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recovering from eating disorders

A miracle has happened. I’d call it a Christmas miracle, but it happened after Christmas so I will call it my 2013 miracle. What a way to start the year.

After being diagnosed with a raging case of body dysmorphic disorder in my teens, I was told by my psychiatrist that I would never be able to believe what I saw in the mirror. She told me that I literally could never trust my own eyes when I look at myself. I have to admit; I thought she was the one who was crazy. I knew what I saw in the mirror. I have 20/20 vision.

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bulimarexia, eating disorder, weight, health

Here, I thought I needed to lose 30 more pounds

I saw a girl who always had to lose 5-10 more pounds. Yes, even when I was in the throes of the bulimarexia and weighed 107 pounds soaking wet. I can’t believe I just told you that. I’ve never admitted to anyone that my 5’7.5” frame ever weighed under 113 pounds. Anyways, I always saw myself as needing to lose 30 more pounds. I’d only ever say 5-10 pounds out loud because even though I knew what I was supposed to weigh and I was underweight for my height, I never felt satisfied. I felt like I should do more. I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember. This may sound familiar to some of you.

I stopped vomiting and I stopped restricting because I wanted to live but I’ve always felt like I had failed. I guess the only weigh I could have truly succeeded, in my warped mind, was to have died. Sounds crazy right? I’ve been in recovery for 15 years (I will be for the rest of my life) and yet you are never truly “well”. It’s a way of thinking; a belief system. It isn’t about beauty or thinness really, it becomes about controlling your life. I think mine has a lot to do with feeling so helpless and out of control as a child. I needed to be in charge of my life in some way.

Something truly miraculous happened for me the other night. My daughter took a candid shot of my dog sitting behind me as I knelt on the floor. Most normal people saw the dog and thought what a cute dog. Me, I saw the photo and was immediately struck by how average my ass looked in the photo. It didn’t look like the broad side of the Titanic that I was convinced it was. There it sat, my ass, not as fat and distorted, as I once was convinced it was. I felt almost prideful. Was this progress? Is the disorder finally losing its grip on me?

I don’t feel skinny by any means. I know I need to lose about 80 pounds. But my ass is nowhere near the size I had suspected all these years. It caused a revelation.

There will be no resolutions to loose a hundred pounds this year.

I lived through 8 years of eating disorders and my metabolism is screwed up. I’ve tried a lot of diets and weight loss programs and I never get past the initial 20-25 pounds  of weight loss.

I’ve decided that it’s time to commit to loving myself unconditionally. I want to feel sexy again. I want to say, “YES, HELL YES I will take a shower with you” the next time my husband asks me rather than ignoring him and hoping he will forget because I feel so unattractive in my own body.

I am going to go the Hospital’s weight management center. I’m going to honestly tell them my whole entire sorted past with food. I’m going to give them my diagnosis. I am going to purge my soul and then I am going to let them help me, help myself. My butt is nowhere as big as I have imagined it to be for all these years and the fact that I can see that and recognize that, is a miracle for me.

I’m turning my life over to something larger than myself. I want to be honest and open and the only resolution I have is to get rid of the god damned yoga pants once and for all and I’d love for my thighs not to rub together anymore. Everything else is going to be gravy.

2013 is the year I get my life back form me. My Dysmorphia has been holding me hostage and I am breaking free. I am fighting my way out from underneath all of this weight.

My goal for this year is to not be held back by anything; not weight, fear, circumstances or condition. My goal is just to be happy with who I am.

Happiest of New Years and may you all be filled with contentment and satisfaction in who you are. May you see yourself the way your children see you, perfect and beautiful because you are.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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loving yourself, self-esteem, self-image, eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder

Today, I don’t hate my body. I can’t even remember the last time I could say this and not be being sarcastic. It may be the first time since I was about 6-years-old that I didn’t look into the mirror and wish that what I saw reflected back at me was something/ someone else. It’s been happening gradually over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, this body is not the end result that I am looking for but I am losing that all-consuming uncomfortable in my skin feeling. I don’t loathe the skin I am in today. I don’t feel disgusted by the gentle curves and sway of my body. I feel protective and loving towards it.

I’m not sure what changed in my way of thinking or shifted in my perspective but I do know that the other day as I was changing my clothes, I caught sight of my naked body. I stopped and looked at myself; really looked at my body. I’ve been too afraid to do that for many years because it always ended in disappointment and dissatisfaction culminating in anger and frustration. I was never happy with what I saw staring back at me. It made me feel small and defeated because I just couldn’t get it right. I preferred to look in mirrors the least amount possible because it only served as a reminder of my physical shortcomings. Remember, my seething case of body dysmorphic disorder?

But the other day when I saw myself in the mirror, I saw a woman who doesn’t have any wrinkles, only a couple gray hairs and though I am a few sizes larger than I want to be, this body still has some appeal to it. My legs look good, they carry me to all the places I need to be. My arms may have residual wave because I am sporting a slight case of bat wings from weight but these are the arms that allow me to hug and cuddle those people in my life that mean the most; the family I love and the friends I adore. My hips and waist are bigger than I would have ever wanted but they have also carried my babies. These are the parts that my children hold tightly to when they hug me. My breasts are further south than I thought it possible for breasts to go but they have breastfed my daughters; these low hanging breasts have given my girls nourishment and a healthy start in life. I am not my parts. I am the woman who lives behind the mask of my body. I am the great and powerful OZ of myself.

I’m not saying that I am a reformed body dysmorphic disordered woman or that I can just wish away the years of eating disorders but after 15 years of being recovered I am finally saying that what I see in the mirror doesn’t make me want to starve myself, vomit or punish my body into submission anymore. I know that I want to be healthier and I know there are the right ways to do it and I know those options are available to me. If I want it, all I have to do is work hard for it; slow and steady by not giving up, not getting discouraged and not thinking that I don’t deserve the success. I’ve hidden behind the curtains of excuse too long. The body that I have isn’t so bad. My body just needs a little TLC and my heart needs to exercise a little more forgiveness towards my body. I am worthy of love and I deserve happiness. What’s the point of all this misery, anyway? Who is it appeasing? This struggle with my body and my mind is self-inflicted. No one else thinks that the size of my body determines my worth. It’s me. It’s always been me.

You can’t force acceptance. It has to come naturally or it isn’t acceptance at all. Like love, when you are not looking is when you will find self-acceptance and learn to truly love yourself. I am on the precipice of changing my life forever by changing my perspective. I don’t know how this happened or what changed my way of thinking.

I do know that I will not be who I am today for much longer. I am metamorphosing my life from the inside out. I am not giving up my dreams of long lean legs and non-flapping arms (a girl’s gotta dream) but I am giving in to loving myself as I am because just because my body doesn’t fit a mold doesn’t mean that it is not amazing. There is beauty on the inside that surpasses any superficial beauty I could ever imagine. I don’t judge the people I surround myself with by their appearance and I don’t imagine they do me either. We love the substance, the meat of the person, not the make-up, clothes and hair. It’s time I allow myself the same unconditional love that I would extend to anyone else in the world.

What do you love about yourself?

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