I weighed myself a bit ago. It was the first time in four or five days, I think. I weighed 208 late last month and today I’m at 198.2. I even felt heavy stepping onto the scale today and was sure I was in for a disappointment. Ten pounds is a lot on a 5’8″ frame. I saw the difference in pictures from my birthday, but when I look in the mirror or when I touch my mid-section…I just can’t see it. People have told me I look smaller, but I just can’t see it.
I’m trying to eat. Yesterday I thought I ate a ton (upon counting calories it was 1300ish calories), but woke up with a rumbling stomach. I’ve managed to get down about 450 calories today, but I just can’t make myself eat any more. I feel so full, just the thought of eating more makes me nauseous. I’ve set an alarm on my phone for 4pm, that is when I will try to eat something whether I’m hungry or not.
I’m so conflicted. When I saw I was down ten pounds the rush of euphoria was intoxicating. I loved it, and I wanted to stand on the scale all day and just look at the number for how happy it made me. Hell, it made me want to strip down and try again to see if I could get it down to 198.0. And when my stomach is empty anymore, it’s delightful. That tells me that progress is being made, that I’m losing weight, and that soon I won’t be fat anymore and everything will be better.
And I know it’s all a lie. It’s a lie from a source I can’t escape and can’t rebut. I stepped off the scale, put it away, and I cried…I cried for feeling so damn good about being sick.
It’s so twisted. It’s like seeing spiders crawling up your arm which all of your friends assure you aren’t there. You may even accept they’re not there, but seeing them will still make you cringe, even knowing the truth. I’m aware of what’s going on in my brain. I’m aware it’s inhibiting my ability to parse reality. But this is still what I see, and it affects you even when you know it isn’t true.
The worst part is the Jekyll and Hyde type battle within my skull over what I need. Part of my brain tells me that not being fat is the key to being well, and that the joy of seeing progress on the scale is threatened by the people trying to convince me to eat, or by the therapist suggesting I should do away with the scale. It’s not that they don’t love me, it’s that they don’t know what’s going on in my head, and they’re all eat up with noble ideas of how people can love a fat person. They’re simply wrong, and if I’m to be well I have to defy them, even though they love me.
Then there’s the part of me I’m trying to preserve that knows to trust the people who care for me because they do love me for reasons other than my body, and that I can’t possibly be right, no matter how the world may appear to me. But closing my eyes and trusting people when they tell me to do scary things…it’s hard. I wish I was braver, but sometimes I panic and I cave and I just can’t do it. I’m not looking for sympathy or reassurance here – you’re unlikely to tell me anything I don’t already know. But it’s important to me that I do my best to communicate what this is like for anybody out there in the same shoes who may not have had as much experience with it as I. It’s also important for people who can’t imagine what this is like – for you, I wish I could do better when describing it.
Michaelyn is well aware: I trust myself quite a bit (sometimes too much). That tendency is quite the Achilles’ heel when I’m placed into a situation where the only healthy option is to not trust myself. Maybe the people around me won’t lead me very well (though they’ve never failed in the past). Even still, it cannot be worse than relying on yourself when you cannot possibly see what’s going on.
Love you guys. See you tomorrow.