myself for the weight gain – went through the EXACT thoughts that you talked about in your post… freaked out just a little but thankfully got over it through REMEMBERING that i dont give a shit what i weigh! i dont care about weight gain as long as i am healthy and happy! (not to mention having a flick through my 'fatspiration' photo file of awesome fat girls in hot outfits) i feel like i have the power now over the scales – i plan to test myself whenever im in my parents bathroom – will jump on the scales just to check myself and remind myself that im not afraid of the scales anymore! im not ashamed of what i weigh! :)

  • bri_fatlotofgood

    I think we all have these moments, even the most hardy fat activists have moments of self doubt. I know I do. I weigh about the same as you (or I did the last time I was weighed at the doctor's). There is so much negativity in our world about fat that it is extremely difficult to maintain our 'fat ass bubble' (as the Zaftig chick put it). Hang in there honey, if it is any consolation, you aren't alone in this.

  • kellyhogaboom

    So… I don't have a disordered eating past. But this post is good for me to read right now. I (stupidly) weighed myself last night (on my mom's bathroom scale), and I found I weighed 189 lbs. (86 kg), which is 19 lbs. (8.5 kilos) more than I *thought* I weighed. This is also despite – or whatever – the fact I've been running a lot and swimming and roller skating and feeling really good in my body… until I stepped on that scale I'd been feeling really good about myself in general.

    I don't know if I'd call it 'triggering' since I don't have that bad eating history… but I guess I do have that self-loathing history, because I've been feeling down ever since I weighed myself. I truly don't understand why I'm feeling so down about it, but I just am. I really appreciate your post here because it felt like it was plucked from my own brain. I don't have a plan (or a point?) to my comment here except: thanks for writing.

  • Amy

    This. And I don't think I've ever been in a work environment with more people “on diets” as when I was doing office work. That particularly office-flavoured toxic self-loathing projected from coworkers is a hard thing to fight off when you're trapped in cubicles day in, day out.

    Keep yourself safe. <3

  • Stephanie

    oh jeez, I just went through this experience too. self-worth is not quantitative, numbers don't mean jack, but I still felt horrified when I weighed myself for the first time in months and saw a larger number than I'd expected.

    there's an awesome guest post at Shapely Prose that addresses this, the Fantasy of Staying Exactly As I Am. it's still a fear that I harbor and am trying to shake, but we all change so much over time that self-acceptance HAS to be an ongoing process. :)

  • meerkat

    There is a scale in my closet but it is strictly for weight luggage to find out if the airline will accept it! I think I weighed exactly 114 too, according to the last stupid school health check of nagging and horror and missing lunch.

  • http://www.plusfigured.com/ Kay

    Thanks for your post and I too have not owned scales for many years. I feel that happiness in life is not dependent upon our weight, but it is on our thought processes alone. We make choices to 'feel' or 'think' a certain way and those choices stem from thoughts we have which can be changed with new conditioning. I often speak of self acceptance at Plus Figured (http://www.plusfigured.com) and how learning to accept our bodies as they are now can create the results we need or want. Taking the proactive approach to accept ourselves as we are can bring forth positive, natural changes in the mind set of the 'need' to diet and then we don't 'feel' the need – we learn to eat ony what our bodies need. If we listen to our bodies and the messages it sends us and then use those messages for the improvement of our health and our lives in general, the feeling of needing to diet will turn into the need of doing what's good for us overall. Forgiving ourselves for doing or feeling bad about ourselves for things such as using a scale or feeling the need to be a 'normal' size is important – the media often tries to force us into hearing their message to look or feel a certain way and we must stand strong in our own thoughts to live only for us and not for someone else's opinion of how we should be.

  • stacia42

    Thanks so much for your post. I'm an in-betweenie in Los Angeles, which may equate (socially at least) to morbidly obese in other places. :)
    On Friday, a doctor suggested that the hideously painful pinched nerve in my neck was due to my weight,
    and I had a horribly self flagellating weekend due to a)getting on the scale and b) incessantly comparing myself to other women at kids birthday parties.
    I'm with you, I KNOW diets don't work. I have been up and down the same 30-40 lbs for 20+ years, and now the dieting, diet pills etc has even put me out of my set point range. If I never tried all that crap, I would not be near the same weight I am today. I'm done dieting, but I still struggle to accept myself as I am EVERY F-ING DAY.
    Thanks for honoring the fact that as although our self acceptance is necessary, it never gets easy. I appreciate your candor.

  • Ishmael

    I understand what you're saying, and agree that it can be easy to fall in self loathing, but I find having a scale can he helpful. Gaining 10 kilos in six months is quite a bit, so I figure if you had weighed yourself say once a month, and seen that you were gaining you might be able to reign it in a little bit. 10 kilos in six months is 20 kilos in a year-and while I am all for accepting yourself as you are, and the way your body is, quick, excessive gains are hard on a person mentally and physically, and while we can't fight our bodies putting on weight, I think its important to maintain a steady weight, whatever your size.

  • http://www.nicholasperkins.com/blog/ Nicholas Perkins

    My understanding of fat acceptance must be completely different to yours. Yes, you need to accept yourself as you are. Fat, thin, tall, short, black, white, whatever.

