Today was hard, it sucks when one little thing sets you off. It could be the fact that your doctor is making you wear orthopedic shoes which are not cute and do not complete any outfit. Or that you ran into someone you know when your hair was a mess and you had no makeup on. Then comes the thought spiral: Now what do people think? I’m the fat girl who has given up on looking good. I let myself go. Or wow, Hayley looks terrible today. Do I really want to be seen with her? Which leads to me feeling like I’m not good enough. People don’t want to hang out with me. They would want to if I was thin. I could try to lose weight. I’m already hungry, and I haven’t eaten in hours. This is a good time to start. But that’s my eating disorder talking.
The other part of my brain says I’m beautiful and no one cares (or notices) if I’m not wearing makeup and my hair is a mess. And if they do, fuck them! They have no right to judge me or anyone for the way I look! I’m fat, and I have just as much of a right to exist and take up space.
The problem is when both of those voices are competing in my head, fighting for my attention, I don’t feel sane. I feel out of control and insane. I want to have control over my brain and my thoughts. I’m still struggling to make that mean part of my brain quieter. I’m trying to practice more kindness and compassion for myself and challenge those bad thoughts that come up. It’s a process.
Today I had a realization. When I was at my thinnest, I was often the most depressed. I think it was because after the pride and glory of being thin wore off, I realized it didn’t solve any of my problems. It wasn’t the magical experience I thought it would be.
Sure I got more attention from boys, but it wasn’t positive attention. As much as I want men to be attracted to me, beauty fades. And I want to find someone who loves and wants me for what’s inside. The boys I was with when I was thin liked me because of the way I looked. It may be harder for me to find someone now, but I don’t just want anyone. I want someone who wants me for who I am. Now it’s easier to wade through the boys and find the men.
My eating disorder told me that when I was thin, I would get everything I wanted. I would get the perfect boyfriend. The positive attention I craved, everything would be easier. But once I reached that goal weight, the target shifted. It was no longer the weight I had to change. Now it was something else: tone the butt, work out the thighs, fix the teeth. Now I realize it never would have been enough. My eating disorder would never be satisfied.
I need to find another target, a stagnant target. I’m excited to be starting in a body positive group. I’m ready to learn how to love my body the way it is because I realize that no matter how much I change my body, ED (my Eating Disorder) will never be happy.
Today I picked up the photos from my Boudoir photo shoot. I tried to dull my expectations and remind myself it was okay if I didn’t like the pictures. Sometimes it’s hard for me to look at my body and find the beauty in it. During my viewing at the studio, my heart raced as they showed me the first few photos. I hated the first shots, but in the end, I ended up loving 20 images. I didn’t know who that girl was on the screen. She looked like a model. She looked fearless. Was that me?
After a month of waiting, today is the day I get to view the final images. As I opened the box and pulled out the little black book, I was nervous. It’s hard for me to accept my new body. I’ve gained a lot of weight in recovery, and it’s difficult for me to see my new body. I read an article written by a plus sized blogger about how she did a boudoir shoot and it was cathartic for her. It helped her love her body and curves. I found a $30 Groupon and thought “why not?”.
But after a month of building these photos up, of remembering how great I looked. I was a little disappointed with the photos. I like the photos. Some of them I love. They weren’t all as amazing as I remembered. But in some of the photos I looked beautiful, sexy, ad fierce. Those were not words I would have used to describe my new body. I didn’t know if I would ever feel that way about this body, but some of these photos made me feel that way. It wasn’t a magic cure for my body image problems, but it was a big step forward. I’m trying to acknowledge and be proud of myself for my strides forward. Its’ hard for me to do that and in the darkest moments it feels like I’ve made no progress, but I have. So I should be proud.
I have an eating disorder. For a long time, I had trouble saying that. And for a while, I wore it as a badge of honor. It meant I was so committed to being thin, that I made the most extreme sacrifice– my body. I realize now that wasn’t healthy. I never thought much of myself or my body. Because of that, I abused it and let others abuse it too. I’m currently working to repair my relationship with my body. I’ve learned it’s important to advocate for myself and my body. This blog is about my journey to become body positive.