Do you have bulimia scales obsession?

Catherine Liberty's picture

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about a small step that can have a really positive impact on your recovery. "Ditching your weighing scale" - and more importantly, what to do if you're not quite brave enough to ditch your scale at this stage.

Of course it’s understandable that taking the plunge and getting rid of your bulimia weighing scale can be a really difficult challenge, especially if you weigh yourself multiple times every day.

I remember a time when I thought I wouldn't be able to survive without checking my weight every day, but you know what - I was wrong!

If you’re still relying on your weighing scale a lot then I can imagine that the thought of ditching it is probably a terrifying prospect.

Maybe you don’t think you can live without it either? Believe me, you really can and you will be so much better off without it.

Those numbers mean NOTHING and it is time to remove them from your life forever!

If you have access to the Bulimia Recovery System BRS® here at Bulimia Help then you’ll already understand why scales can be one of the biggest binge triggers.

It’s been proven that both good and bad scale numbers can lead to bingeing.


Of course you didn’t really need me to tell you that. Think about how the numbers on your scale can make you feel. How do they impact your life?

Whether you see “good numbers” or “bad numbers” when you step onto that scale I’ll bet that you experience a substantial increase in anxiety levels and urges to either binge or restrict.

Remember restricting always leads to further bingeing in the end.

Realize that in recovery you won’t need a scale to measure your progress.

Your improved well-being, confidence and energy levels will tell you everything you need to know about the progress that you are making. All continually checking your weight does is keep you trapped in those obsessive and compulsive thought patterns.

But what should you do if you’re just not ready to ditch those bulimia scales?

Well that is when you turn to different strategies and set yourself realistic goals that will help you to resist that daily urge to check your weight. There are some great practical and pro-active steps you can take if you want to start weighing yourself less but feel unable to throw away your scale.

The first and most powerful step you can take is to remove your scale from the bathroom (or it’s usual place). Ever hear of the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” Well it might not work quite that way BUT having your scale out of sight really can help you to stop thinking about it so much.

The next time you visit your bathroom analyze yourself - do you find yourself thinking about checking your weight straight away, or does it only happen once you have the visual trigger of seeing your scale there?

On a personal level I certainly found that there was a visual trigger related to seeing my scale on the bathroom floor. Removing your scale from its usual place means that you have more time to “talk yourself down” from that binge triggering weigh-in. .

If you have a digital scale it can be a great idea to throw away the batteries, or give them to someone who you trust. Of course there is nothing stopping you from going out and getting more batteries, but again just having that physical restriction and time delay can help you to calm down and reconsider checking your weight.

Try to set a goal of not weighing yourself for a few days or whole week at first if you feel you can. Eventually you can work on increasing the amount of time in-between weigh-ins...

This is really important, especially at the start of recovery because it can help you avoid overreacting to any initial weight changes. Notice I said the word “initial” – that’s usually all they are. Eventually your weight will re-balance and you will maintain your healthy set point weight.

Trust that not checking your weight does NOT mean that your weight will spiral out of control.

At the start of my own recovery I went from weighing myself at least five times a day to weighing myself every two weeks and then just once every month.

Eventually I realized that even though I was only checking my weight about once a month I was still a slave to those numbers. I still used them for comfort and I knew I would never really recover while I was so dependent on them so I took a bigger plunge.

I gave the batteries to my husband and told him to hide them. It was hard, extreme even. I remember having a mini panic attack one day when I realized I had no way to weigh myself, but in the end it worked! I didn’t need my scales anymore.

I haven’t been weighed in over a year now and we don't keep a weighing scale in the house anymore – there is just no need.

Today why not focus on making you own "scale ditching plan". Do you feel strong enough to throw them away or will you just hide them for now?

Free yourself from your scale today, I promise you that you can live without those destructive numbers in your life.

You really will start to notice a significant increase in your self esteem and recovery motivation once you remove your scales from your life!

Talk soon,

Catherine Liberty 


R's picture
Hey Catherine, really

Hey Catherine, really interesting post. I totally suffer from that stupid scale obsession! It's funny that I always thought that it was just me who did that…And wrote down the grams and made targets and ufff I'm already exhausted just to remember…It's somehow comforting to know that I'm not alone..
And I'm very happy to tell you that I've been able to reduce it. Since last Tuesday I checked my weight only 2 times!! But my target is to do it only once a week! And I really believe I can! It's amazing how your mind adapts itself!
Million thanks for your inspiring posts!

Rosey's picture
Just read this post and can

Just read this post and can identify with everything written. I weigh myself constantly and I can't imagine not doing it. I had never thought about the fact that seeing a number that I was happy with on the scales would trigger a binge too but you're totally right. It fuels the desire to keep going because you think that what you are doing must be working and that is something that I had never realized about myself until I read this.
I just got up and moved the scales out of my bathroom and under my bed instead (I know that sounds weird but everything seems to get lost in a mess under there so it felt like the right place for them). Thank you so much for this really interesting and positive post. Every new tip I read makes me feel like recovery is possible and gives me more courage and belief in myself.

BeGoochie11's picture
Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this article! My bulimia voice keeps telling me I'm weak for not weighing myself. I haven't done so in about a week, and I have panic attacks thinking about weighing myself and also have panic attacks when I think of the implications of not weighing myself. This article helps bring perspective and comfort.

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