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Open Discussion: Nov 14th-20th

It’s a new week at Free2WinGames! ^_^ I hope you’re having an awesome time with Points4Prizes. New bonuses and a list of last week’s winners will go up tomorrow, but until then, here’s the new Open Discussion thread for the week.

You can post whatever you want! Did you recently see an awesome movie? Find a new book or recipe that’s too good to keep to yourself? Or maybe you just had a mellow week lounging around with your pets. ^_^ Share whatever is on your mind!

But if you can’t think of anything at all, you can tackle this week’s question from Thought Questions.

nov14thphoto by IDL Photo

If you can’t see the picture, it asks, “What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?” I picked this question because I already have an answer for it. ^_^

[Trigger warning for food & body image issues]

If you follow me on twitter at all, you may have heard me say this already.

Short answer: The best decision I ever made was to get rid of my bathroom scale.

Long answer: I don’t remember how old I was when my parents put a scale in the laundry room, but I do remember stepping on it every day once it was there. I knew how much my mom and my sisters weighed too, and I constantly compared myself to them.

I would tell myself, “I’m not fat as long as I’m weigh less than ___ pounds,” but I didn’t really believe it. The numbers on the scale were higher than my older sister’s numbers, so I must be fat!

In high school I started dieting. A close friend told me she lost 50 lbs by drinking Dr. Pepper for breakfast and eating nothing until dinner. I envied her dedication.

When I got to college I was a little freer for a while and I gained some weight. So, my sophomore year I purchased a scale to keep in my dorm room, and I weighed myself several times a day. If the number went down even a little bit I’d be ecstatic. If it went up (even a tenth of a pound) I’d get depressed.

Near the end of my college years I had a LOT of stress going on and I gained more weight. A lot more. When I pulled out my trusty scale I was horrified and sank further into depression. Eventually I moved to a new city and basically hid from the world. I didn’t want to commit the grave offense of being fat in public! After a while I decided to “get serious” about weight loss, mainly because I was afraid of getting type 2 diabetes from being fat.

I made spreadsheets to track my food intake and my weight. I measured and weighed everything that I ate. And yes, the weight came off. My ego soared as the compliments rained in. I was hungry, but I was beautiful! With my new burst of confidence I crawled out of reclusion and pursued various jobs. Things were looking up!

I had been on a fairly extreme diet, and as I neared my goal weight I started tapering off and resumed a “normal” diet. The weight kept coming off! I reached my goal weight and kept on going. Some new friends told me that was awesome, and wasn’t it great that my metabolism had finally kicked in? I smiled and spread the same joyous lie to anyone who would listen. Yay metabolism! At that point I could eat anything I wanted and not worry about it!

Except I did worry about it, because I was still losing weight.

In time I crossed the threshold of “Wow! You look great!” into “Wow.. Um… You’re really skinny.”  I got bruises just from sitting on the toilet because there wasn’t anything to cushion my bones! Even my boyfriend commented that I looked anorexic. By that point I was consuming at least 3000 calories every day, and I still lost weight.

I started to get weak.

Finally, one night I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I felt nauseous and barely had the strength to stand. It was late, so my boyfriend took me to the ER.

The next few hours were really hazy, but I remember a doctor leaning over me and saying, “You have diabetes.” All I could think of was, “But I lost weight so I wouldn’t get diabetes!”

After learning that yes, I really had Type 1 diabetes, despite the complete absence of it in my family history, I spent a few days in the hospital. Once I was back home and on insulin, the weight started coming back. And no, I wasn’t eating 3000 calories a day anymore. It was mostly veggies, a little bread, a little meat, and some fruit. :P

At first I was glad that I was gaining weight. ^_^ But as the number went higher than my “ideal,” I started to get depressed again. I actually went 9 months without seeing my doctor because I was so embarrassed about the weight I’d gained! (Diabetics are supposed to go every 3 months.)

Eventually I stopped gaining weight, but by that point I was exactly where I was before I started the “serious” diet, and I was fighting some major depression.

Then one day I realized something. I realized that I defined my self worth by the number on that damn scale. If I weighed more than what I *thought* I should weigh, well then I was just a shitty person. But if I weighed less than this magical number, WOW! That means I’m awesome!

I pulled this thought process out of my head, looked at it, and decided that was a stupid way to live. I am a fat woman, but I’m an amazing fat woman. ^_^ It took a long, long time to accept my body as being wonderful as it is, but ditching the scale was the first step in the right direction. When I get weighed at the doctor’s office I don’t look at the scale and I ask them not to tell me the number. I haven’t had a number to obsess over for 2 years now, and it’s liberating!

If you’re ready to tell me all the health perils of being fat, I encourage you to visit this site and read a while. (Especially check out the Obesity Paradox links in the sidebar.) The author provides links to all of the research so you can see the proof for yourself. You’ll be surprised!

But no matter what, I’d rather be fat and happy than fat and miserable. When I look in the mirror I see a beautiful, wonderful person. I feel good about myself!

Now, you might be wondering why I don’t post pictures if I think I’m so awesome. ^_^ Well, here’s the hard truth: I have followed several blogs of openly fat women, and there is a disturbing theme. All of them, at one point or another, have shared some of the vicious comments and emails that they’ve received about their weight. It’s ugly. Whatever you’re imagining, make it 100x worse and you might be close to it.

Although I’d love to be a paragon of self-love and acceptance, I also have to face reality. If I put my pictures up, I will be insulted. It might be some random kid who has nothing better to do, or it might be an adult who I’ve ticked off, but it will still happen. I know my history of depression is in the past, but a big reason why it’s not in the present is because I’ve learned what I can and can’t handle. Most days I can handle insults just fine, but I’m not always brimming with confidence and optimism. To protect myself from attack on days where I’m not as strong, I keep my photos offline.

I didn’t mean to share so much, but I also really wanted to share. *^_^* What you might think is just an insignificant change may turn out to be the first step in a long, but worthwhile journey. I know I never imagined that getting rid of the scale would change my life so dramatically!

So, how about you? What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?


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