Monday, October 25, 2010

ED lies and body image.

I was looking for some new photos to put up on facebook today when I came to an odd realization - I don't have any recent pictures of me.

"Why?" You might ask. Well I was rather puzzled at this interesting phenomenon myself I had a sudden flashback of myself systematically going through my pictures and deleting them.

This might seem odd to some (ok most) people, but the truth is I did find a few left on the computer and I still didn't put them up. The reason for this is because it is honestly painful for me to look at myself. I am honestly uphalled when I see my body. I look like a 12-13 yr old sickly little girl. It's sad, really sad.

I remember when I first started losing weight, and how thrilling it was for me to see that number go lower. As I developed my eating disorder I assigned myself a "goal weight". Actually I had several. One was one I honestly attempted to reach and the other one was more for show, to advertise how pro-ana I was. It's sickening for me to hear myself say this, but sadly it's true. I never actually really wanted to lose as much as I did. I am now 8 kgs lower then my 1st goal weight and 2 kgs lower then my "ultimate goal".

The sad thing is that my ED always told me that I would like myself better if I was only a "little bit thinner". When I first started loosing weight I dreamed of the day I would reach my ideal. I would take pictures of myself in a bikini and put them up, so everyone could praise me for my "well kept body". I would wear skimpier clothes, because I would finally be confident enough to do so.

That was a total lie.

The skinnier I got, the more self-conscious I got. I pilled on layers of clothes, first to hide the "fat" and after a while just to keep myself warm and to hide the fact that I was so thin from others. I never took pictures in a bikini, actually I've only worn one once in the whole time I've had my eating disorder. And I've never gotten a compliment as to how my body looks. Instead I've been called sick, scary skinny and unattractive.
Me at a healthy weight.

Me (not a recent picture) at a much lower weight (note the scarf that I put on for the sole purpose of hiding my protruding bones)

It's funny though, I didn't learn my lesson 1st time around. I went into IP, regained all my weight and then set out to lose "just 2 kgs". Did I stop? No. Why? Because it was the same little voice that made me look at my stomach in the mirror and say "Just another kg, then you'll be content". Until I reached the point I am at now.

While I was still in the depths of my ED I remember clothes shopping. I went into a clothes store and headed for the kids section. I picked up a pair of short - too big. Next size down - too big. Finally I picked up a size that I thought might fit and went into the dressing room. It was at that moment I finally saw what everyone else had been seeing all along.I looked at myself and saw a virtual skeleton. Bones sticking out everywhere, pale skin, goose bumps all over (though it was the middle of summer) The shorts fit alright, but I hardly filled them out. The size 10-12 years old. I cried as I looked at myself. I wanted to stop this madness, I wanted a way out. I just didn't feel strong enough.

I hope I can remember this lesson. I hope I can keep the image in that mirror forever in my mind. No matter how "fat" I feel or look, I need to remember that the little voice that whispers to me is LYING. When I am thin I am not beautiful. I am ashamed of my body. I am self-conscious. And I am not happy.

Contentment will not come with a number on a scale. Contentment will not come with fitting into this or that size. Contentment comes with accepting that you are unique and beautiful in your own way. When you come to see that, that's when you will be happy.


  1. Ugh, the stories that ED keeps telling you in your head,eh? After a while it's just like, "ENOUGH WITH YOUR B.S. ALREADY!!!"

    L, you look absolutely gorgeous in your first picture! Your eyes are completely stunning :)

    I remember last summer when I was wearing woollies the whole time because I was so frightfully cold and to everyone else it was SCORCHING outside. The only time I got to enjoy the heat was when I was out running...and I was NOT enjoying that at all.

    No matter how big your feel, it's so much better than feeling like you are about to die.

    Keep up your positivity, L!! I love it :D


  2. I remember the first time I could fit into a small t-shirt instead of the XXL's I had been wearing up until my ED, I felt so great! And then, much like yourself, it's just "another few pounds" and "your abs will look even better!" It's such a vicious cycle and I'm glad that I'm not as caught in it as I once was.

    I'm now able to see when I'm losing weight - my face gets pretty gaunt and I get deep circles around my eyes, so I start to eat a bit more, but there's nothing that's really keeping me at a healthy weight. When I get depressed my appetite goes away (like how some people overeat in the same situation). I guess it's just part of my coping mechanism but it'd be nice if that wasn't something so harmful to my health.

    Nice post, I'm glad to see that you're keeping a happy face about it and it's a huge step to post pictures of yourself (regardless of when they were taken) so kudos to you on that as well!

  3. This is a great post. Keep reminding yourself of it when you're feeling down. And personally, the photo of the healthy you look amazing! I unfortunatly, don't have any good healthy photos of myself. The only ones I have are the ones at the weight I'm at now.

    But you're right, as we got thinner and thinner, the voice got louder and our confidence went down even more. But now, the only way to go is up. As our weight goes up, we have a healthier mindset and we feel confident within ourselves.