menu

Menu

close

Close

Yeah…Immaeatthat

Just a reminder: After you read this post, you do not need to go weigh yourself. This blog is mainly the journey of me as I continue to make sense of caring for a changing and aging body. As well as me caring for my mental wellbeing as someone who has an eating disorder past. What I choose to do will, at times, look different from what you choose to do. Take care of yourself. Be thoughtful with protecting your health and recovery. Not all advice is good advice for you. Be critical with what you bring into your life. Be discerning, wise, and individualized in the care of yourself. 

Last year I started doing an exposure where I weighed myself. The idea was that I wanted to expose myself to the weight I am when I care for myself in a way that is inline with my values. I was feeling like I was avoiding my weight and I didn’t want that. I don’t want to fear the weight I am or have unchecked negative assumptions about that weight. I wanted to live in the reality of the body size I’m meant to be when I don’t have an eating disorder/disordered eating and am caring for my body well. I took nearly a decade off of knowing my weight and it was healing and necessary to allow me to increase my reliance on my body cues as guidelines (i.e. hungry –> eat; tired –> rest; craving movement –> move; overcome with emotion –> do something regulating for your nervous system), rather than relying on an external factor (a scale) to dictate what my body was allowed to do.

That said, I wanted to share some takeaways from the last 8 months as I’ve consistently known my weight. I hated experiences of seeing/hearing my weight when I had requested not to (at doctors appointments) and then having to make sense of that weight with an audience. I’m a very introspective, internal processor and I don’t need an audience when I’m making sense of something important to me. The straw that broke the camels back on all of this was at an OBGYN appointment the nurse practitioner recommended I do a local hospital systems weight loss plan. I responded with, “That doesn’t sound like a very sustainable option.” That is all I said and then I just stared at her. She eventually said, “ohhh yeah, you’re right.” After that situation I felt like I didn’t ever want someone to blindside me with a weight that I didn’t expect. I wanted my own time and space to make sense of my care of my body size. After this I went to my PCP, who listens and I like. I have to remind her from time to time that a focus on health promoting behaviors is better for my health than a focus on weight and she is respectful of that and we’ve found common ground on the pointlessness of BMI. I told her the situation and we did blood work. One biomarker came back elevated and I decided I wanted to do something with food to address it. I chose a path forward that I felt neutral about and wouldn’t trigger (or, at least would minimally trigger) my food insecurity/make me feel like I was being deprived. Satisfaction is a very big part of the eating experience. To turn off the drive to eat a person needs to be satisfied. I make sure my behaviors with food, for now and always, prioritize satisfaction.

Knowing my weight is an exposure I decided was important for me right now. Other exposures in the realm of distorted perception of your body, harmful perspectives on your identity, or eating disorder recovery could be:

  • Find a balance of self-care between not caring for body and vanity/insecurity. There’s a spectrum here. One end of the spectrum is: If you wear a lot of make-up and it is tied to your self worth in a all consuming way: Decrease beauty aids and all the things you do to increase your appearance. The other end of the spectrum is: If you never wear make up because you feel you dislike your here and now body and don’t deserve to do nice things for it because it embarrasses you: Wear more make up or take 10 minutes to do your hair. (dry shampoo, manicure, buy a tinted moisturizer)
  • Looking down at your belly area to see if there is any food/stains on your shirt after a meal. I noticed a few years ago after eating I wouldn’t look down at my belly area because the look of a belly with adequate food in it was distressing to me, so I intentionally started to do this.
  • Wearing the first outfit you try on.
  • Limiting body checking. Set a timer to limit how long you will spend getting ready.
  • Wear tighter clothes or shorter clothes

Here are the realizations I’ve had over the last 8 months spent knowing my weight:

Realization #1 // I think that weighing myself may have been a contributor to the depression I fell into towards the end of 2020. I didn’t feel more preoccupied with my weight with knowing my weight, but around this time I was in a state of depression where it became necessary to take anti-depression medication and I don’t know how much knowing my weight influenced that mental distress. I decided to continue knowing my weight because I didn’t want to be avoiding my weight. Overtime, it was helpful for my brain to be reminded that if none of my behaviors are unhealthy/I like how I care for myself with a balance of fun and fuel and rest and play and listening to my body’s God-given cues, if that is the case, how can this be an unhealthy body size for me? I needed and was seeing a therapist and taking an SSRI to support me during this time. Around this time I did start to notice that I was a bit disinterested in food, and I thought maybe this was subconsciously from knowing my weight. However, a couple months later we found out I mostly likely had a stomach ulcer. My appetite came back slowly but surely once I started taking meds to give the ulcer time to heal. At other times when I’ve known my weight it has made me more preoccupied with my body size, but that wasn’t the case here. If it did, I would’ve stopped.


