Me and My Scales – Part 1: The (Not Quite) Last Diet

Scales are the work of the devil if you ask me. The best thing I ever did was throw the scales out and stop dieting.

The experiences I will post over the next few days are not in any chronological order or any particular structure; they meander and twist and turn back upon themselves. I did not and do not have a straight path to self-care and self-acceptance. I doubt if anybody does. But, if you will forgive me stretching this metaphor to its utmost limits, I have now made it a substantial way down that path, even if I do sometimes still get lost.

Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4


The last time I owned a set of scales was also, not suprisingly, the period in which I fought my last concerted war on my body’s size. There were, however, also a few isolated battles here and there for a few years after as I struggled with self acceptance. This would have been around 13 or 14 years ago and I was at my worst point with body image.


I was eating only a diet shake for breakfast, an apple and a diet shake for lunch and one actual (but small) meal for dinner. That’s it. Oh, and some nutritional supplements. One can’t induce ketosis without making sure that one has adequate vitamin intake, can one?

Most days, I somehow managed to withstand the hunger and stay on the diet rations. Other days, I would snap from the self-denial and hunger and methodically purchase and binge on large quantities of food.

And then there were those scales.

I varied between weighing myself daily and weighing myself weekly. I would also measure my waist, hips and thighs, and I recorded my diminishment on an obsessively laid out piece of paper which I had taped to the bathroom wall. But it didn’t really matter how frequently I stepped on the scales; what mattered was that I somehow lost sight of weight as just being a number. My sense of self worth was entirely dependent on how much weight I had lost (or had not lost) in a particular week.

In the end, I managed to lose about 30 kilos or so but I did it at the expense of my peace of mind and my overall well-being. Of course, I also put all the weight back on well within the usual 2-5 year period.

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13 Responses to “Me and My Scales – Part 1: The (Not Quite) Last Diet”


  1. 1 Mike Friday, 11 January 2008 at 5:59 am

    This isn’t meant to be a threadjack, so please forgive the momentary meander.

    I used to be very overweight and unfit. And I don’t mean overweight in the sense of harmless-has-a-cute-potbelly, but verging on dangerously so. I had high blood pressure, would wheeze going up a flight of stairs, had frequent minor episodes of tachycardia (only a few seconds at a time, but very, very frightening), verging on diabetic, mocked by others and so on. And much self-loathing, manifesting in further binge-eating and harmful behaviour.

    In hindsight, a lot of it is attributable to my reaction to parental neglect and mental abuse, as well as clinical depression.

    Anyway. I swung the opposite way very fast – dropped a lot of weight (about 40kg) inside about 9 months by doing stupid amounts of exercise and eating a very restricted diet (often leaving myself in a large calorie deficit at the end of the day) and feeling guilty about grams of fat. Getting away from my parents plus the love and support of my fiancee, helped me to move on and get control of this before it completely took over my life.

    I no longer binge eat, but I don’t exercise for 12 hours a week anymore, or feel guilty either, and I’m happy about where I am.

    This worked for me, but it’s not going to be the same for everyone, and while I would always encourage people to be healthier and so on, self-esteem is an important part of that, and in the end, it doesn’t matter if your muscles have muscles if you’re not happy with yourself.

    Basically, this was all to say – that sucks, well done on taking control of it. Sorry for going on about it.

  2. 2 Moonchild Friday, 11 January 2008 at 7:24 am

    Yep, that’s standard diet fare. I’m interested to see where you take this in your future posts.

  3. 3 Zezebelle Friday, 11 January 2008 at 8:15 am

    Your story resonates with me so much. Moonchild is right, it is typical diet fare, but that means that just about everyone has similar experiences which I think is your point – your experience is typical.

