It beacons me from across the room. “Come to me now! No excuses. Get naked if you must, but it won’t really matter. Just come.”
I don’t want to. I hate weighing myself. I hate my scale. My relationship with my scale has never been a good one. It is my demonic Dom. We have played a game of non-consensual S/M for as long as I can remember. There is no negotiation and there are no safe words. And what’s worse, I never know what it’s going to tell me as the numbers light up its sneering digital face. There is absolutely no way to prepare myself for each encounter.
For years, I simply stopped weighing myself. Even though everyone told me that if I wanted to be a successful dieter or, even more important, a successful weight maintainer, I would have to make friends with the scale. If I wanted to lose weight, my counselors advised, I would have to “weigh in” once a week. If I was on a maintenance plan, I’d have to engage every other day. There are different weigh in strategies depending on which circle of weight control hell you’re in.
The experts and my mother didn’t really understand what my scale could do to me. Oh sure, if I was “good” and the numbers dropped or held (depending on my goal of the moment) I would feel fabulous. There might even be dancing or a ritual weight loss meal that included a forbidden treat to celebrate the moment! After all, I earned it.
But if the satanic beast’s glowing numbers went up, I came unglued. There wasn’t enough mood disorder medication in the world to stop my self loathing. I had to flee that toxic relationship. I couldn’t take the ups and downs. The scale was unrepentantly abusive.
Oh sure, lots of people encouraged me to stay in the relationship. They advised counseling, and group therapy like Weight Watchers where I could weigh in with the knowledge that I’d be safe. There would be support and strategies for coping with the constant fluctuations that were the barometer of my life. But I knew better.
My separation from the scale lasted exactly 10 years. That decade of freedom allowed me to heal many of my issues around body image and my relationship with food. I was into size acceptance, eating intuitively, and plus sizes. I was the living incarnation of a chubby, chic, sex goddess. I labeled myself “Curvy” and I even wrote a book about my transformation and sexual awakening that was in part due to ditching the diet and dumping the scale. It all worked for me. It even launched me on a new career path–author, life coach, sexuality and weight provocateur/blogger. I thought I had beaten the scale. But no one never ever beats “the Dom.”