Realization #2 // I knew how much water and weight I lost while having a stomach bug and it was interesting to see that the next week it had all come back. The body is resilient. I know getting sick with the flu, or anything where you can’t eat normally, has been the start of some people’s eating disorder. The feeling of no food in your body is a very dangerous and wrong feeling to get used to. Making sense of the feeling of nourishment in your body, the feeling of a stomach that is expanded after a meal, is what should be normalized and encouraged. Seeing the lowered weight during this time was helpful because I reminded myself I should have a negative association with this number. Acute sickness led to this body weight and I should not have nice feelings towards this body size. Anti-health/sickness was the cause of this smaller body size.


Realization #3 // At one point I started feeling like, why am I even exposing myself to my weight? Is there even a point in this? Was this a wise decision? But then(!), I took Ella to her 18 month old check-up and she was losing her little baby mind and wouldn’t sit still to be weighed. The nurse said she’d come back later and try to weigh her again or I could just step on a scale with Ella and then step on the scale by myself and they’d subtract the two for Ella’s weight. Ella was miserable so I just said, “that sounds great! let’s do that!!” So they weighed me holding Ella. And then when I set Ella down she lost her freaking mind screaming and lashing about (as toddlers do), so the nurse weighing us scooped her up but Ella did that boneless, yet somehow arching straight backwards move (as toddlers do) so she was preoccupied and called her coworker over to get my weight. So then he ran over and hollered my weight across a room full of 8 medical professionals to the nurse managing Ella and I felt so proud. I had already had time and space to make sense of my worth and weight and had 8 months to think through lingering connections between my worth and my body size and I was proud I did what my daughter needed in the moment. I liked the reminder that this is why you are seeing your weight, for those unforeseen instances when you jumping on a scale is in line with my values of serving my family. For me, it felt like a victory and I’m glad I had been weighing myself.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t think this is a good idea for everyone. For me, I don’t want to avoid my weight. I want to slowly (oh-so-slowly and within my capacity of the season) work to accept myself as God created me. How does me knowing my weight play out from here? I don’t know. I tend to be pretty mindful of (at least when it comes to food and body related things) if I’m doing something that I’m later going to have to put a lot of effort into undoing. As long as it feels productive, helpful, and doesn’t impact my mental health negatively I plan to keep having some awareness of my weight.

What do you think? Did you have a season of time when you didn’t weigh yourself? Do you weigh yourself now? Or, for your wellbeing and intuitive eating journey, do you choose to continue to not weigh yourself?

26 comments on “Knowing My Weight.”

  1. Love that story with you and Ella! Good mama move! I currently do not weigh myself, mostly because we don’t own a scale but also because it feels pointless to me..? You described your reason for wanting to know your weight really well and I totally get that. For me right now it just feels like an unnecessary piece of information (when my brain is already overloaded with caring for myself and my family) but maybe that will change in the future!

  2. I think the weight itself is not the problem. The inner dialogue it triggers is the problem. We cannot trust ourselves to still love ourselves, no matter what. To tell ourselves we are more than a number on a scale. Even if we are at a high number, we are still us, deserving our love, our support, understanding. Life is probably hard right now and this is exactly where we need to be to keep ourselves comfortable and sane. We are doing the best we can.

    • Wholeheartedly agree with you Liz. It’s not about the actual number on the scale it is the mental processing, albeit negative or positive, that follows. Personally I have always found this part to be challenging. I aim to give myself grace, even more so after having 2 children, however it is still a working progress. I greatly appreciate Kylie and all her vulnerability with sharing her experience as it helps remind myself and others that we are not alone in the struggle (the struggle is real!) and we we are doing the best we can.

  3. I weigh myself only when I know I am in a good headspace mentally and know I have been caring for my body well. If I am already feeling down or have slipped into a binge eating pattern I won’t weigh myself because I know that knowing that number will not help me to get out of it – whether it’s high OR low. If I do weigh myself I make sure I check in with myself first to remind myself – I am nourishing my body, I am moving my body, I am feeling physically well, so the number on the scale will not change that.

