Saturday, March 31, 2012

body image blues

Last night, I went to a birthday celebration for my Grandma. She is turning the big 90 and so it was a big event for friends and family to come celebrate with her. It was an open house type thing at a local church in the gymnasium. Lots of tables set up, where people could sit and visit and eat. And a dessert buffet too. There were some relatives there that I haven't seen in a while, and a couple of them commented on my "healthier" body shape. I know I should be used to this by now, because people would comment all the time as I was gaining weight and becoming more healthy a little over a year ago. Back then, it was so uncomfortable and horribly triggering. It made me feel so self-conscious and it didn't make the weight gain (and maintenance) any easier. But I knew that people meant well. I knew they were feeling relieved and happy that I was now finally getting healthy - as they saw me for most of my life as sick and underweight. I thought that enough time had gone by for me to be okay with comments like that. I was wrong And last night, the ed thoughts were REALLY doing it's best to bring all of those old feelings back. (And it doesn't help that the past few months, I have been struggling a bit more with my body image..) I was having "one of those days" when it comes to body image, and really I didn't need people to vocalize and point out the obvious to me that yes, I have gained weight. I've just been feeling more sensitive, I guess.

One person said to me, "You look like you've gained weight!" And another person made some similar comments but hers kept going on and on...and on. I smiled, thanked(?) them and walked away while inside I was feeling anxious, panicked, self-conscious, mortified... I walked right over to my mother and asked her if I could talk to her in the hall. I knew I needed to process this since it seemed to be really affecting me. Even though I have been feeling more self-conscious about my body lately - I was still a bit surprised by how strongly those comments were affecting me last night, and how vulnerable to the ed I was. I was on the verge of tears and emotional while talking to my mom - but thankfully, she was able to talk me through it.

I'm not gonna lie... those feelings stuck with me through the rest of the night, and they are still bothering me some today... but the healthy part of me understands that no one was calling me fat, or thinking I had gained too much weight. (Even though that is exactly how I felt last night!) I felt very uncomfortable, and left to go home very soon after those comments were made. And it makes me feel so disappointed in myself. I hate when I let the ed thoughts win and bring me down : ( 

Body image is STILL something I struggle with. Some days are better than others. Some days, I am actually happy with the way I look. I never thought that would ever be possible! But I do still have those days where I struggle with it. But I know that as I grow further into recovery, the stronger I will become, and I will love my body - imperfections and all!

3 comments:

  1. Jenn,

    I Hope you are ok hun. Sometimes people make such comments because they mean well but little do they know that EDs use these kinds of remarks as ammunition against a person in recovery (not fun at all).

    Sending you much hope, love & strength,

    Kylie xo

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  2. I definitely feel your pain on this one. It is so hard for me not take "Healthy" as a synonym for "Fat". We've spent so much time training our brains to fight for compliments like "skinny" and "thin" that it will understandably take some time to coach ourselves into having a different reflex when we hear that we look "healthy". It helps me to remember the things a "healthy" body can do that a "skinny" body can't do.

    Other times, I just wish that I could just wear a sign on my forehead that says "Don't say anything about my body". People don't know that there's nothing good that can be done with a body comment.

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  3. It will keep getting easier.
    So much love <3<3

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