For the past four months, I've been avoiding scales. Scales are triggers for me. Numbers are scary. (It's why I go to DreamSchool. We don't have to deal with math here. PHEW.)
From January until a few weeks ago, I didn't know what I weighed. My nutritionist weighed me backwards so I couldn't see the number. I don't keep a scale, so I couldn't be tempted to check. I had a general idea of what I thought I was...and that number was enormous to me, so I kept up the purging cycle in a desperate (and misguided) attempt to get smaller.
Then, a few weeks ago I was at a friend's apartment. We'd been drinking wine, and I was WELL on my way to tipsy-town. I knew my friend had a scale in her bathroom, and before I could stop, I weighed myself.
To say I was shocked at the number would be an understatement. I hadn't seen a number that low since I was a sophomore in high school. That number meant that I was no longer classified as medically overweight — it meant that I was, for the first time in years, normal.
Ever since then I've been terrified. What happens if I don't purge after I eat something I'm not comfortable with and I go above that weight? What happens if I gain? What happens if I become overweight again?
I'm scared of what purging is doing to my body — I know the medical side effects. I know each time I purge I'm hurting my esophagus, damaging my digestive track, wreaking havoc on my teeth and gums and doing scary things to my heart. But now I'm so, so scared to stop, because right now I'm normal, and what happens if I eat and then don't throw up and I gain? What if I get fatter? I tell myself that it's unhealthier to be medically overweight than to purge, though the rational side of me knows that's not true.
This morning I weighed myself again.
The number was even lower than it was a few weeks ago. Not much, but it was lower. In my head, all I can think is I'm doing something right and also I've never felt more fat and disgusting in my life.
Getting dressed is an exhausting, stressful ordeal each morning. I can't find clothes that fit, that look okay, that don't make me look like a whale. I avoid mirrors, because I want to throw up when I look at myself. All I see is fat, and ugly.
The rational side of me knows that I'm the smallest I've been in a long, long time. But the eating disorder side of me keeps up a constant barrage of insults. I'm fat. I'm ugly. My body is disgusting. Nobody will ever, ever want to be with me.
I'm scared of the number on the scale going up. I'm scared of how big I feel right now, when the number is (for me), low. I'm not underweight by ANY means, but right now I'm normal. And that's petrifying. What happens if I'm not normal anymore? What happens if I just get fatter?
The way my body image is right now...I can't even think about letting go of the purging behaviors. I can't imagine my body being any more fat and disgusting than it is right now. Fighting this monster is a bitch, you guys, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
I'm trying to love myself. I'm trying to love my body. But goddamn, I just feel so gross.