As I battled my way through the Valley of the Shadow of Death that is anorexia, I got pretty used to believing that I don’t weigh enough. Somehow, even though I was stumbling through the steps of recovery so that statement would no longer be true, on some level, I clung to “skinny” as part of my identity.
The chains of an eating disorder have begun to finally fall away. And I am happy. Every single morning it feels brand new to behold my own body in the mirror. My little niece laughs when she rediscovers her belly button for the millionth time. That’s how I feel.
Almost like a distanced observer, I have seen myself rediscover my own taste and style. I am not a fancy girl. There isn’t a single pair of heels in my closet. For me, dressed up is a lavender, fitted shirt that complements my eyes and dark blue jeans. I swap the tennis shoes for a cute pair of flats. I have learned that I my natural hair color is soft brown, not strawberry blond. And I am happy. I am learning that I have enough within my own body to explore and relish all the goodness of my life.
Then, today the scale told me that I weigh enough. And it rattled me just a little bit. You see, for the last 19 years, the people who love me have told me that I am too thin. Their constant prodding to put on a few pounds became a part of my identity. Even though I have become healthier, some tiny part of me has rested in the thought that I am just slightly under weight.
Better too thin than too heavy right? The thought lay hidden just below my consciousness. That small deficit between my weight and the doctor’s chart gave me some padding and made me feel safe. Until today.
Today, the scale told me that I am enough.
I told myself that when this moment came, I would bravely turn and weigh backward, like I did at the treatment center. But suddenly, the moment came and without a clear thought, I stepped forward onto the scale. The nurse took her time documenting my blood pressure, just a few seconds too long. And I looked. Oh.
I expected my heart to fall through my chest and shatter on the floor at my feet the next time I saw that number, the number I weighed before I ever got sick. I expected to burst into hysteric tears, like those only my mother has seen. But my mind just registered, Oh.
I waited for the agony to hit. The doctor finished her exam, checked her last box, nodded politely and left the room. Slightly dazed, I floated through the sun-dappled parking lot. I felt God wrap His arms around me in the unseasonable 60 degree February afternoon.
I weigh enough. I am enough. I am well enough to trust God’s design of my very own perfect body. I am strong enough to be a life-giver. I have grown enough to put the memories behind me. My healthy body and testimony of hope bear witness of the safety of recovery. And I am happy.
Obsessed with the Scale, by Christy Gualitieri