tummies.

It’s really blood cold this morning. I’m really shivery actually. I might put on another jumper. Why is it so cold? It’s almost July! So annoying. So so annoying. Miserable weather right now. I like the cold, but I don’t like the cold when we’ve turned out heating off for summer.

So I was going to do this epic post, but I changed my mind. It’s pretty hard to talk about and I think maybe it’s not so bad or whatever and I changed my mind. Ah well. Instead I’m going to post something really great. Imma talk about my body.

I read all these posts from all these people who are like “my eating disorder has nothing to do with my body shape”, but mine totally does. I always feel like I should mention that to the real life people who read this seeing as they might not know of the elusive non-fat phobic anorexia sufferer and I don’t want to generalize and promote inaccurate stereotypes. Anyway, there’s a lot of other things that come into play when restriction gets going for sure. It’s calming, addictive, numbing etc., but I wanted to be small for sure. At first I wanted to lose the extra weight I put on during first year. I lost that, and more, really quickly, and by that point I was too scared to eat normally. I did actually think I looked great at that point, but I was so scared to gain it back that I just kept losing. A lot of my eating disorder is purely about being scared to gain weight back. At one point, I really didn’t want to lose more weight so every time I reached a certain pound, I’d make a point of eating bare Ciao burger and loads of chocolate and crisps, but as soon as it got a couple of pound up, I’d freak the fuck out and under eat again. It wasn’t till I started to notice real problems in my relationship with the Ex that I actively decided that I needed to be tiny. I needed to be the small one. In my mind, he thought small was pretty and therefore I needed to be smaller than every other girl because that was better and he’d like me more. He didn’t think small was pretty and told me I looked scary and I pushed him away more, but still I believed the eating disorder logic. I was still losing weight at this point so I don’t think it actually changed all that much physcially, but this was when I really decided that it looked best being small. I wanted bigger thigh gaps and more bones because those things were beautiful. Existing on as little as possible and resisting all food was the ideal.

Nowadays when I see really tiny lady pictures, I think about how hard it must be for them. I think about the pressure sores and digestive issues and flaky skin and head hair loss/body hair gain paradox and think it is actually the least fun and totally not at all glamorous. You don’t hear about the pressure sores. Pressure sores are really ugly.  If you done have enough fat covering your bones, pressure sores are inevitable. It doesn’t change the fact that I very much look at tiny people and think that they have fabz bodies and want them even now and hate my own body for not looking like that. What can I say? I’m most definitely fat-phobic and the media does affect my body image in a negative way and that’s just the way it is. My body has never reached the standards of attractive thrown in my face all the time and I hate it for that. There isn’t much I can do about it because it’s genetic, but it makes me sad. I hold my weight in stomach and thighs, but never in my bum. I’ve never needed a bra, regardless of whether I’m overweight or underweight. I have broad shoulders and slim hips with little waist definition. I have chunky arms though for sure. These things are always the same, regardless of body weight. Except for my waist. I get a waist when I’m really underweight. And my stomach does actually get flat when my BMI is so low I start collapsing all the time. Sustaining that was destroying me though.  Basically, I’m destined to have this awful body.

Things do change though.

Stop the press guys – I’ve actually got a waist! I know right? What the fuck? I’ve never had a waist. I’m tubular. Not anymore because I’m all waisted. I don’t even know when this happened but it’s pretty great. Maybe I did always have a waist all along. Or maybe my body shape has changed a bit in the last few years. It’s not like, the world’s most prominent waist, but there is definite waist going on in my life right now. I noticed it yesterday. I know this going to sound super arrogant, but I actually think that crop tops suit me because then I actually notice my waist. They cut just across the waist line, highlighting the definition in that area. Wearing stupid clothes throughout recovery may just pay off because I looked in the mirror and thought “actually, you look alright. You’re belly isn’t too big and you have all this waist happening and you look good in that crop top” which wouldn’t of happened if I’d been covering up. My body is entirely not defined. I try to think of it as soft instead of fat, but that can be hard. There is no muscle definition there though really. But soft is actually pretty on other people so if I think that enough maybe it’ll be pretty on me.

Bodies in recovery change a hella lot. In general, your body preferentially lays down fat over muscle tissue, but that fat is then used as energy sources for muscle growth over time. That time is different for everyone, but it’s often over a year for the full redistribution of body tissue. Most people also preferentially lay fat down in their stomach, though it does eventually start going everywhere else. I know that for ages, I had bony back, chest, arms and legs with a big ol’ preggerz belly. Now though, I do have fat on all my body areas so although I’m not convinced my stomach will ever change seeing as it’s always been big and round, it does look a little bit less weird. All those people who tell you body image does improve in recovery are right though. It fully does improve. I may well hate my belly and waist again in an hour, but in general, the trend in body image is upwards. Even though my thighs most definitely have no gap. And lets not lie, it’s definitely better when you can’t see your spine through your clothes. My belly sticks out all grose, but I am actually slightly woman shaped. I’m hoping that’s a good thing. I don’t know if it’s redistributing or what, but it could definitely be worse.