  4. I really like this post. I think a lot of people almost become obsessed with NOT knowing their weight which isn’t healthy or normal, either. I know around what I weigh but if it fluxes in either direction, I don’t care. That is the true goal in my mind, not avoiding it like the plague. Avoiding my weight gave it more power for me, so when I did accidentally see it many years ago after years of avoiding it, full-on relapse. Now that’s just an anecdote but I think it is food for thought. My current therapist weighed me every week as exposure when I was getting better after my relapse and I am fully recovered now, partially to that exposure. I wish more dietitians/therapists would do this. Thank you for sharing!

  5. This was a great post! When I had disordered eating/exercise habits, I would weigh myself regularly and record my weight. In hindsight, this was not healthy for me as I would obsess over regular variations in the number. I stopped weighing myself for a few years, and now that I’m on the other side of my disordered habits, I just weigh myself at the doctor. I go to several doctors, so I get weighed every few weeks/months. Now, I’m happy that I don’t dwell on the number and focus on how the number is just to make medical decisions such as medication dosing/anesthesia for medical procedures/etc. I haven’t been motivated to weigh myself at home since then.

  6. I really appreciate you sharing all of this. I love the thought you have given as to the “why” behind wanting to know your weight. My sister bought a scale so that she could track their infant’s weight. She weighs with and without him and takes the difference. Seeing her able to do this without judging her PP weight made me so proud. She’s stronger than me in some regards, but she pushes me to be a better version of myself. To continue to strive for better care for myself. She’s a selfless amazing mom, and as an aunt, I want to pass along to my nephew self-love, acceptance, and respect. I can do this by serving as an example. Your posts are profoundly helpful!

    I hope your lab work improves and that you are well. Sending you all the love.

  7. I made the decision to not know my weight through my entire first pregnancy.  I loved it and felt that I could trust my body to do what it needed to do in order to grow a healthy baby. This pregnancy I am not able to do that because my weight and BP are printed right on the front of every after visit summary.   
    At first I was able to see my weight and just accept it as my healthy pregnancy weight.   There have been weeks though where I end up worrying if the number is too much or too little.    I don’t think my total weight is the issue and I’d be fine to hear my weight at the end of this pregnancy, but the real problem is getting the incremental numbers each appointment.  

  8. Good things to think about! I just had my first baby and my body is very different. I had to have a C-section and it changed how my core feels so I can’t even cling to that as my confidence when I’m feeling uncertain about my body. I’m not feeling the need to get back to weighing myself, but I think my version of this process is to re-discover what it means to actually take care of myself and make an effort to put variety in my diet and move my body in ways that are a healthy discomfort (like feeling uncomfortable on a walk because I just had major surgery but knowing it’s what my body needs to recover). I am afraid of going back to unhealthy eating and exercising habits so I overcompensate and stay in new habits that also don’t feel like they’re caring for my body. 

    As always thanks for sharing your processes! You often put words to things in a way that spur my thoughts on and help me identify my own process. 

  9. For me, I look at my weight as another health indicator. I can’t take my own blood to measure my cholesterol so I just leave that to my annual check up. Same for my weight.  I remind my PCP each and every time about my preferences. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to know my weight honestly. I think that is an ok place to be. I look at the scale as a reminder of my journey and it never represented a healthy place for me so it’s best for me to leave it alone. 

  10. Kylie, I really identify with what you said about not wanting to process your weight with an audience!! I didn’t want to know my weight when I was pregnant with my daughter, which I think was the right decision at the time. But I would often glimpse at it on accident on the paperwork and then have to emotionally process that number during the visit, which felt doubly stressful. Or I would have a different nurse and have to remind her I didn’t want to know my weight, which got different responses. I have been weighing myself every once in a while and reminding myself that the number is neutral and I am taking care of myself.. and it really does feel great to be in a place where I can know that number. I may not always be in that mindset and I totally see the wisdom in not knowing.

    • This was a really helpful post because it brings up so many good points about knowing or not knowing your weight. I am still at a point that knowing my weight is extremely triggering. I don’t know if it will always be that way, but I appreciate your constant focus on caring for yourself. I am working on making decisions that are based upon caring for myself and your encouragement helps! I think the related issue regarding weight is the diet culture, that labels things as “health”. That includes the focus on BMI. I agree with you – pointless and something that would label many pro athletes as obese and isn’t a reflection of good care for oneself. I think it would be nice to normalize weights that our society considers “too much”. My fear, in hearing my weight, is that the number will always sound like too much for me.

