Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | June 21, 2010

Dear Scale: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Dear Scale:

Two weeks ago I initiated a new start to our relationship. In the past few years, as you know, we have been broken up and separated for my health. I thought now, years into recovery, perhaps our relationship would be different. I thought since I was healthy, going to pilates, I could have a healthy relationship with you. I thought our past didn’t have to define our future. I started the relationship slowly, by initiating in a “safe” place for me – my pilates studio. I stepped on you and at first you refused to engage in the relationship. I perhaps should have taken this as a sign. I walked away disappointed but calm, thinking more deeply about whether I was initiating this relationship too soon.

A few days later I re-engaged you and this time you responded. You are one with few words, and simply gave me a number. There was no discussion, or interaction between us. I walked away almost giddy & high from the number. This reaction concerned me. An instant, gut reaction, to a small moment of interaction. I was not happy about the gut reaction, and had to think about this for a while. I know 1) I am healthy and 2) I have been doing pilates 3 times a week, so it is only normal for my weight to fluctuate from a few months ago when I was at the doctors’ office.

A few days later I again initiated this relationship. Anxiety over took me for a moment after you again had few words, no discussion and just gave a number. This time it had changed again, and I was concerned as I looked in the mirror to analyze if a few days could have led to the change. This moment of self criticism, instantly affected my body image. At this point I should have walked away. But I did not. At a friends’ house this weekend, again a safe place, I engaged our relationship again. The number you gave me hit me in the gut, and freaked me out. I no longer felt safe in the interactions we have had in the last few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong – I was the one who initiated this relationship. I pursued it. But I have to say it is no longer a working relationship, at least at this point in time. This is definitely not about you, but all about me. Sometimes relationships don’t work out; sometimes it’s all about timing, so for now I have to break up with you again. I realize now I am more engaged in this relationship than you. Often we have to weigh the pros and cons of what we give and are given in the relationship. I realize you do not give me what I need in a relationship, you do not give me support, love, dialogue, hugs, you only give me a one word replyies with no further discussion.

I am in a different place in my life, and stronger in recovery, and yet our relationship brings nothing but self doubt, self criticism, obsessive thinking, and constantly questioning if I am doing something right or wrong, and if I need to change for you to give me what I want. This is a place I need to be vigilant on. I have to choose me, my recovery, my health, and find and build relationships that are supportive, kind, loving, real and HONEST. You do not give me anything. You do not tell me I am healthy or not, you do not tell me my worth, you do not define me. I am simply and unequivocally worth MORE than what you give me.

I kept thinking I had to change to make the relationship work; I had to change how I respond to you, and react. Perhaps this is the truth, but I know that for NOW I cannot be in a place where a healthy relationship can exist between us. And I am OK with walking away for my health, piece of mind, and self care.

Goodbye for now.



  1. I think I find that I am generally happier without my scale, even without the daily body test the wii fit offers (prefers I take).

    I think as long as you know and feel that you are healthy, that is all that matters. The scale produces nothing but a number that is either too high or too low for our ‘typical’ standards. (Whichever way it goes, it creates a not to healthy reaction that could resinate in someone for a long time).

    You’re absolutely right, there’s no reason to continue a one-sided relationship such as that with the scale. I have been beyond tempted lately to purchase another one, but maybe that isn’t such a good idea.

    Good for you for breaking off that relationship early-on! 🙂

    • I am not one to care normally about the scale. I think it is toxic for a lot of people in early recovery. I think for me it was seeing it as not a healthy relationship. It just doesn’t give me what I need – and that is why I wrote it as a letter. Think its a powerful tough lesson to learn, and am grateful to be in strong recovery to be able to learn the lesson quick and walk away now! 🙂

  2. I think it’s time to start a scale-burning movement (so to speak) in the same vain as the bra burning movement. Very rarely can anything positive be gained from frequent dates with a scale. If you trust your body and treat it right, that’s all that matters. So glad you broke up again, and I really would like to see you file a restraining order against the scale so it can’t come close to you again and hurt you anymore. You are better than the scale!

    • I LOVE the idea of a restraining order! Its funny – I tell everyone in recovery to protest the scale, and I thought maybe in strong recovery I can handle things differently. Well maybe so – but not now. It is a lesson hard learned, but so worth it. I have to know what triggers things in me, and what is healthy and not. So the challenge and lesson was learned 🙂

  3. Throwing out my scale was definitely the best decision I have ever made. I wanted to use the one in the nurse’s office in my school when she wasn’t there, but I decided it would just be a waste of time.
    I’m so glad that you are breaking off from the scale. This was such an amazing and inspirational post! (like always!).

  4. love. love. love this post.

    • Thank you so much!

  5. Thank you for posting this. I need to lose weight, I really need to. However, I have an unhealthy relationship with the scale as well. Your post helped me make the decision, to instead of referring to it as losing weight, I will refer to it as losing size and not give a darn about having any type of relationship with my scale. I appreciate the clarity you have given me through what your wrote.

  6. LOVE this! 😀

    During my first year of ED treatment, i decided that i too, needed to ‘break up’ with my scale – we have been ‘seperated’ for a couple of years now.

    During that time, we have had a few flings though – a one night stand here & there, or perhaps even a fling lasting a week or so…. See More
    But each time i have attempted to engage in this relationship again – hoping that it might be different this time around – i have only found myself hurt yet again.

    Still, i have not reached a point where i feel ready to end our relationship for good.
    I am currently exploring whether my pursuit of a relationship with my scale, is really something worth working on. As time passes i feel stronger in my belief that my energies may be misdirected.

    My scale & i are currently seperated.

  7. Love this post. Funny, I just got on our scale today. I’ve been wanting to for about a week and really, it was a test to me. I didn’t really care about the number (really, I didn’t), but I wanted to see my reaction.
    I saw the number and felt nothing. It satisfied a mild curiosity and that was that. I was proud of myself for being able to do it with no attachment to the outcome. I thought about it for a while afterwards….thought, “What was I trying to prove?” And really, it was nothing. I thought for a moment, “Maybe this is what people with a healthy body image feel like” ?? That made me….content. At home. Finally.

  8. Almost one year into ED recovery, I cringe at the idea of even flirting with my now-estranged scale. I won’t even let the nurse tell me my weight when I go to the doctor.

    My scale had WAY too much power over my day, based on one little number. Of course, that was power I gave him to begin with. So you’re right, “it’s not you. it’s me!”

    Great post. Thanks.

  9. Great post! It really makes me think more about my attitude to the scales and weight. It’s not telling me anything, but I always take the number (whatever it is) and allow it all this power until it drives me crazy.

    Anyway, all power to you and thanks for sharing this.

  10. beautiful. I haven’t weighed myself in 3 years, and I don’t have scale in my house 😀 I also try to forget what they say at the doctor’s office, though unfortunately (in this case at least) I have an iron-clad memory.

  11. […] favorite post. “Dear Scale: It’s Not You, It’s Me” by Kendra Sebelius at Voice in […]

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