Photo by: iStock

How To Deweaponize Your Bathroom Scale

Photo by: iStock

Cue that “Rhinestone Cowboy” song and saddle up for some Pinterest-inspired, crafty, body-positive artistic expression.

I’m a recovered anorexic and bulimic. From the age of 11 to just about 16 I struggled with these eating disorders. I got help and recovered at my local children’s hospital. Even though I am recovered, I still struggle with body image issues. I attach an unreasonable amount of importance to the number on the scale. After a number years of self-flagellation, I took matters into my own hands.

My scale works just fine. It accurately measures my relationship with gravity. It turns out it’s incredibly terrible at measuring my worth as a person and I was using it for the wrong for thing for years. Super awkward. I was trying to see a reflection of myself in it and it turns out that’s what mirrors are for and there’s one in my bathroom above the sink. Neither of them reflect who I am on the inside.

My one complaint about my local craft store is that they shouldn’t accept my rent money if they aren’t willing to let me live there. I’m a great roommate. I went to my local crafting vendor of choice and spent a tiny fortune on sparkly stuff, a sampling of which is depicted above.

If you don’t like it, then you better put some bling on it! Or whatever that Beyonce song says. I don’t know. The nice thing about rhinestone sheets is that they are easier to apply than fitted sheets and you never have to change them.

I stuck a “Dear John” letter to my scale. I wrote, “I am enough just as I am now.” I never felt like I was enough before, but I always felt like I occupied too much space. I’m done with feeling that way. I’m enough and I don’t need the scale to measure the “enoughness” of me. I just am. No empirical evidence required.

I picked butterflies to embellish my art project. They remind me that it’s possible feel small and alone and in unspeakable darkness and still emerge with fancy wings. They remind me it’s not possible to see my own beauty in the blackness, but it comes to light eventually. I felt like a gross caterpillar when I couldn’t see myself clearly, but no more.

I loved the sparkly trim, because for me, it symbolized boundaries. This project and my recovery journey was me saying “I do not accept the things that make me feel ‘lesser than’ or ‘not enough’. This is my boundary.” At a certain point in my illness, I made a decision that I couldn’t live that way any more. Boundaries are beautiful. They keep us safe; they keep us alive.

My scale was deweaponized, bedazzled and a thing of beauty, finally. I was using it for the wrong thing — to reflect my worth as a person. I turned it into wall art so that it finally reflects me, but on the inside. Sparkly. Sassy. Fun. Pretty. Glittery. Girly. Expressive.

The first week of February is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Find out what’s going on in your community and get involved. Consider deweaponizing your own scale if it’s not adding value to your life in its current form. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, check out Looking Glass Foundation’s Resource List or Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.

Alison Tedford is a freelance writer and mommy of one from Abbotsford, BC. She is a data analyst, an eating disorder support group facilitator and a pole dancer. She documents her journey in fitness, feminism and parenting on You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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