Dear Scale, It’s Been Years.
I know it’s been over 12 months since our last encounter.
I remember the moment vividly, not because it was special, but because it happened every day for three whole years. Each morning I would shuffle, bleary-eyed, into the bathroom and drag you from the closet. I’d cross my fingers, say a prayer and climb onto your glass platform.
Though you were the cold and silent type, I faithfully sought your approval, waiting upon your flashing black numbers to validate my existence and measure my value.
A low weight (at or below an impersonal and culturally dictated goal) meant good days, more smiles, a daily allowance of bread or other indulgences and a temporary peace of mind.
High numbers (above society’s warped ideals of health and beauty) meant horrible days, frustration, mood swings, calorie deficits and compulsive mirror checks to pinpoint exactly where those extra pounds were gathering.
My stomach. Always my stomach.
That space below my belly button and above my underwear line was home to the pounds that separated me from perfection. It was the space that kept me from loving you, the space that kept me from loving myself.
“If only a few inches would go,” I thought, “then you’d have something nice to say for once. Then I’d feel worthy. Then we’d find love.”
As you know, we never did find it. But still I tried to make our relationship work. God knows I tried.
It’s just that there were rarely any kind exchanges between us. You were too unyielding, too blunt.
You constantly told me what I didn’t want to hear while I desperately scrambled, forcing my body to change your mind. I left our rendezvous disheartened yet determined.
“Tomorrow,” I’d say, “I will try again. If today I can work harder, run longer, eat less, and lift more, I can wake up and have one more chance at the scale’s blessing.”
Each night, in anticipation of meeting you, I would inventory my food intake and analyze my behavior.
“Will tomorrow be better?”
“Had I done enough?”
“Would you finally tell me what I wanted to hear?”
“Could I allow myself some freedom from the food restrictions and exercise obsessions?”
“Would I ever see that elusive number, the one you teased me with years ago when our relationship was young?”
We both know those answers.
Eventually I got sick of trying to change you. I was wearied from waiting for you to come around.
And tired. So so tired of allowing what you said to control the course of my days, my weeks, my months and years.
For three entire years, I believed that only you could tell me I was beautiful. For over 1000 days, I hustled for my worthiness under your thumb.
Until that one glorious fall morning, when I stayed curled up in bed instead of meeting you at our usual place and time. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and made a decision to leave you.
And it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I’m sorry (not sorry) if you’ve been lonely. But, we simply weren’t right for each other.
You’re short, cold, stubborn, judgmental and unpredictable. Not to mention your lack of facial hair is a complete turn-off.
I’m not sure what I ever saw in you. I’m not sure why I allowed you to have such influence over me.
I never expected to be one of those girls who sought approval in a relationship. I didn’t think I’d rearrange my life or put my dreams on hold waiting for another to deem me valuable. I hadn’t anticipated that someone or something could ever control me.
But you did.
And that’s why I had to break it off.
Last October I broke up with you.
Today, I break you!
Lu Uhrich is a life and body image coach who specializes in counseling women to overcome their struggles with yo-yo dieting, food restriction, binge-eating, self-hatred and other unwanted behaviors. Through her deeply personal and thoughtfully tailored one-on-one coaching programs, Lu guides clients to end the exhausting hustle for food and body perfection by finding out who they really are, what they truly want, and how to finally get it. Visit her website for more from Lu, and follow her on Instagram for a daily dose of self-love inspiration.