It’s me. Again.
I’m sorry to bother you. I would ask you how you’re doing, but I don’t remember the last time you asked me how I’m doing, so I won’t.
I guess I’ll just tell you how I’m doing instead.
“Happy New Year, Beth :)” the text(s) read.
Does that happen to anyone else? As soon as Christmas or NYE hits, your inbox suddenly becomes flooded with messages from men you haven’t spoken to in months? It’s like, ah, I know I fucked up, but it’s the holidays! Happy Holidays! Let’s forget about everything I’ve ever done to you! Wishing you a very merry season!
I was wearing a loose black dress from Urban. I paired it with black combat boots and gold bangles. I had been a slob all day, so I figured I’d throw something cute on to run some errands before work.
I stepped on the elevator, a man stood next to me and stared at my naked legs and then looked at me and winked. 5, 4, 3, 2, L. I stepped out and could still feel his eyes staring behind me.
I’m in a toxic relationship.
It’s been pretty on and off since freshman year of college, and as soon as I feel semi-OK about it, I allow myself to get reeled back into it. I’d accurately describe the relationship as destructive, but when it’s good, it provides me with an invigorating satisfaction that is undeniable.
I know it’s bad for me. Every time I willingly engage in this relationship, I lose a little bit of myself. “You’re not good enough.” “You’re almost there, but not quite.” “Better luck next time…or next week.” I hold on because I hope that this relationship will miraculously turn into one that will give me constant satisfaction rather than short-lived gratification.
I don’t want to continue this relationship, I tell myself I’ll break it off sooner rather than later, but it has some type of sick hold on me that never seems to go away.
“So, who’s the guy?” you’re probably wondering. You can find him at the gym by the water fountains or in the locker rooms. Or maybe he’s even in the comfort of your own home. He’s the guy who either makes or breaks your day; the one who calls you beautiful one day and the next day makes you feel a severe let down. As soon as you’re over him, he’ll text you “Good morning cutie, I miss you! :)” which makes you smile, so you come running back.
He comes in various shapes and sizes. Sometimes tall, dark, and handsome. Other times short, stubby, and average-looking. Other women (or men) are usually clinging on to him too, so it makes you feel like less of an idiot when you find yourself doing the same thing.
As I scrolled through Google to find images of this “guy,” I scrolled through several pictures that showed women on two separate ends of the spectrum: ecstatic or depressed. It got me thinking that my comparison of an inanimate object to a relationship with a significant other isn’t as silly as I had initially thought.
Comparing the scale to a toxic relationship with a significant other (male or female) seems far-fetched at first glance, but it’s really not. The relationship that many of us develop with the number that shows up on this machine is one worth noting. Try to imagine being in a relationship with someone like this (or maybe you already have): one that provides you with the highest of highs, but then hits you with the lowest of lows.
You find yourself investing so much time and energy into this “person” that you lose yourself in the process. You try and remember a time that you were content, a time where you didn’t allow someone (or something) else to define you. There was a time at one point where you were happier and healthier, but it seems as though you can’t quite get to that point again when you’re wasting all of your time on something else that makes you feel otherwise.
As an avid scale user, I’m telling you:
Trust me, I know from years of experience from an unhealthy relationship with not only the scale, but also a woman who has been through an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy. Weighing yourself compulsively and allowing a couple of pounds to define the rest of your day is unhealthy; it leads you down a path where you want to continually turn back, but you can’t.
The point of this post is not to shame women (or men) who use a scale to track their fitness progress, because oftentimes results are easier to track with a tangible number. I’m not speaking to those people with a healthy relationship with a scale, I’m speaking to the people who read this post felt a sense of relief that they are not alone.
My blog is personal, and some of my posts you may read as almost too personal. However, like I always say, I write to make a difference. I write in hopes that someone, somewhere will read this and think to themselves, “Thank you for writing the words that I’ve been struggling to find or afraid to speak myself.”
As of today: Sunday, July 19th I am cutting off this toxic relationship. Because, not only is has it affected my mental well-being, but it has also acted as a source of stress that hinders my fitness progress as well. I hope you’ll join me in this break-up, and that we can get through it together.
Feel free to reach out to me and chat about your experiences with body image, toxic relationships, my writing, or anything in between. This post was actually inspired from a message I received from a reader a couple of days ago, so I encourage ongoing conversation with my articles.
You guys inspire this blog more than you know.
Editor’s note: The comparison of the scale to a male figure was strictly for writing purposes. It was not intended to shame the entire male sex and frame them as perpetrators for this toxic behavior.