I stepped on the scale today. I knew when Lent started that I should have a friend “foster” my dear scale, who tells me my weight in .2 pound increments and even what percent of my weight is composed of water and fat. It would be all too tempting to step on again if she still lived in my bathroom.
Honestly, I’m surprised that I made it a week and a half into Lent before breaking the fast. My reasons were convoluted and I’m still not entirely sure that I’ve got them all figured out. I’d like to think that I just got on there to reassure myself that I could keep eating according to the plan and I wasn’t going to balloon overnight. Then again, I knew I had been sick and was more than a little curious to see if I’d lost weight.
So I just wanted to know what I weighed. Because wouldn’t it be terrible for me to lose a few pounds and not even realize that I’d reached a new low weight? Wouldn’t it be a shame for me to finally reach that goal I had in mind before I started pursuing recovery and not even be aware?
And when I finally did step on the scale after work today my response was something like this: “Yay?”
“But you lost weight,” the crazy voice in my head says. “Be happy. Rejoice! Treat yourself to a sugar-free jello when your stomach finally stops twisting in knots.”
And part of me wanted to rejoice. Part of me wanted to jump up and down and run my hands over skin and bones to check for new gaps and evaluate which areas needed work still, the next five pounds. Always another five, ten, twenty pounds.
There was, at the same time, a part of me that cursed the loss. That knew that I just bought myself another few weeks of anxiety as I struggle to gain that back. I was, when I first decided to give recovery a shot, at a “healthy” weight for my height. This recent loss pushes me to the border of “unhealthy” in an objective sense, and even further from what I know to be the best weight for ME and MY BODY.
The weight at which my body is strong and capable of running for miles without stopping. The weight at which my body naturally settles with little fluctuations that are unnoticeable. The weight at which my brain is able to work properly and not find itself overwhelmed with obsession.
I keep reminding myself of that weight. How it is healthy, not fat like my mind would have me believe. How reaching that weight will be as big an exercise of trust in God as I could possibly imagine.
How every step, every .2 pound increment on the way is a step toward:
loving God completely.
It is a journey that starts now, with repentance for promises broken, a humble heart and a willingness to take on the anxiety all over again.
I must begin again.