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Penny Century

Scales: to own or not to own?

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I lapse in and out of denial about my eating/food issues.

Right now I'm going through a "being real" with myself phase/ I also happen to be going through a hard-core fasting thing.

The thing is, hungry isn't something I ever am right now. I remember a time when I would wake up starving in the morning, but that is very not right now. Now I eat because the alarm on my iPhone says "eat" and more often than not I forget to eat even then. The only time I'm hungry is after I work out, but I can't do that 3xs a day.

I don't own a scale b/c I feel like that would make me obsessive, but all I do is think about how much I dislike how I look anyway, so maybe if I did weigh myself, and I saw that I was, in fact, loosing, I would eat?

If I drop below a certain weight my Dr. will switch my meds and I don't want that. Also there are other health consequences for dropping below the weight I am at, I was stable for six months, and I want to stay that way.....

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I can't speak to anyone else's experiences, but getting rid of the scale was the best thing I did for myself early on in my recovery. Yeah, I was obsessive about my eating anyway, but having the scale just made things worse.

There are PLENTY of consequences to being underweight. Lack of energy, hair loss, lanugo. Cessation of menses and malnutrition ca cause early osteoporosis. Electrolyte imbalances can cause cardiac problems, including heart attack and death.

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I think it is different for everyone. I know some eating disordered people who have a scale but could not care less about the number on it.

Personally, I have a scale. I made a deal with myself that if I get on it too often, I'll stash it away or put it in my roommate's closet. So far, so good. I have a fear of gaining weight on psych meds, so stepping on a scale every few weeks helps me to stay on my medication. That said, several years ago I never would have even entertained the idea of owning a scale.

I think only you can decide whether having a scale would be triggering and pose a threat to your recovery.

My advice: be honest with yourself, and seek the opinion of your tdoc/doctor if you aren't sure what would be best.

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I am at a point where I'm tempted to fall back into the ED. I have a scale. I *AM* highly overweight.

I think the fact that now my meds are working and I'm eating and feeling full sometimes and stuff and I'm loosing weight makes the scale make me feel like I don't need my ED to loose weight.

I know you are on a different spectrum. Have you ever owned a scale to think of past experiences? if it was negative, then I'd suggest no. But if you think a scale would be a healthy reminder like "oh, its too low" and not "Oh I need it lower" Maybe it'd be okay, and if it switches to the latter get rid of it immediately.

I know someone who if they are being real with themselves, and their weight is getting too low the scale is a good healthy reminder to eat. If they are in a cycle of oh, I'm eating too much when they are hardly eating, the scale isn't good and they have someone take it from them.

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I am a strong believer in no scale in the house if you have an ED. No way, no how. Too easy to get negative with it.

Can you keep it at a trusted friends, where if the result is discouraging one way or another, you get immediate support and don't leave in an ED frenzy? or arrange to go in and weigh in at dr's once a week with the MA so you don't freak if it drops too low/gets to high? Most docs will do this for absolute free...

Once a week is fine for ED. It relaly is. If you are seeing a nutritionist (maybe you should be?) This is an ideal time to weigh in.

If you forget to eat, there are boost or ensure supplements. Drink them. I know they suck. They made us all drink them when I started on the unit we had to "do" bits of the program first to learn the experiences, which was a great idea. Drink them.

Anna

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I don't own a scale b/c I feel like that would make me obsessive, but all I do is think about how much I dislike how I look anyway, so maybe if I did weigh myself, and I saw that I was, in fact, loosing, I would eat?

hi Penny,

i think it depends entirely upon whether or not the scale is a true reality check for you.

i can get on the scale with one of two goals in mind: do i

(a) want to make sure i am still healthy and not slipping, or

(b) want to feel validated by my lack of intake because the number is small enough (like that's ever true)

i can go either way, depending on how severe my issues are at any given time (i'm a restricting kinda gal with an already bad appetite and a very sluggish metabolic rate).

i could not have a scale in the house for a very very long time. i wanted one so bad i would cry about it even, but i knew that every opportunity i ever got to weigh myself led to behaving worse. i couldn't allow myself the use of any kind of measuring device, whether that be scales, measuring tape, or even the tags on my clothes (almost all my clothes have the tags ripped off so i can't see the size). i left myself only very general indicators of my weight/size, such as how well my clothes fit this week or whether or not someone says i look ill.