  11. Thank you for sharing your whole journey so honestly. I appreciate that you share what is actually happening rather than what people want to hear, or what seems “correct” for eating disorder recovery.

    As for your questions, I had an eating disorder as an adolescent and wasn’t allowed to know my weight for a time. I have had a conflictual relationship with the scale as an adult, and I have taken some intermittent time off. After several years of weighing myself regularly, though, I think that I see the scale overall as a tool. Seeing the scale fluctuate regularly has helped me realize that a high or low day is just temporary and not all-defining. Though a number may upset me at the time, the fullness of the rest of life puts it in perspective, helping me know that I can co-exist with a weight that might be different than I want. The scale as a tool helps me see trends in order to care for my body. I can sometimes not nourish adequately, and the scale keeps me accountable to make sure I eat enough. The scale can also go up or down related to my athletic pursuits, and because those bring joy to me, I can use what I see on the scale to inform my hydration and fueling. I also find that weight can change with hormones, and I use it as a fertility awareness sign. In sum, I would say I still have feelings about the scale and what I see on it, but by God’s grace, am able to acknowledge and tolerate those feelings so that the scale can be just a scale instead of an all-controlling entity or definer of worth. That is God’s job!

  12. I am not weighing myself currently. I haven’t for 2 or 3 years. I did happen to see my weight at the doc office a few weeks ago and was very bothered by it. I know I am most bothered not by the number, but by the acknowledgement that I am not taking care of myself right now. I keep avoiding joyful movement, though I am not sure why….

  13. I loved your perspective on this post! I am a fellow Christian RD who has walked through disordered eating in high school/college. I don’t monitor my weight regularly but am 10-15 pounds heavier today than I was pre-COVID. I discovered this unintentionally after stepping on a scale six months ago and it awoke some really interesting feelings in me, feelings and thoughts I had assumed were behind me. It’s been work to untangle some of those emotions and to redirect myself to truth and to lean into who/where/what my identity and visual satisfaction are coming from. As always, I appreciate your vulnerability + wisdom – thanks for sharing :) 

  14. I agree with Sarah (above), that for me, it is a tool.

    It’s very helpful for me to know that I can have a day filled with all the food (or a weekend, OR a week of SNOWVID/SNOWPOCALYPSE eating!) where my weight will go up, but it’s not a huge increase. After I return to regular habits/routine, my weight pretty much returns to it’s normal-ish, fluctuating self. I am really enjoying your podcast :)
    And I was looking back over so many of your recipes last night. I still love those oldie but goodie posts. And there are sooooo many of your recipes that I want to try!!! Too bad I just don’t cook very much these days! But I especially love the dialogue from these posts :) Love the newest pic of you and your girls at the top of this page! So glad y’all survived the freeze!!!!

  15. Love this post. Thank you so much for sharing so honestly with such great insights. That story of Ella at the doctors – what a win for you. Congratulations! I think it just goes to show that it’s usually good to follow the clues we get from our inner voice on what feels right, even if we can’t see a concrete reason – the reason will eventually appear (often in the form of a distressed toddler who needs a mom who can quickly adapt to any situation, LOL).

    I have started weighing myself again about every 2 weeks after a long break. I always do a little meditative mental strengthening on self love beforehand but I notice that the number still affects me. I usually have to do a little emotional repair afterwards but it gets easier and it’s not that big a deal. I prefer that to not knowing and for me avoidance only intensifies the behaviour so I think it is a better choice to try and fit this into my life without letting it decid how I will feel or act. LOVE what you said about the number on the scale deciding what my body can or can’t do. That was me all the way and I am so grateful I know how to resist that and protect myself now!

  16. I listened to the podcast episode and I was a little nervous based on the title. But you’re right, the goal isn’t to avoid weight forever. It’s to get to a place where knowing your weight doesn’t affect your decisions. I really appreciated hearing your story and your journey to get there. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Loved this podcast episode (I listened instead of read)! I thought your last take away was really cool. Thanks for sharing your disclosures that knowing your own weight isn’t for everyone, but still sharing your experience. Thankful for you!

