Friday, October 7, 2011

"You look so healthy!"

"You've gained so
much weight! You look so healthy! You look so much better!"

I don't get these comments said to me as much as I used to. I have been able to maintain a healthy weight for nearly a year now (which is something I never thought I'd be able to do!) So most people around me have already gotten those comments out of their system (while I silently cringed uncomfortably & wanted to die the whole time...because the eating disorder had me convinced that they were calling me fat...). But someone I hadn't seen in a while said these things to me the other day. And while it's true that I do feel a lot more comfortable in my body now then when I first reached this weight - it does still trigger some negative feelings for me when people say this. I am not sure why. I thought I had gotten over that part.

I have worked so hard in recovery, and I am learning to love my body more and more every day... so why do these comments still bring up negative feelings? Feelings of embarrassment, guilt, shame, regret, ect. I am proud of myself for reaching this weight. Every day I am learning to love my body more. I am grateful for all of the things I can do now - that I couldn't do when my weight was so unstable. It has taken a lot of hard work in my recovery (a long, tiring, difficult, seemingly endless process full of relapses), a lot of self-acceptance, a lot of time and patience as I was getting used to having all of these new curves, and certain people in my life to help me to truly believe that this body is a better & healthier body for me then the one that I had for so long while I was struggling with my eating disorder. And most days, I believe that. I am happy with the weight I am at. I look like a woman now instead of a little girl. I have curves. Curves are beautiful. And I feel good about that.

But those comments... still do sting a little. They are still hard to hear, and it does make me catch my breath & panic for a minute when I hear them (and then "healthy jenn" quickly intervenes and reminds me that those comments are a good thing!) and I feel more okay about it again. I guess it just surprised me how much those comments affected me the other day. Especially since I've been feeling pretty confident and comfortable at the weight I am at (which I never thought would be possible!!) But it is. And I do. So why do I still feel that way when I hear those comments? Is it just a part of my mind that is still irrational and I just need to give it more time in recovery? Or will those feelings always be there in the back of my mind?


  1. I don't think it is irrationality at all.
    Maybe a little.
    I think that it is like an automatic response to what is said.
    We become so programmed when we have eating disorders.
    That a response on being well is the same for a long time.
    For me now, I get it a lot.
    Especially because I have other mental health problems, I can look better and less stressed at times ;)
    But something still stings, and I think it is like an internal sound check.
    I look "well" BUT do I "feel" well?
    Usually I do and usually things are amazing in my life, when those comments come, but I guess we get scared that the message means we are all okay and some days we don't feel that.
    I don't know if I just made any sense <3

  2. I find that phrase such an odd one as it implies that the appearance of outer health is indicative of good physical and/or mental health. As we all know those things don't always correlate that readily.

    Anyhoo, when that's happened in the past I told myself that really they were acknowledging my hard work, but didn't want to broach that awkward conversation