So I discovered my weight for the first time in over 5 months yesterday. It doesn't matter how I did it, I've known for the past few weeks that somehow I was going to find a way to get on a scale. I was morbidly curious. I thought I had a pretty accurate body image and I was nearly bang on guessing my weight. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with though. In 8 months I have gained over 16kg. That's not easy to swallow when that's not the plan that was laid out for me when I arrived after gaining the first 5kg at home.
I guess what's most interesting is what I have done with this information. Initially I was very upset but couldn't show it because I shouldn't have been able to get on that scale anyway but I managed to reach out to some people that I trust a lot. I worked through it in my head, processing, wondering what exactly to do with this information. At first, I started to think, 'Screw this. It's not worth it. I need to leave and lose just 5kg and I will feel safe again' but it was tempered with an equally strong thought of 'It's good to know I can judge where my weight is by how I look to myself and how my clothes feel. I've known all along that this is about where my weight needs to be for my body to funtion well and have anticipated this regardless of what I was told on the contrary. If i need to go back to boney, I can do that in the future but for now I am giving myself a chance to do things differently'. The number was upsetting but did not discourage me, or decrease my motivation and determination to give myself a solid shot at getting better. I'm not running away from the program. I'm not going to demand to lose weight or to decrease my meal plan. I enjoy the food I am eating and the quantity I'm eating is finally fullfilling my nutritional needs 100% and that is important for health and wellness.
What is so bad to look normal? Why has a small body ranging from emaciated to just a little on the scrawny side been what I need to feel safe in the world? At times it was an outward expression of my pain and determination to punish my 'bad' self. Later, when I knew I was risking my life at the weights I was maintaining and striving for and I committed to maintaining a slightly more reasonable weight it was just a way of staying in control and being able to reassure myself that I did not look normal and still held onto that as part of my identity.
My body is not my identity. I am not into body building, I'm not a ballerina or gymnast. Nothing I am interested in requires me to have a specific body type. I am interested in learning, in living, in being a good friend and sister and daughter. I like to feel strong and be active and have energy. I honestly love to eat good food and drink good wine - it's part of an enjoyable life for me. I like to cook and taste what I make. I like to appear capable and be trusted and called on. I value being present. I want to travel and experience worlds different than mine to the fullest. To achieve these things, I need a well body. A strong body. I need to be funtioning on a physical level that is compatible with life, not existance.
My body is my vehicle. It is my only vehicle for this life, I can't trade it in when it gets worn out or run down. I need to love that it has survived this long as well as it has and from now on cater to its needs so that it can provide what I demand from it.
Do I love myself...physically now but I can accept where my body needs to be and hopefully learn to love it. Internally, I might not venture so far as to say that I love myself but I think I like me...the real Julia is pretty cool actually. Far from perfect but as I become my own friend I demand less and less perfection.
I know that my family and friends do not judge me for my body. At my highest weight I might venture that I had more good friends than at my lowest and friendship is madly important to me. I will not lead a lonely life just to be a skeleton.
So, I have learned. It remains a fact that today, the day after I discovered my weight, my mood is still a little low. I'm still calculating and recalculating many many numbers and ruminating a little bit but it will not change my behaviour or send me to bed for the day. I don't hate myself over it, I'm just uncomfortable. And with this knowledge and attitude, I know that I have grown.
Tonight is Sleeping Beauty put on by the Russian Ballet. I am looking very much forward to it.
And the Christmas weekend begins!