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.