By Annie Zomaya – As of the 18th of this month, I am a solid seven months into recovery from anorexia nervosa. That is such a huge milestone! By no means has this journey been easy. A lot of people think that recovery from a restrictive eating disorder is as easy as “sit down and eat,” but we know that there is so much more to it than that.
Within the past seven months, I have had my share of ups and downs. There have been days where I barely pay any mind to the ED, and other days where it’s a struggle just to eat breakfast. There have even been days when I just sat in my room and cried, asking myself, “What’s wrong with me?” But looking back from where I am now, I’m proud of myself for always getting back up and moving forward.
One pivotal day in this process was the day I smashed my scale.
I was only a couple months into recovery and I was about to have a serious relapse. I would just stand in the mirror and cry, and then stand on the scale and cry some more. The reason I still had a scale in my room was because I wanted to track my progress in weight restoration. I even drew the ED recovery symbol on it for motivation. That only worked for a little while. Soon the process began to reverse and I wanted to make sure I didn’t gain too much weight. My mother finally hid my scale from me, but one day in a fit of anger I searched the house and found it.
I stood on it one last time. I became angry with myself. Part of me was angry for putting on weight, but the better part of me was even angrier that I had come so far and allowed myself to fall back into old habits that kept me in bondage to this monstrous eating disorder. That was it. I knew that the only way to stop this relapse was to give up the things that were holding me back from a full recovery. When my mom got home later that day, I confessed to her what I had done and told her what I thought I needed to do. It was time to break up with my scale. I had to completely give up any excuse I had for keeping it. This was really hard and scary, but also extremely liberating. I thought of my scale as a security blanket—as long as I had it, I felt like I had some sort of control. In reality, the scale controlled me. It wasn’t a security blanket; it was a ball and chain.
I thought of a song I had heard a few days before: “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers. When I heard it I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s me… I want to get better!” So I blasted some music and took out all of my rage on the little twerp. This was really hard. And I don’t just mean emotionally—that thing was ridiculously durable. I mean, what are those things made of? Vibranium or something? We should make cars out of that stuff… Anyway, so I didn’t actually get to grind it to a pulp like I wanted to, but symbolically I had finally found the strength to destroy what had tried to destroy me. I also cut up the measuring tape I had hidden in my closet, and my mother took down the body-length mirror from the bathroom door and threw my scale in the trash where it belonged. This day was monumental.
My recovery quickly picked back up and has been on a mostly positive slope ever since. Of course I still have off days, but I am no longer a slave to a scale or mirror. The funny thing? I am more confident now than ever! I guess that’s what happens when you force yourself to recognize your own inner beauty and give up the superficial.
The only thing a scale can tell us is about our relationship with gravity. Defy gravity. No scale can measure how much we are loved or how incredibly precious we are.
About This Contributor
Annie Zomaya is a college sophomore from Kentucky, currently debating what to major in. She also has her own blog, Reconstructing Annie. She is 7 months into recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Proud2Bme is an online community by and for teens who want to change the way we talk about food, weight, and body image. They are building a nation where confidence rules by taking on the body bullies. With 90% of teens affected, their mission is to stamp out bodysnarking, once and for all.