Note: Trigger warning. This post mentions specific numbers. If you are at a point in recovery where this will be triggering, I do not suggest reading this post.
So guess what you guys, I weighed myself today.
I’m not going to be coy about it, I’m going to tell you exactly what I weighed. 105 pounds.
At 5’2” this puts me in the “normal” weight range for my height. The normal weight range for a 5-foot-2 female, according to THE INTERNET, is 104 to 131 pounds.
I specifically went out to weigh myself for the purposes of this post, and I will tell you why.
1. Because I just got my period.
Yea, let’s talk about periods! Mine has been MIA for the past year, and has been intermittent at best for the past 2 decades. For 7 years I didn’t get it at all at the height of my anorexia.
This has always bothered me because I know that a healthy cycle is a marker of health, and that when you are underweight it’s one of the first things to go as your body is like “Ok I’m not getting enough fuel here so I’m gonna cut out some of those pesky things like reproductive functions and keeping you warm and stuff”.
So, since I got my period, I wanted to get a rough idea of the weight at which my body felt comfortable letting all systems work normally again.
2. Because I was underweight before.
I won’t lie: last year I had a pretty significant relapse into restriction. My weight went down to about 95 pounds through a combination of cutting out all carbs, alcohol, and sugar. I am not going to lie: I liked having that extremely lean body. I liked the way clothes looked, I liked how prominent my veins looked. I liked how tiny my breasts were. But it wasn’t enough. I went down further—my lowest weight was 91. I started to look emaciated.
Was it worth it? No, friends, because while I had this body that pleased me aesthetically I was freaking zero fun to eat with and I was thinking about food FUCKING CONSTANTLY. If you had a conversation with me at any point between say March and October of last year, I apologize if I didn’t seem like I was fully paying attention but I WAS HUNGRY. Not always physically, because I was eating a high fat diet. But emotionally, yes.
Plus, an ex boyfriend who I am still close with said that I looked “creepy”. You know, I believe he was right.
(art by my awesome sister - Handsome Girl Designs)
3. Because I was curious.
So, in the recent months I actually and really stopped giving a fuck about what I eat. When I initially stopped tracking food and calories etc I was scared as fuck, like it would be a never ending process of just getting bigger and bigger until every single person in my life was talking behind my back about how I let myself go.
So, I knew I had gained weight, and it was very scary at first, but then it kind of leveled out. I had maybe three or four articles of clothing that I had to get rid of because they became too tight. Like, this size of size 00 shorts. I had to have a little talk with myself about that one, like “seriously, Jessie? Size 00 isn’t even a real people size, and there is no reason to need to fit into it.”
But really, most of my clothes pretty much still fit fine, and I kind of like my jeans to be tight anyway, because, you know, butts.
But I also know that I’ve gained more than weight. I’ve also stopped thinking about food every second of the day. I’ve also stopped avoiding situations where there might be food (yes, I used to do this). I’m still a freaking baby about the cold but it doesn’t seem to cut through me quite as bad as it did when I was underweight.
I also have more energy to lift weights and ride my bike now now, which are things I have realized I really enjoy doing. So I’m sure that that also plays into the weight gain because muscle weighs more than fat.
But moreover, perhaps the most profound change is that I have lost a lot of fear. Like, I had this huge fear of gaining weight and once I let myself, all that I experienced were good things.
ANYWHO long ways of saying, I have been feeling very good in my body recently, so I was curious how much I weighed so I could have an idea of what feels like a pretty optimal weight. 105, ok, cool.
My weight also makes me sad, and here’s why.
So, I was torturing myself to stay at about 95 pounds, like literally ruining my own life and letting it affect relationships etc. And all that it took to actually be happy and live a life that is so freaking superior to that one was about 10 pounds. 10 pounds to not be insane, to have my hair not fall out, to get my period, to not be obsessed with calorie tracking, etc.
What makes me sad is not that I gained the weight. What makes me sad is that I don’t know what took me so long.
Isn’t weighing yourself bad tho?
Weighing oneself is controversial in eating disorder recovery. For a long time I refused to do it. But now, I’ve decided not to care.
I think for me, it was a memory of childhood that made me decide that it was stupid to let a number on the scale have power over me.
When I was in elementary school, I have this memory of every kid in the class being weighed. And after we were weighed everyone would be like “how much do you weigh?”. And we compared, but then maybe five minutes later we were on to the next thing. Weight was nothing more than a novelty that became boring in mere minutes.
Maybe I’m not quite there yet, but I’d like to be able to return to that place—where weight really doesn’t matter.