  18. Hi Kylie, I can relate to a lot of what you described in terms of being blind-sided by your weight. I too took some time off from being weighed and then started relaxing my self-guard against it once I was in a secure place in my recovery. I didn’t want my weight to have power over me in terms of making me feel shocked and negative if I saw it. For the most part, seeing my weight occasionally caused no issues and didn’t affect me at all.

    However, becoming pregnant changed that a bit. I was shocked when I went to my first OB appointment and I was criticized for how much weight I’d “already” gained in the first trimester (even though the pregnancy weight gain recommendations are total crap). Like you, I am an internal processor and I was shocked not only to realize that my body HAD changed that much (for good reason, mind you) but then at the same time being criticized for it. I started weighing myself at home to be aware of my weight for myself so that I wouldn’t be shocked at the doctor’s office, and then simultaneously told my doctor I didn’t want to know my weight. That way, they’d feel less liberty to shame me for it (inappropriate) and if they DID say something, at least I’d already know and have time to process the number.

    Boy, oh boy…this life continues to throw twists and turns! But like you said, I think that knowing our weight can be part of taking care of ourselves if it’s for the right reasons.

  19. I was THRILLED to see this new post in my email and couldn’t wait to read it. I suffered from an ED for many years and took about 3 years off from weighing myself. About almost 3 years ago, I asked if I could see what my weight was at my birth control shot appointment. I explained to the RN that I had suffered from an ED in the past and hadn’t weighed myself in many years and always told everyone to not share that info with me. She was incredibly kind and was very hesitant to my request. She asked if I was really sure that I wanted to now know my weight and worried if I would be upset with the results since it had been so long since I last knew. It was one of the first times I have felt truly cared for in the medical setting especially involving weight. Alas, I took the plunge and found out. Ever since then, I thought it did not bother me, but I have truly been preoccupied with my eating and weight, not in great depths like when I truly had an ED, but enough so that I have realized that was not my time to know. It has been challenging, but I have tried to make sense of these feelings over the past few years. I think about how happy I was not-knowing and the freedom I felt from my disassociation from the number on the scale. I recently thought to myself that this might be a good time to set some boundaries once again. Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy to hear that this has gone well for you. I really appreciated the part where you heard your weight being shouted in the doctors office. We are so much more than what we weigh. Sometimes moments like that are what we need to realize that. It’s simply just a number. Thank you for reminding me that this is just not my time to know the number.

  20. I know you have a post about medically necessary diets and intuitive eating, and I’m wondering if in a future post you could write more about that? Essentially challenges and successes in eating to satisfaction within a medically necessary diet intuitive eating framework. I am being advised to make some dietary changes to improve health markers and it is so helpful to read about others’ experiences. I have really learned a lot from your posts. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  21. One tip someone gave me a few years ago was to step on the scale at the doctors backwards so that you don’t see the numbers. This has been hugely beneficial to me. I usually end up seeing my weight recorded on the forms they print at the end of the appointment, but seeing the number on a piece of paper is somehow much less triggering than seeing it on the scale (perhaps this falls into what Kylie said about processing the information without an audience).

  22. I don’t weigh myself currently, and I’ve never owned a scale of my own. The only time I see my weight is at the doctor’s office and that can send me spiraling, depending on how my relationship with my body is at that point in time. I really don’t think weight is an accurate representation of my overall health, yet it can still affect my mindset.

  23. Love this post! And love following you! Thank you for sharing this blog with us; I know it’s a big time commitment and appreciate you! 

    I don’t have a scale at home. At this point, I don’t mind seeing my weight and know that it has nothing to do with my worth but I have two girls (6 and 8) and when I look at eating disorder statistics it makes me want to protect them as fiercely as possible from negative outside influences. 

    I’m done with society telling us we’re not skinny enough. I remember a doctor telling my mom in front of me that I should lose weight to address my back pain when I was 13, 5’7, and maybe 140 pounds?! No, thank you. I’ve gained some weight and some confidence since and really don’t understand why weighing us is still a thing (unless it’s related to determine a dosage).

  24. I have been weighed at a health center by a professional every month since entering recovery ten years ago. It helps my perception of myself and my body stay accurate. I almost feel like it takes away my weight anxiety because I’m not guessing the number and there is no shame.

    Everyone is different and as you said, it depends where you’re at in recovery. Getting weighed in early recovery was ROUGH.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top