I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea where this blog post is going, but I want it to remain as authentic as possible. I think it’s important to allow your feelings the time and space to be understood and accepted for what they are, even if they’re difficult. From the outside, it appears I’m mostly happy and well, but I continue to battle with how my body looks and feels. My eating disorder makes looking in the mirror and trying on clothes a miserable experience.
The end goal has remained the same throughout my recovery: like yourself more. I could grow to enjoy my company, but the company of my body is something else entirely. I’ve been at many different weights and shapes from childhood to adulthood, but I’ve never found a measure that I feel content being or maintaining. So much guilt surrounds my body, even if I’m considered a “healthy weight”.
At my heaviest weight, I was 10 stone (140lbs). At my lowest weight, 5 stone (70lbs). But I never felt content weighing at either end of the scale. When I was overweight, I wanted to be thin. When I was underweight, I wanted a life. No matter what extreme I was, I felt little exhilaration for it. I never found the satisfaction or physical self-love I was looking for. And to be brutally honest, I still haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my healthier condition and mind, but I can’t find it in me to embrace the figure I carry, even if it is nourished. When I look at my body in the changing rooms or shower, I’m disappointed. I wonder how I’ve let myself get this way. But what way, exactly? I don’t know. I could go to the gym again and tone up. I could run for longer to get the body I think I want, but the maintenance of these exercises is too much for me. I’ve already led a life controlled by exercise, and I led no life at all. It was painful and unhappy and lonely. And all I got out of it was a body too small for my organs.
Despite reaching a better place weight-wise, wrestling with my body is ongoing. I avoid certain clothes for fear they’ll reveal my weight is on par with a behemoth, despite knowing otherwise. I can’t stand anything tight on my body either because my eating disorder quickly affirms I’m my worst nightmare. I have outfits tucked away in drawers and cupboards obviously too small for me now, but I don’t throw them away. It’s as though the act of removing them from my bedroom will signal the end of something I’m not ready to let go of. I don’t plan on fitting into children’s clothing again, but I can’t shake the belief that thinness is a state you inevitably work towards.
It’s no lie that I’m struggling with my mental health right now, but I’m encouraged by my openness and resilience. We don’t have to be OK all the time, and there’s strength in accepting that.