I get so ridiculously happy when someone comments that I have lost weight. My smile starts from my soul and spreads to my face and like that my day has been made. Feeling giddy that someone noticed I look smaller is, I think, becoming more and more harmful. Having an unhealthy relationship with food, having an eating disorder, or having both is a hard thing to go through.
I have never really had a healthy relationship with food, and I still don’t.
I struggle to put a name to what I go through in my head, terms like body dysmorphia and eating disorder come to mind, but I struggle to say these words seriously.
Growing up, I felt like a monster amongst my petite classmates. Going to clothing stores was, until recently, an embarrassing event that I preferred to do alone
One day when I was around seven or eight, upon returning from a shopping failure with my mother, I heard her say in disbelief, “that was the biggest size….” to my granny as she watched me struggle to pull up a pair of name brand pants my mom had just dropped a pretty penny on. I shouldn’t remember these moments, but I do. I remember being greeted at family gatherings by an aunt who would call to me by saying “fat gal how have you been!?” with a sneer.
To my family members fat was an adjective.
I am not writing this to expose my family as this negative force that pushed me to have an eating disorder. I just want people to know that little comments can affect someone. At the Thanksgiving dinner being greeted with “are you eating all the food??” as people looked at me in comparison to my thin brother, being told I was fat and then “jokingly” being accused of taking food from the skinny “victim” was just more than my low self -esteem could handle. In reality, I would just smile as if I was totally okay with everything.
Sometimes I think if I had curved myself at an earlier age, I wouldn’t have the problems I have today. If I had joined a sports team or discovered how to properly diet early on, who knows.
Every summer during high school and even before high school, I told myself this would be the summer that I would lose all the weight. This would be the summer I would shock everyone.I achieved it one summer. Coming back to hear “omg you are so skinny” solidified the fact that before then I was not skinny.
I went through periods of my life where I tried to subsist on saltine crackers and water.
I remember times when my mom seemed to suspect something and would ask, to my annoyance, what I ate that day or did I eat dinner. THOSE questions.
Today, after many days of hating myself, I am more accepting of who I am. There are some days when I still struggle with how I look, but don’t we all have those. I have started treating my body better through eating healthier and practicing yoga. Practicing yoga has helped me challenge the negative thoughts I have about my body. See my post on the benefits of yoga.
Today I don’t beat myself up for eating one cookie, or try to nibble on saltines to keep me full, or hide my body in baggy clothing. I am not completely where I want to be yet, mentally or physically, but I am a work in progress.