then my husband needed to lose some weight, and scales became important enough to him to buy a set. he's losing weight the proper, healthy way, which is excruciatingly slow. so having the scale show him even a little loss helps him stay motivated in a big way. at first he kept the scale at work, but i think it embarrassed him (he doesn't have his own office). so then he carried it back and forth with his laptop, so i'd never be home alone with it (he knows me well in this regard).

the idea that he had to do that bothered me so much i swore i would learn to give that ridiculous contraption a PROPER place in my life. the scales have been here for a few months, and i haven't been on them in two weeks. at first, i was on them ALL THE TIME. however, i remained mindful that what i was doing was indulging an addiction that i was (am) deeply ashamed of.

i imagined myself acting on the numbers (which are fine, but of course i want them lower) and couldn't help imagining my husband's sad face. he looks so sad when he looks at me when i get too thin. i want him to be happy, and i want him to feel healthy and like his own body better too. at least for now, i can't let my ED be more important than him. the scale is helping him. it might not be helping me, but it can't hurt me unless i choose to get on it and run with my bad ideas.

(i know when my ED is at its worst, i can't even hear that, i HAVE TO KNOW, so if you aren't in that space i totally get it. what i wrote makes it sound like just staying off the scale is easy and that is the last word i'd use to describe the process.)

i think the key was that i finally found something more important to me than having to know what i weigh "right now", and that's my husband. it's the counter-thought i attack the urge with. if something is just for me, i'll let it go to hell 'til the cows come home... thank god i'm stubborn as hell when it comes to my loving my family (sometimes, heh). i think i'm doing well with it so far. it by no means helps me eat, want to eat, keep food down, any of that... but it keeps me off the scales, which is one small (important) part of the whole recovery thing for me.

is there anything *specific* you can think of that feels more important than knowing that number every single day (or several times a day if you're like me)? if you don't have that mental counter-attack planned, i'm afraid it might be too hard to get away from the siren scale song.

and after all that, i'm going to do a complete about face and say...

HOWEVER - the most important consideration is that if you are losing weight you can't afford right now, anything that might help you turn that around is worth trying. sometimes, the scale HAS been a wake-up call for me, in that i didn't believe i had lost *that much* until i saw a digital representation. and it did therefore "make me eat" out of fear. if having scales accessible daily even just for now gives you motivation, then yay... chuck 'em out later if they don't shut up when you're at a healthy weight.

oh my god i hope i said something helpful, i'm sorry there's a novel in there...

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Thank you, everyone, for your replies, they really meant a lot. It's funny I'd forgotten how helpful this place can be when you're really floundering.

Lysergia you in no way wrote too much, thank you for sharing all of that, it was helpful.

I think I'm at the borderline between needing the wake-up call for health reasons but, yes Anna, you're also right, I've only been doing monthly weigh-ins with my pdoc for a reason. So I think I'll confide in a girlfriend and ask if I can use her scale once a week to make sure I don't slip into the danger zone. Though I'm really loathe to talk to the friend I have in mind about this. (The friend I have that I'd feel ok telling doesn't have a scale, heh.)

Once again, thank you to everyone who replied. This was very helpful.

Penny

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I have a scale, but I tend to try not to use it, as I can certainly get obsessive about those numbers. Instead, I kind of keep track of things based more on how my clothes are fitting, and only get on the scale when I clearly seem to be either losing or gaining, to get a clearer picture of what's going on.

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I weigh in daily but I've never had an ED. I did it because I threw out the scale when depakote entered the house and I gained 40 lbs. So for me, it's a difficcult issue entirely.... The numbers creep up, I go back on my diet, strict, whcih is not to say I am obsessive about it past what I consider normal-ish for this society.

never had below normal bmi or a meal I could not eat, heh.

Anna

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If you have a friend you're more okay talking with it about. Buy a scale ask her to keep it at her place so you can weigh in once a week. Then its not as awkward with the other friend.

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