By Megan Samuels, MSW, LMSW, Outreach Coordinator
Struggling with staying off of the scale in eating disorder recovery can be difficult. If you find yourself struggling to stay off of the scale, these reasons are for you.
1. The number on the scale does not define your worth.
When struggling with an eating disorder, you may feel like the number on the scale is really all that matters. Trying to get yourself to weigh a certain amount to achieve that goal or desire for yourself. If we think about a scale, it’s basically a piece of metal and plastic with batteries in it. How is it that we are allowing a piece of metal and plastic with batteries in it to define our worth in this world? You are worth SO much more than a number on a scale. Consider your values vs. your eating disorder values (check out this blog post on values).
2. Staying off the scale is a win for your recovery.
Even if you have already stepped on the scale today, you don’t need to throw in the towel and think that recovery is ruined. Each chance that you have an urge to go on the scale is a new opportunity to decide if you want to listen to your eating disorder or if you want to listen to your recovery. Each time you have a recovery win, that part of yourself that believes in eating disorder recovery grows stronger and stronger. This strength can help you to choose recovery over your eating disorder in future situations.
3. An urge to weigh yourself typically means something else is going on.
What prompted this urge? Did you get a bad grade on a test? Did you get in a fight with your partner? Understanding what event contributed to the urge to weigh yourself may help you get in touch with the emotion that you are experiencing. For example, if you get upset at a friend, you may feel angry or disappointed - and those feelings are valid!! If you are able to identify those emotions, by thinking, “I feel angry,” you can then decide what action you want to take based on that emotion. You could go weigh yourself. Or instead, you could journal about your feelings of anger and why you got upset at that friend. Here, we see that there are two actions that we can take for the same emotion. One of the actions, weighing yourself, is most likely aligning with your eating disorder values and the other action, going to journal about your feelings, is most likely aligning with your recovery values.
You can also check out this blog post on coping with eating disorder urges, as journaling doesn’t have to be the only option that aligns with recovery when you have an urge to step on the scale, purge, restrict, binge, or exercise.
If you are hesitant to not step on the scale, remember that so many people struggling with body image and eating disorders feel urges everyday to step on the scale. You are not alone in this and this process can be really scary!
You got this!
Schedule a free 15 min consult for therapy in MD and VA or recovery coaching worldwide.
The Eating Disorder Center is a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center founded by Jennifer Rollin. We specialize in helping teens and adults struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, OSFED, and body image issues. We provide eating disorder therapy in Rockville, MD, easily accessible to individuals in Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Olney, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Washington D.C. We also provide eating disorder therapy in Arlington, Virginia and virtually throughout Virginia. Additionally, we offer eating disorder therapy virtually in New York (NYC), Florida, and California, serving those in cities including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, San Jose, and Beverly Hills. We provide eating disorder recovery coaching via Zoom to people worldwide. Connect with us through our website at www.theeatingdisordercenter.com
*Disclaimer: The information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for your independent medical decision-making nor a recommendation or endorsement for any particular treatment plan, organization, provider, professional service, or product.
The Eating Disorder Center
We are a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center in Rockville, Maryland.