National Eating Disorders Association

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Obsession with the number on the scale...Help!

When I wake up in the morning, I immediately think of my weight and the number on the scale. Even though I know that are several factors that contribute to my weight, I still have an obsession with being thinner, which I know will lead down an unhealthy path... I'd really appreciate knowing if anyone else had this same obsession with these numbers, and what you do to overcome these thoughts!

Stay strong!

Hi bkhanson7,
Thanks for sharing your story! I think this is something that a lot of people can relate to - you're not alone!
I think that recognizing that these thoughts are something you'd like to change so that you don't spiral in a negative direction is a brave and important step in overcoming them. Have you ever talked to anyone about this? Getting some of these thoughts out to close friends or family, or seeking out help from a nutritionist, therapist, or even your primary care doctor might help relieve some of the stress and help you find healthier strategies to maintain your physical but also mental/emotional health.

Here are some links that might be helpful, and the NEDA Helpline is another great resource that can help steer you in the right direction: 1-800-931-2237.
Sharing with ease:
Developing positive body image:
Find treatment:

Stay strong!

darn scale!

i too am obsessed with numbers...i weight several times a day which i am trying not to do and just trust in what my dietitian is wanting me to do...its just hard.


I think an obsession with numbers and the scale is really common in EDs. It's like a person's mind is searching for some means of self- judgment that doesn't involve the emotional complications that a deeper assessment of our "self" involves, but finds more reward in the sorts of black and white assessment that numbers provide.

Getting to a place where a person can judge themselves by more complex personal measures, and trust in those measures, even if they are a lot more "gray" in nature….I think that's one of the victories of recovery.

Like, are we "good enough" yet ?

In the end, that's not really something that numbers on a scale can tell a person, even though the temptation to think so can be strong.

Thank you BobJ48 and a bit about where I am right now...

Thank you for your beautiful reply, it really struck a chord with me. No matter how much I try to deny it I am always nagged by the feeling of not being good enough and also do the self-judgement constantly. I like to think that I have progressed beyond this obsession with aesthetic perfection but my recent return to bulimia has proven me wrong. There is something inside of me that feels it has to sabotage my happiness just when everything is going just right. I hate it and am fighting hard to beat it. However, I am still reluctant to ask for help from anyone and flat out refuse to see a therapist. So do I really want to get better or not...? I know I am smarter than this, so why do I continue to do it!

numbers numbers

hi bkhanson7,
I'm in a program at the moment where I get weighed once a week with my therapist. I agreed not to weigh myself at home while on this program but I've broken that agreement a few times. I get really really worried that I'm putting on weight.
At first I got obsessed with something else - a different struggle to try and stay in control.
I find it hard to accept that there are normal fluctuations in weight.
I'm constantly afraid of putting on weight and I have to wait until next tuesday before I'll be weighed again coz that's when my next appointment is. I might not make it...
just want to reach out and let you know I know what you're going through.
best wishes,

numbers numbers

Dear Lucia,

As several have posted here so beautifully and profoundly; obsession with numbers and the scale is common with ED's. When I was battling my ED, I too was obsessed with the number on the scale and directly correlated it to my self-worth. After I recovered, I had a healthier mind, free of my ED, and could clearly see that nobody's value and talents are determined by a number. It's about Wellness NOT Weight! It's the eating disorder, and the unhealthy and unrealistic pressures set my society that reinforces this destructive lie ~ that somehow we should measure our worth by a number on a scale.

Surround yourself with those that understand this challenge and want to support you in a way that helps your achieve a full recovery and replace these false/negative messages with true/positive messages.

Congratulations on the progress you've made in your recovery. Have you shared yours struggles with your therapist? You can call the NEDA Helpline to share your thoughts, concerns and struggles too. #1.800.931.2237 (Mon. - Thurs. 9am - 9pm/Fri. 9am - 5pm/EST).

