Think of typical fears: heights. the dark. spiders. These are all common phobias that most people can understand. 130. Why was I afraid of a number? It wasn’t going to jump out at me in a shadowy alley, or push me over a ledge. But in my mind, it was worse than all of those things combined.
130. My starting line. My beginning point of weight loss. And at first. I didnt think much of it. But as the number on the scale dropped lower and lower each week, and the further I distanced myself from my previous weight, the more terrified I grew. Any amount of gain, to me, would be like taking a huge step back towards square one. And I REFUSED to let that happen to me. After all: I was the girl who was good at being skinny. If I didnt have that, what did I have?
This fear (along with a HOST of other factors, don’t get me wrong) is why I ended up in Shadyside once a week sitting across from my counselor, trying to get better. I remember one particular conversation with her where I expressed that, while I did want to gain some of my weight back so I could be healthier, I absolutely did NOT want to climb back up to my original point. I was so adamant as that statement came out of my mouth. And she just looked back at me, and with such ease said “So what? What would be wrong if you got back up to 130?” And I couldn’t fathom the words that had just been spoken. I thought she was crazy. Gaining back 30 pounds meant losing all my hard work. My pain, misery, and new found identity had all been for nothing. So I just shook my head and bluntly told her that that just wasn’t happening.
5 years later, I can tell you that Im back to my starting point. Actually, I can confidently say that I’ve passed it. I have no idea what I weigh, but I can sure as hell tell you its more than 130. Time has given me perspective. I now understand what my counselor was talking about. What was the big deal of getting back to 130? I’ll tell you: There wasn’t one. I was scared for nothing. 130 pounds had such a hold on me that I wasn’t thinking rationally. My eating disorder didnt let me. And that is one of the biggest reasons I refuse to weigh myself today. Not because I’m scared. But because I quite frankly do not care what that number says.
I might still have my fears but I can say with with certainty that 130 is not one of them.
This post is in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. This years theme, Come as You Are, highlights NEDA’s movement towards inclusivity in the greater eating disorder community and the goal of unifying the field of eating disorders. In particular, Come as You Are sends a message to individuals at all stages of body acceptance and eating disorders recovery that their stories are valid.