Saturday, June 20, 2009

progression and regression

I had a good look in the mirror today (naked, eww) and unfortunately my body image has taken a turn for the worse. But it's not really a concern over "would I look good in a bikini?" or anything like that. It's more of an emotional thing. Ok, I'll explain....
You know the whole theory about anorexia that says that the anorexic starves herself to avoid having a "grown up body", and the goal is to regress to a childhood form? Or something like that; I'm sure I didn't state it correctly but you get the idea. Well, for me it's the opposite.
As a child, I always had a soft, curvy, kind of chubby body. Thighs that were wide at the top, a stomach that stuck out, breasts before I hit middle school. I was awkward and insecure about my body, myself, and I was dealing with some pretty bad anxiety and deppression and also crap going on at home. When i developed anorexia in my teens, and then when it got worse as a young adult, I felt I was starving all those negative feelings away, growing up, becoming more sure of myself and adult and in control. Becoming my own person. When my anorexia gets bad, although I don't look it on the outside, on the inside I feel very powerful and "grown up", and when I look in the mirror that's what I see. Those are the feelings i associate with a sickly and underweight body.
So, as i begin to put on weight, my mental self-image actually regresses. Today when i looked in the mirror and saw the round tummy, the thick waist, the thighs that touch, even though it was a more shapely, womanly body, what I saw was a child. Myself at 12. Scared alone, consumed by fears and insecurities. A helpless, hopeless child. And all those feelings that i am terrified of came flooding back.
I want to run from it. I want to starve it away. I want to restrict until I become lean and hard and strong again. Until I am sure of who I am; until the scared little girl is gone.
I'm not going to, though. I can't make any promises about tommorrow, or next week, because i'm not sure how long i can tolerate this, but just for today, I will be brave. I don't want to be sick for the rest of my life, so I have to find a way to live with this body. If I keep starving it away when the feelings get too uncomfortable, I will never get well. I have to face this.

On a side note, my last post was post #100 on my blog. I just have to say that having this blog has helped me through so many rough times (today included) and i am so greatful for my blogger friends and for the courageous and wonderful people I have met, who support me, and who share their lives with complete strangers. I actually think that I have had more breakthroughs while blogging and reading blogs then i have had in therapy in a long time. So, thank you!


Lisa said...


Keely said...

I hear ya. I still have body image issues. It is so weird that it varies on my mood how "big" or "thin" I am regardless of my weight being the same. I am proud of you for fighting it today. :)

P.S- your little note in parenthesese (nakey, ewww) made me giggle. he he! said...

You and I are in sync this week. My body image has regressed as well. While I didn't have the same exact experience as you growing up (I don't associate womanly bodies with childhood), I TOTALLY TOTALLY connect with what you wrote about feeling powerful and grown up when you restrict. I also identify with feeling insecure, hopeless, terrified with seeing a womanly body on yourself - and I know what you mean when you say that you want to "restrict until you become lean and hard and strong again. Until you are sure of who you are." Boy do I use the restriction for the same purpose.

I like how you made a commitment to not give in to the restriction for just one day. That's right. Take it one day - one meal - at a time. When you think about what's effective, it is not effective to restrict. You're more likely to binge. And you're not living in line with your true values. Also, it is possible to have a womanly body that is fit and slim.

Talk to yourself the way you'd talk to me or someone else struggling with this same issue. Try to stay rational as you fight the restriction thoughts. Has restriction actually worked in the past in any SUSTAINABLE, ONGOING way? No. It won't work this time either.

Zena said...

((((HUGS))) dear one, I too have a similar experiance with wieght gain, i was chubby as a child so when i restrict its to run a away from that scared little girl inside me who feels that she has no control, over what has happened to her. I am so proud of you, you are making such great many more days til emma gets back?? I have been thing about her and praying for you both.


ps thankyou for the card, it was teh only mai lI got and it made me feel well ummmm...warm and fuzzy(((HUGS)))


I think that this is a very insightful posting. Like you, whenever I have gained weight- I too begin to feel more like I did as a little girl. I developed faster than my peers as a child (which scared me), and always had a more curvey body as a child. Gaining weight, makes me feel like I did when I was a young child- which terriffies me- and I too get so afraid of being that young girl.

God Bless,