Saturday, April 10, 2004

Worth the Weight

Well, since tomorrow's Easter, I suppose I can spill the beans (I mean confessions, not jelly bellys)-- the following is my essay on What I Gave Up For Lent. (um, or something)

The other day I picked up a couple of magazines at the grocery store. Last month I picked up a couple for my plane ride up north and one had some good looking previews for this month, so I wanted to make sure I got that one in particular. Unfortunately, since I don't buy magazines all that frequently, I couldn't remember the name of said interesting magazine, so I picked two that sounded familiar.

One of them was Self Magazine, a magazine for which I actually used to have a subscription. This is basically a beauty magazine about health and fitness. A couple years ago I ended my subscription, figuring that, in truth, the magazine wasn't a healthy beauty magazine alternative, but actually made me even more obsessed and concerned with exercise and my body's shape.

When I got home and realized what mag I had picked up, I was a bit unfurled. This is a magazine I'm supposed to stay away from, dangit! However, I opened it up to give it a skim and found the very first article to be about being happy fat, by a self-proclaimed fat woman (5'7", 220lbs). This article had some great quotes that I will post later since I forgot to bring the magazine and (sadly) couldn't find the article on their site. It is a very positive article about loving yourself for you and making changes for yourself and no one else and all sorts of stuff like that-- regardless who you are or what your shape.

Now, I know I'm not fat. I also know that I used to be 20-25 lbs heavier than I am now. Well, actually, I don't know that for sure because, you see, I gave up weighing myself for Lent. A seemingly odd, yet unbelievably difficult thing to do-- especially for someone who has been fighting eating disorders for a number of years. I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to step on a scale in the past 39 days. I never realized how much well, weight I give to my poundage. It's a sort of comfort, knowing that even though I had a piece of cake (or three) I still weigh the same amount and I didn't blow up like a balloon. There are certain times when the scale really is a comfort because, even though I feel fat, it tells me nothing's changed and it's all in my head.

It's been hard not having that comfort, that crutch, but it's been good. To be honest, I'm dying to know what I weigh, though I'm sure it hasn't changed much-- and I've even had a couple of doctor's appointments in which they've had to take my weight, so It's not even like I've gone the full 40 days without a weight check at all.

Just know you don't realize how much you use your elbow until you hurt it, I never knew how much I relied on that scale for comfort (and I don't even own one!) until I couldn't run to it. There have been days that have been extremely difficult without this crutch, but I think I'm learning to flex muscles I would have never realized I had unless I'd set it down. Now I just have to strengthen those muscles so that I can run to the One True Comfort. The greatest thing is, that even if I'm so weak that I can't hobble, much less run to Him, He'll come and sweep me up right where I've fallen. For that, I give great thanks and tears of mercy-filled joy.