  4. 4 Lynne Friday, 11 January 2008 at 8:48 am

    I tried the shake diet once and could not deal with it. Not only could I not stick to it and go on massive binges, but the rationing made me seriously cranky and a bear to be around; it made me feel even worse about myself because I started disliking my personality as WELL as my appearance.
    Body image – an icky topic for me. Maybe this will be the year I take it by its horns ;)
    Thank you for your courage.

  5. 5 currerbell Friday, 11 January 2008 at 9:56 am

    It’s interesting. There was some talk on some feminist blogs recently about the problem of women growing up in a society that tells them they are “less than.” It occurred to me, while reading your post, we’re also told to want to be “less than.” Literally. And then we functionally disable ourselves in order to get there.

    Anyhow, thanks for linking to me! (Mouthfeel) And for writing well. And for existing :)

  6. 6 Fatadelic Friday, 11 January 2008 at 11:16 am

    I no longer binge eat, but I don’t exercise for 12 hours a week anymore, or feel guilty either, and I’m happy about where I am.

    This worked for me, but it’s not going to be the same for everyone, and while I would always encourage people to be healthier and so on, self-esteem is an important part of that, and in the end, it doesn’t matter if your muscles have muscles if you’re not happy with yourself.

    I don’t accept that weightloss automatically makes one healthier. But I do get that that is not the main thrust of your comment – your message is the same as mine; self-esteem does not reside in the size of you body, it resides in your attitude.

    It can take a while to reach the point where one is happy with one’s self as one is, can’t it? I have 90-95% reached that point in my life. Most days I love my shape and have self-acceptance, but I do still have occasional setbacks when I am faced with blatant fat hatred in my life.

    For what it’s worth, my intent with this series of posts is to explore my (as Zezebelle says) very typical experiences with body image, weightloss and fat acceptance, etc and my personal journey – not because it is better or worse or more valid than anyone else’s – but simply to share the story.

  7. 7 Mike Friday, 11 January 2008 at 10:27 pm

    I don’t accept that weightloss automatically makes one healthier. But I do get that that is not the main thrust of your comment – your message is the same as mine; self-esteem does not reside in the size of you body, it resides in your attitude.

    Of course; it wasn’t my intent to suggest so. In the case of obesity being hazardous to one’s health (which it can be to some degree, of course, although the current climate seems to be hysterical and overblown) sensible weight loss is a plus.

    Case in point – I am 6’4″ tall, and weigh ~18st (110kg or so, if I’m calculating right) with a muscular physique *flexes* and a bodyfat percentage of 15 – 19% according to the scale you use. However, I’m still called obese. Ain’t BMI great? I could comfortably lose 8lb/3.5kg and still be healthy – but any lower than that, and I’d be edging towards unhealthy territory. We need fat to survive, after all.

  8. 8 Jessica Tuesday, 15 January 2008 at 10:57 am

    This all sounds very familiar, except for the diet shake part–when I did shakes they tasted so bad I had to chug them. That only lasted a day or two.

    I have managed to cut my weighing down to once or twice a week, but I can remember weighing myself a dozen times a day and trying to hide it because I knew that was excessive, to say the least.

    I’m glad you got to the point where you could throw out the scales. Hopefully someday I’ll get there, too.

  9. 9 Lillian Mitchell Saturday, 8 March 2008 at 12:31 am

    I never did shakes or prepackaged diet food. I’m a cook. I couldn’t eat food with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives. I did binge on things like green beans, toast, crackers when I was on a self-imposed diet. If you’re still having problems with binging, cut out the HCFS. I haven’t truly binged since I was a teen, but I had one binge recently and it was caused by HCFS.


  1. 1 Top Posts « WordPress.com Trackback on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 11:24 am
  2. 2 Me and My Scales - Part 2: The Spark of Fury « Fatadelic Trackback on Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 12:51 pm
  3. 3 Me and My Scales - Part 3: The Fat Kid « Fatadelic Trackback on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 11:03 pm
  4. 4 Me and My Scales Part 4: Scales of Doom « Fatadelic Trackback on Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 1:20 am

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