So, summer is coming to end, but something that is not just a summer problem, but an all year problem is feeling comfortable in your own body. It is something that I have more recently been struggling with in my recovery.
I had been struggling a lot with just not feeling like myself in my own skin. I would see myself in a window, or in a mirror and just feel confused and depressed because I could not believe that that was me. I was so used to being the small one, to seeing someone who was shrinking; and a part of me hurt to see my body as it was now.
I am just not used to being this size and at times I feel so uncomfortable. I put clothing on that used to swallow me and now actually fits me how it was made too, and at times is too small. And instead of just thinking that clothing is meant to fit me, not me fit the clothing.
So, I buy new clothing.
One of the things that has helped me the most is shopping, but not just going and buying clothing but going to thrift stores and making a new style for myself. Not just big sweaters and leggings, but clothing that I would have never worn. Clothing that is colorful and fun and that is new and makes me fill adventurous.
I love trying new styles that I would have never worn, and at first not being sure about it but then deciding that I am going to own it and fill good in what I am wearing. And sometimes I go out and get praised and flattered, and sometimes no one says anything; but no matter what others say, I know that it is a necessary step for me to continue in my recovery.
Another thing that has helped me is having a bit of a reality check. I talk to my close friends and family who I can open up to about my struggles, and they help to bring me back to what is true, and not focusing on my BDD.
I have to consciously bring my thoughts back to reality and to check my perspective. To think about what is important. Not my gaining weight. Not going up a size. Not looking a little bit different (might I add “healthier”). But that I can be free. That I can go out to eat without stress. That I can go shopping and enjoy myself. That I can say yes to so much more.
Another thing that has been a struggle is photos. We all know the struggle, eating disorder or not. Of looking at a photo that caught you at a “bad” angle, that you look at and cringe because you cannot believe that that is what everyone else has been seeing the whole time.
I would hate to look at pictures of myself because I knew what I saw was not what I felt like. Because in the moment I felt good, I was having fun, I was enjoying myself without having to worry too much about how I was looking. But then I see a photo from the day and feel horrified. And to be honest it makes no sense.
Photos are meant to capture happy moments. Not to make us look perfect. And if you feel like this is becoming a major set back for you in your recovery then you maybe should delete your instagram or facebook for a while. Get away from the constant photos of girls look “perfect” and the constant cycle of comparing yourself to an impossible standard.
Because it is impossible. And where your body is right now is where its meant to be. Maybe take sometime to appreciate your body. Meditate some. Feel you body. Move around with it. Test its strength, stamina, flexibility. Get to know your body again, what it craves and needs.
Our bodies are meant to just take us places, to be the house in which we experience life. And we are made to go into the world and experience life. So next time you see yourself in a mirror, instead of feeling horrible about weight gain, appreciate that you’re walking and moving and that your body has taken you this far in life.
Be boldly unafraid, to be forever freed,