Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Weighed

I had an appointment with a new (non-ED related) doctor today, which always means rehashing my medical history and making judgment calls about what information is relevant (anorexia? osteopenia? period stuff?). The nurse took all my vitals and, of course, made me hop on the scale. I've been to enough doctors in the past year to know that this is routine, but it still throws me for a loop. Inevitably I had to fight the urge to interject and make sure the nurse was aware that 1) I had on jeans and a belt 2) there were two cups of coffee in my stomach 3) my dinner was extra salty last night 4) I hadn't peed very much yet that morning etc. etc. etc. Not that she cared about the five million factors that could have contributed to a 3-lb fluctuation one way or the other, but I didn't want her to think I was fat!

Usually the weight thing is not an issue and nurses simply write it down without comment, but this morning I got a lot of Wow, I wonder if you're even over XXX...so tiny...we might need to get out the newborn scale hahahahaha. When she was taking my blood pressure, she couldn't get a reading because the cuff was too big and she had to borrow a children's one, so she got a lot of mileage out of that as well. While you'd think that I would have been flattered and eaten that crap up, I was actually more uncomfortable and freaked out. Comments about being small or skinny validate my current weight in my head, and make me think that I shouldn't gain above it or else. Especially since I have a follow-up appointment at this office in six weeks, so I worry about being scrutinized if they weigh me again and I'm suddenly not tiny anymore.

Getting weighed at my therapist R's office isn't that stressful anymore, partly because it's blind. I still weigh myself at home (trying to quit that!) so the weight isn't a secret, but there's something about not being confronted with the actual number at my appointments that lowers the stress level a bit. R tells me whether my weight has gone up or down, and then we usually move on. He only really addresses my weight if it goes down significantly, or goes down for a couple of weeks in a row.

Something I'm not proud of is that I am still very conscious about how much I eat/drink before my appointments. I don't restrict, per se, but I usually skip the second cup of coffee. I don't know why I have this compulsion, especially since R wants my weight to go up and I usually get a talking-to that makes me feel like crap when it goes down. It's more of a habit at this point and I'm not exactly sure what my motivations are - or if I even have any, other than a deep-seated, eating-disordered desire to be the lowest weight possible, regardless of any outside factors.


  1. I can totally relate to you! If I have a morning appointment I always eat a lighter breakfast than usual because I'm so nervous about what the scale will say, but I normally make up for it by eating a bigger lunch anyway. I don't know why either. I think it's habit, compulsion, and anorexia driving us to get just a little bit over on our therapists.

  2. Man, do I ever relate to all of this! The "oh, you're so tiiiiiiiiiny" comments are killer in exactly the way you stated: I always thought, "Well, shit. I can't gain or you'll notice and think I'm suddenly huge." My therapist always thought it was strange that for someone who was trying so hard to lose weight, I was also simultaneously trying to do it without being noticed. (Which was futile.)

    As for the eating/drinking prior to being weighed, I have the same problem. I want to restrict as much as humanly possible prior to weigh-in (and I always get weighed-in at 3-freaking-pm) because I don't want it to look like I've gained. My therapist is so dang sensible, of course, and we talk about my weight and the fact that some of it is just the weight of the food that is still sitting in my stomach from lunch, but still. I do NOT want that number going up.

  3. How uncomfortable about the comments at the doctor's office! I hate when people use "skinny" or "tiny" around me because you're absolutely right--it feels like a validation of an unhealthy weight. That's such a tough spot to be in when you're dealing with a medical professional.

    I'm the exact same way before my weekly weigh-ins. I don't take drastic steps, but I do make sure I cut off my water and food intake well before I'm going to be weighed. I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I can't offer any advice or suggestions on that, but I'm sure glad to know I'm not the only one who still gets anxious about the weigh-ins. Take care!

  4. I really wish health care workers new better than to say things like that, but most often the evidence points to the fact that they just don't. And it's scary that it can be uncomfortable but sickly validating at the same time. Remember, though, that the nurse may admire someone at X weight but it doesn't mean that weight is truly healthy or comfortable or optimal. She's not the one that has to live inside that body.

    And I'm exactly the same way with weigh-ins--worrying about my meal before the appointment, making sure I comment on all the factors that could have boosted the weight, etc.

    Hope you're having a good week, take care!