    I don't see how keeping a watchful eye on a set of scales and going “tusk tusk, you've put on a bit of weight this month” really fits into this mantra.

    Health at EVERY Size is just that – health no matter how heavy you are. If you are eating what your body needs (check out intuitive eating) and you are doing some movement with your body that makes you happy, then that's all that really matters.

    Quick and excessive gains are hard on a person if they weight themselves to find out. If you are happy to accept yourself at whatever size, then a number on a scale doesn't matter. Checking that number regularly is more likely to screw with your sense of love and acceptance for yourself than anything else.

  • 1Sonya1

    No.

  • http://corpulent.wordpress.com/ Frances

    “10 kilos in six months is 20 kilos in a year”

    EXCELLENT USE OF SIMPLE ARITHMETIC.

    By Ishmael's logic, you're just going to keep gaining 10kg every 6 months until you're like Jabba. Because, you know, that's physically possible for most people.
    </sarcasm>

    Face, meet palm.

  • http://www.axisoffat.com Zoe

    I'm pretty confused. Once I choose to accept myself, I have to stay at that weight? BUMMER.

    There's a whole myriad of factors tied up in my weight gain. One of them would be a significantly altered diet (by which I mean intake of food), having returned from two years in a foreign country.

    But what should I do? Diet? That's not what we're here for.

    and while we can't fight our bodies putting on weight, I think its important to maintain a steady weight

    Spectacular! A cognitive dissonance in one sentence. I can't fight my body putting on weight, but I have to maintain a steady weight? Please show me your magical solution!

    In conclusion, I'll think I'll just sit here and be fat at you.

  • Ishmael

    Clearly I've hit a nerve, although I don't know why-I feel that what I said was taken out of context and blown up like some anti-fat propaganda. Calm down people: just because I'm suggesting paying some attention to your weight doesn't make me the enemy.

    I totally agree that we should try to love ourselves at any size, but my point was that warning signals would be going off in my head if I gained 10 kilos in a half year-just as they would if I lost 10 kg in a half year. (Which, by the way, I have, and moreoever, as much as this may come as a shock to Frances, I continued to gain another 10 kilos in the other half of the year. So yes, you can continue to pack on the pounds. All you have to do is eat more than your body expends, thus resulting in gaining weight. Simple arithmetic, exactly.)

    Personally,I do say screw the numbers, and when I say “steady weight” I mean fitting in the clothes that you own-this can go both ways-if my clothes are suddenly falling off me, there's also something wrong! Why is it taboo to suggest that if the clothes are suddenly too tight to wear, that there is also something wrong?

    I don't subscribe to the idea of dieting. So, no, I was not suggesting that you diet. Weight doesn't just magically appear on our bodies unless we have consumed more than we expend. There's no rocket science there. My suggestion was better awareness, that's all. And if one's weight just keeps going up even though they are not consuming extra calories, this would obviously be the sign of a problem, and again, just as it would be if someone was eating normally and lost weight.

    Most of all, I think its important to recognize my comment above was a reflection of my opinion. We're still allowed to have those, aren't we?

  • http://corpulent.wordpress.com/ Frances

    We reacted the way you did because your comment made no sense at all. Eat intuitively, but 'reign it in' if you notice weight gain. You can't stop weight gain, but maintain a steady weight. Accept yourself as you are, but 'excessive' gains harm your body. See? No sense.

    I know it's possible to gain weight. I know that it is possible to gain 20kg over a year. I am not shocked. But your sentence came across as some bizarre scare tactic: “10 kilos in six months is 20 kilos in a year” (Shit! Better REIGN IT IN!) It's not physically possible for most people to continue gaining at a rate like that over an extended period of time, so Zoe shouldn't worry – that was the point of my extreme sarcasm.

    And anyway, so what if Zoe has gained 10kg? So what if Zoe has gained 20kg? I've gained about 15kg since the start of the year and I'm not worried because nothing feels wrong. I've had to buy new clothes – which was annoying – but I feel fine. I don't get sick more often. I'm not more tired than usual. My asthma hasn't given me any grief. I haven't had more mood swings than usual. I haven't had unusual food cravings. If my body was feeling the strain from an 'excessive' gain, it would tell me. I would notice more changes in my body than just the number on the scale.

    Finally, yes you are still allowed to have an opinion. It's just that in this instance, your opinion was wrong and we told you so.

  • http://www.axisoffat.com Zoe

    Frances, I was all ready to reply, and you took pretty the much entire planned comment out of my head (although probably better phrased than mine would have been!)

  • scrabblellama

    Wow. Just wow.

    It's *really* stupid but… I had no idea I wasn't the only person going through this stuff until I stumbled onto this website and your blog. My weight has yo-yoed with my disordered eating (bulimia and all kinds of fun) and I find myself free from the disordered eating but bigger than I have been.

    It is really hard to accept yourself and most days I feel like I am failing at it… but then most days I do push myself to eat properly and it has been months since my last binge/purge.

    Keep up the good work, it might not feel like you are winning but look, you are choosing to look for acceptance in yourself and others, accept that for the positive it is.

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