Recovery for Tee Kaa: How I Let Go of My Scale and Found Freedom

Tee Kaa Photo

Tee Kaa, Timberline Knolls Recovery Alumna

I remember the first time I saw a dietician. She weighed me and told me not to weigh myself during my recovery.

“Okay”, I said, knowing I was going to weigh myself as soon as I arrived home and several more times before the day would conclude. Sometime after those first few sessions, the dietician started encouraging me to bring my scale to her office.

“Why would I give you my scale? It’s like my best friend.” I seriously joked. “That’s exactly why,” she would say back to me every time. Truth is my scale was more than my best friend. My scale was what seemed like my “everything” — it determined my mood, worth, and success.

I earned “A’s” in college. They meant nothing depending on the number of the scale. I earned my undergrad degree in social work. Walking across the stage and being handed my well-earned diploma meant very little to me compared to how my dress fit and number on the scale that morning and that early afternoon.

Many would have worried about tripping or shaking hands with the wrong hand that afternoon, but for me? I worried about what food was going to be at home later and how I was going to have a successful day of no weight gain.

Nothing mattered as much as the chunk of battery-operated glass that I stepped on each morning, and sometimes several more times a day. And, if it said I was failing, I was devastated.

Today, I bash this lie.

Today, I bash my scale.

Today, I bash my warped view of success and gladly failed at my eating disorder.

Today, I succeed at friendships, my work, having compassion, providing empathy, and recovery.

Today, I succeed where it really matters and fail where it does not.

How do I measure failure now? I don’t. I measure how well I did the task at hand and how I can change what I did to have an even better outcome the next time.

I understand and admit when I have messed up and was in the wrong. Then I do better. I define failure as sitting down, throwing in the towel, giving up, and refusing to try again.

With this definition, I do not have failure in my life: only successes and lessons learned while standing on solid ground and not a chunk of glass. Oh, and most importantly, there is one thing I have failed at, my eating disorder.

I will proudly admit that I failed at my eating disorder in many ways—one being not having an acceptable number on the scale. I am proud to have gone through recovery and no longer be in the grips of my eating disorder lies and the abuse of its tools, namely, the scale. I am proud to be an “eating disorder drop-out” and a scale-bashing warrior!

About Our Sponsor:

At Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center outside of Chicago, Illinois, we provide specialized care for women and adolescent girls who are living with eating disorders.

Learn more about our rock star friend – Tee Kaa

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed & Approved on December 2, 2020, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC
Published December 2, 2020, on