Another great resource to consider is the NEDA Navigator program! This free program connects you with a volunteer who has experience in recovery and is there to listen, support, and advise you along the way!! I think it is a great way to receive absolutely sincere support! It’s like having your owner “recovery” buddy. Here is a link to learn more!

I hope this information and support helps you. We're here for you!

Legacy of Love

Thanks Legacy of Love, I

Thanks Legacy of Love, I really appreciate your replies and your sharing of your personal experience. It's good to hear that there are others who have overcome this problem. I made it through today without weighing myself even though I literally froze standing still in the bathroom because I wanted to take the weighing scales out and weigh myself. I just fear giving that ed part of my brain any material to use to persecute me. I have shared my struggles with my therapist but I got defensive and angry with him while talking and he just let it go. I like your phrase 'Wellness not Weight' and I'm going to bear it in mind and write it in my notebook :)

Obsession with the number on the scale...Help!

If I'm home, I weigh myself constantly. I recently heard a radio programme about BMI accuracy and the doctor being interviewed said he weighed himself once a YEAR. It made me realise how far I am from having a healthy attitude to my weight. Mind you, I find it hard to believe any woman or anxious/image conscious person would only weigh themselves once a year? Anyway, I can't think of how to overcome this sort of habit as am so stuck myself. But I just wanted to say, I am sure we're not alone with this! Wishing you all the very, very best.

Every. Single. Day. For a

Every. Single. Day. For a while I vowed not to even step on the scale at all. I took out the batteries and put it away in the back of the closet. Not a week later, I was weighing in again. Of course I made up some lame excuse why it just had to be done. I find it so difficult to be firm with myself. I am leaning on the idea of asking for help but secretly, even more secret than the fact that I have a problem, I don't want to lose my "freedom" of being this way and continuing with my very bad habits. I keep telling myself that I can fix it on my own. Isn't there a self-help book out there somewhere??

number what does it really mean?

hello all, i am a dad of 15 yr old who has an ED. She to likes to know the number, there is no way for anyone who has not walked in you all's shoes to grasp the hold your ED has over you. We got rid of the scale and she only weighs at the drs office and only knows if she is in her range. It is a bit frustrating for her not to know but we mad the mistake of letting her weigh at home and letting her know her weight. MISTAKE!!! Never having gone thru this before we thought it was ok, but as you know you get fixated on a number, so she started to go back to her old ways, until a friend told us and we intervened, back on track now.
I think if you focus on how you feel instead of the number that will be a better indicator of your weight, and besides you can tell if your pants are fitting tighter so you really don't need a number. As for my daughter she is expected to gain weight only because during the healing process her bones will grow stronger and all her organs will become healthier and she will put on muscle, so just know if you are in recovery expect to gain weight but the key is it is not a reflection on being fat, it is a reflection of becoming healthy. Replace the lies with truth. If you want to know how to do that let me know.


So, this is my first post on

So, this is my first post on NEDA's website, as I've only just discovered there is a forum, and this was one of the first posts I saw. I do the SAME THING! And seeing all of these people who feel as dependent on the scale and the numbers as I am makes me feel so much less alone <3 Thank you!

And in terms of trying to overcome this, I'm a long way from perfect, but my current goal is not to let the numbers dictate my day. I'm trying my best to, even if it's a number I don't like, just go on with my day, not letting the numbers control what I eat or my moods. It isn't always easy, but my anxiety about the numbers on the scale is slowly having less power over my life. Best of luck!


I worry about my weight everyday! I constantly am worrying about the number on the scale, For me the number has to go down, and if it doesn't I either fast that day or over exercise, anyone else do the same? what can I do to help myself?

Most Females do

I do too. It may sound crazy, and obsessive but its vanity and part of being a female too. The problem that everything should be in Moderation, When we become so obscessed that we bend over backwards w/ obsession then we need to join others in recobvering and focusing on the outside of ourselves w/ interaction and our health and other things like spirituality and grades, etc......