I still have a lot of body hang ups. Like a lot a lot. But my body is so much happier now than it’s been in so long and that’s worth celebrating. I may not be the small one and my stomach may not be at what I see as ideal, but I had that ideal and I was having a rubbish time so I think it’s better. I think a lot of people in recovery start or continue to hide their bodies away with lots of shame that it’s changed and got bigger and all of that malarky. Not everyone because some people definitely believe that more body weight looks better as they are non-fat phobic AN sufferers, but everyone else maybe. I don’t actually think that’s all good though. I think you actually have to look at your body a little bit, and dress to show it off. You have to spend time getting to know it in order to get used to it and that unfortunately involves getting out of sweats and baggy t-shirts sometimes. So I’m going to be ok with my belly and my new-found waist. And you know what else, I’m going to embrace it. Judge it as you like, it’s mine and I’m going to be bloody well proud of my recovery body.

This is my belly and waist yesterday night. After a full day of food and absolutely no exercise. I think that maybe, it’s not so bad.

(ps. check out my number one favorite body part – my belly button! Seriously, it’s so perfectly round! And also you can’t see the bottom so it looks like a never-ending pit. I really love my belly button so much. This is why it has escaped piercing so long :D).

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14 Comments

Filed under life, recovery

14 responses to “tummies.

  1. justaweescone

    I love this post! Most inspiring, you have a beautiful tummy! You should be so proud of yourself x

  2. Oh hunny! I don’t even know what to comment here (<< Me&No words? Rare indeed!)

    I LOVE you're finding self love. LOVE IT!

    And I wish I could try and make you see what I see when I see (thats a lot of see) your picture. I have no idea where the words chunky, large belly, big and round or fat fit in there. And I am not saying that to make you feel better or whatever. I mean it

    You look awesome. And can defo do with a few more if I may say so. But love the bodylove. Awesome!

    (and those are the striped jeans? They rock!!)

    • I have 2 pairs of striped jeans now – these and a chunky patterned, skinnier fit black and white pair. Vertical strips are seriously sucking me in right now. I just see vertical strips and I lose all sense of choice.

      Trust, my belly is pretty round. I don’t like it all that much, but I do think that sometimes it’s ok. I just have to dress it right, then it’s ok. Saying all this though, I literally just cried at my Mum because of my unfortunate belly shape genetics. Seriously. Which is ridiculous.

      Thank you thought! x.

  3. Meg

    Ahhh this is the HAPPIEST post ever! I love it. You have a bodacious bod Ms Ellie, a such a lovely waist! Your increasing body confidence is awesome, and yet again you’ve inspired me to go and get some confidence of my own! xx

    • I know right? An actual waist! Seriously it actually amazes me.

      Thank you though. Body confidence comes and goes but when it’s there, you have to really capitalise.

      x.

  4. Hey :) Have been following your blog for a while now as a fellow anorexia sufferer/in recovery-er… would love to be able to read your password-protected entries but understand if you’d rather not let me.
    Thanks for the new post too :)

  5. arabelladesiderium

    Such a happy post! Love it! I agree with Sooz, I wish you could see what we see – you look great!

  6. BOOM that is one helluva waist, anyone with sense would be totally proud of it too. Weirdly I was always tubular too. Weirder still, I am not tubular yet either. I absolutely LOVE your stripey jeans. I want them. :)
    You look awesome and should be proud.
    Excellent post. You win 100 internets.

    • Where are all these waists coming from? It’s ridiculous.

      Thank you though. I do have awesome jeans. I swear down me and good clothes seem to be happening all over the place right now :) x.

  7. Seriously, can i pop u in my pocket and take you out whenever im feeling crappy?! you are the SHIZZ lady!!! i have been finding it so hard to justify stopping my stretches and worrying about what will happen if i dont exercise all the time. will i get fat, will i change? and suddenly it just clicked. i will still be ME, still be my SHAPE, just soft…. and soft is nice!!! sure i like the feeling of rock solidness when i body check and pinch/poke my stomach. but it doesnt reassure me of anything. i still have bloated preggerzbelly, its just rock hard. thats not pretty!!!
    you may have just sealed the deal on me NOT stretching tomoz. yippeeee!
    x

    • Glad to be of service! Seriously though, you so much do not need to stretch. It’s silliness really and you know it too. You’ll get out of the habit though I think. Hope it goes well x.

  8. Jelly of your tummy, I have huuuuge recovery belly and look preggers, and your jeans are awesome!

    Can relate to your, should I say motivations? I sort of am fat phobic in the fact I hate having fat on my body, but I know I’m not fat if that makes sense. I also wanted to shift half a stone of first year weight and got carried away, however i’ve only got body conscious since recovery because I’ve got my body back and it’s like, argh!

    • I duno. I was meds in first year which caused a 2 stone gain in a year so I started off overweight so very body conscious. When I initially lost weight, I knew I stopped looking and feeling too heavy, but I was desperate to not look like that again and I got terrified of weight gain. The fear made me lose more weight. Even though I knew I wasn’t big, I could just as equally see fat on me because I thought (and still think) that I hold my weight in such a way that I basically always look fat (regardless of how much I weigh, my stomach always sticks out more than my boobs. Overweight, underweight – always the same). I know I’m not actually fat, I just look it. And the annoying thing is that I don’t even know if that’s true or not. Argh. Confused brain.

      Hope you’re well x.

      • York sucks! You can’t get orange lipstick here… too the internet!

        I’ve always had big thighs, so yeah, hate how I put on weight too. Feel I look, well, wide? So yeah, I know my weight’s healthy for my height, yet i like being small, even though it’s totally illogical.

        I put on lots of weight in first year just because I loved cooking =D All my housemates did too, we used to eat like, 5 meals a day… no wonder I gained half a stone!

        I hate confused brain, people say I’m thin, I say I’m big, argh!

        Hope you’re well too. x

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