Thursday, October 7, 2010

Freedom from the Insanity of the Scale

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

As I approach 60 days of H.O.W. abstinence, I have been reflecting a lot on where I'm at now, emotionally, spiritually and physically.Today I'm especially grateful that, as I surrender my life and my will to God's care, I am being freed from the insanity of compulsive weighing.

I have been using a website called Skinnyr for the past several years to track my weight. You can set it up to just click a button and record your weight for the day, and then it creates a graph for you. Now, believe me, I am well aware of the dangers of a site like this (especially a site with a name focusing on the word skinny), but I guess I'm looking at it as an instrument or a tool. In and of itself, it's a neutral thing that can be used in healthy or unhealthy ways, just like a scale.

As I look back on my graph over the past three years (I started keeping track on October 13, 2007), I am struck by how obvious the progression of my disease is! The ups and downs, the desperate attempts to control my food and my weight. I got on that crazy scale at least twice a day - morning and night. I let it control me. I would get on it sometimes 4-5 times in a single day, seeing how different things affected it. Was I lighter after I worked out? After I got out of the shower? After I went to the bathroom? After I fasted for half a day?

And no matter how I tried to control my eating, no matter how "successful" I was at losing weight for a period of time, I always found myself binging again. I always lost control. My addiction always kicked my ass. My "high" weights kept getting higher and higher. It's not hard to imagine where I might have ended up without intervention.

Yesterday I looked at the graph and realized that I'm not afraid. Today I'm not concerned about my weight or my body. I'm confident that my weight and the shape of my body will take care of itself as I surrender myself to God. A huge part of that is surrendering my compulsivity around weighing myself. I hide the scale so I'm not tempted. I weigh once a month, on the 19th. I like the graph for the last couple of months. Slow, steady, healthy weight loss. Not my frantic weighing, changing what I ate and how I lived from day to day in a ridiculous attempt to force the scale to reflect what my sick mind wanted so badly to see... No. Now it's a reflection of a transformation. A spiritual awakening. A surrendering to God's good plans for me.

I still feel anxious sometimes. I want to weigh myself. I want to see "how I'm doing," and then I remember that what I weigh is really none of my damn business. I give myself, body and soul, to my God today, to build with me and to do with me as God will. I surrender. And I'm finding peace and recovery, one day at a time.

One more thing: I don't want to come across like I'm all better. I'm still a sick man. I'm still a compulsive overeater, as I try to remind myself and all my readers with every introduction. I could slip this afternoon. I am always one choice away from relapse. But for today, I am so, so grateful for 59 days of abstinence and for peace, clarity and freedom.


Sabilon said...

Hi Charlie,
I have not been following your blog for a long time, somehow got distracted. So am very pleased to still find you here. I am finding you so inspiring! Like you, I am a compulisive overeater, and I have had some 'dodgy food times', slipping a lot. The odd thing is, I also weigh myself on the 19th! Each month. My weight has been stable for at least a year (but is still too high), but one day I can feel ok, and the next day, still at the same weight (I assume, I haven't checked) I feel like a fat monster.
I have also started a blog, but got discouraged because nobody has been responding. Have only written a little bit. It is on , in case you want to 'visit'. Would inspire me to write more.

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Great, Sabilon! I visited your blog and left a comment there... Hope you'll keep it up! Sounds like you have a lot of experience, strength and hope to share.

I added your blog to my blogroll...

Sabilon said...

Thank you, Charlie!

Will said...

The words from your blog ---- "And no matter how I tried to control my eating...I always found myself binging again." are like music to my ears today, Charlie...absolute head wakes me up every morning and before I can take a breath it has already set up shop complete with a "I'm a normal eater" counter-top, some matching "I don't have a disease" chairs and the ever helpful "I can do this all on my own" carpet as the foundation of my day. I am at the jumping off point every day (not suicide, my you, but more it jump into that choice or this choice) and after an evening of celebration (friends wedding) and anxiety/anger/fear (former friends whom friendship ended deathly terrible present), I am here today and ready to start my day (even though it's now 4pm)---anyways....the big picture is what I can identify with in this post...moment by moment if I take the steps that I need to stay in the river of the spirit of my recovery, so to speak, I can keep the gift of abstinence...I can even look at where I have been (for example) with the scale and see the minute-by-minute insanity of my behaviors around food and life....if there was such a thing as a life scale that measured not weight, but sanity, joy, freedom, service, peace, love and most importantly living presently, it would likely reflect the one that you posted on your blog, for me. I just saw my weight (and my life) go up and down, again, again, again and then now...I can see the steady progression of recovery and today, that is what I am reaching for instead of the extra food that I don't need...thank you again Charlie---your experience, strength and hope...keep on brother!!!!

Charlie O. Edinburgh said...

Will... I am so grateful that my words could be encouraging to you! I hope you "keep coming back." It's working for me, one day at a time. It can work for you too.