I promised last week to have a health update from my last doctor’s appointment, but since I’m giving my body time to adjust itself and see what happens, I’d like to touch on my experience at the doctor itself.
Or, even more specifically, I’d like to revisit an old frenemy that put a sour note on everything: the scale.
Regardless of health or sickness, I am an anxious wreck seeing any type of doctor, let alone a new one. This was my first time at a digestive health specialist, so I was both nervous and timidly hopeful for some answers with my irritable bowel.
I’ve made the habit, whenever in that setting, to specifically look away when stepping on a scale. I know how it affects me. I know myself well enough to prevent going down the beaten road of disordered eating and living.
With my irritable bowel, I’m not blind to my struggle of feeling stable with my body. Sometimes I feel like a balloon about to pop, other times I’m completely drained out and empty. Even thinking about my weight right now, regardless of where it might be, will only add more stress and add to the severity of symptoms.
My nurse was very kind in not telling me any numbers when going through the initial proceedings, but my doctor, one I had just met right there, probably didn’t look too deeply into my mental health background.
Long story short, he didn’t mention my mental illnesses, besides outright asking the question if I’m restricting, as if I really want to add more problems on top of digestive problems, but he later mentions how my weight has fluxuated over the past year.
First off, we’re human beings. Of course our weights are bound to change over time. And if you’re just looking at a number of pounds, are we taking into consideration the time of day and month I’m being weighed? Any other issues at those past appointments? Unless you are under the same exact circumstances each time, you can’t make comparisons. That’s basic scientific method.
Because with my IBS, I already suspected and was reaffirmed that yes, I have lost a couple of pounds. Prior to then, I innately felt that and was compelled to be more vigilant about my health, but there’s a different tinge to the conclusion coming from a medical professional, an outside voice.
My mind automatically races in multiple directions. I fear judgment. I fear the desires in the back of my psyche relishing that fact. I ultimately fear myself because such a statement leaves me at a crossroads. I could maintain my current place where I’ve become comfortable and even accepting of my body. Or I could actively think about gaining weight knowing that would automatically throw me off kilter and open a whole other can of worms and stress.
At the end of my appointment, being told to (of course) take more fiber, my doctor told me to weigh myself after a month to make sure I’m not losing more. Which, again, feels like we’re adding more issues to my original concerns and reasons for showing up in the first place.
I have not stepped on a scale, on my own, for coming on a year now, and that has been the healthiest choice for me. That physical separation ensures a mental separation from anorexia. I don’t want to move backwards from my progress. I don’t want to revert back to my number-driven mentality.
I understand the protocol, and I am grateful for having the medical resources I do, but I am more than a number on the scale. My health encompasses more than that. That number doesn’t reflect all of my hard work and struggles to get where I am now, despite my chronic illnesses and symptoms. You cannot isolate one measurement of my gravitational pull and expect a whole picture of who I am.
My journey to balancing my health and wellness is one that incorporates my entire mind, body and spirit. It looks at my inward self-awareness over my physical credentials written into a basic template. I’ll thankfully accept any and all help along the way, but ultimately, my intuition will be the guiding force. And a scale can’t measure that.
Do you ever weigh yourself? What is your relationship with that number? It’s a sensitive topic, but one that I’d be very interested to hear from you.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie