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.
(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).