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  • Jason Wood

Weight is but a Number

You've seen his pieces before, but I am excited to announce that Matt Billas is joining Orthorexia Bites as contributing writer!

By: Matt Billas

I thought I’d be more freaked out seeing the number as it inched up, standing on the cold scale. A digital number ticking incrementally, rising ever further from where I’d been even beyond what I’d ever known.

My life revolves around numbers: “You’re an actuary, you must like math!”

My disorder was the confluence of numbers gone astray, an unbalanced equation: calories in < calories out.

My recovery, though unbeknownst to me, was regularly monitored; progress tracked by twice-weekly blind weigh-ins.

At the start of my recovery, I reluctantly avoided numbers at all costs seeing them as a potential hindrance to my path forward, the goal at hand. Save it for the future, but not right now! Now, as I progress, it becomes harder to avoid them among the endless stream of appointments, the weekly tracking; the elephant in the rooms grows as I grow. Even absent of a stark number on a scale, I can feel change, I can see change, it is inevitable.

But now, as I face the music, feeling and seeing the progress and results; as I stare the number in the face, head-on, I find myself questioning, “what difference does it make?” Weight, straight from your high school physics textbook, is a proxy for how much gravity is acting on me (a mass) at a particular place and time; nothing more. I feel better than I ever have physically, mentally, and spiritually. My life and relationships have more meaning and value than I ever imagined possible. I have purpose, I know my values. I understand myself, and I love myself; I’m happy.

Try boiling all of that down into a number!


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