Monday, February 27, 2012

Plummeting Body Image

Sometimes weekends are really hard for me, and I'm not totally sure why. This one was really lame - I was sleep-deprived and wanted to stay home and catch up on some rest, but didn't really sleep that well anyway. So I was still tired AND bored. I also had a ton of work for school; I spent most of the past two days in the library studying for my exam tomorrow, and then the professor e-mailed us at 11pm last night to say that the exam would be postponed until Friday. Which would be fine, except that I also have papers due Wednesday and Friday, so I was kiiiiinda looking forward to having this exam out of the way.

But now I'm just whining. Things are actually going pretty okay for the most part. A health issue that I've been dealing with since the fall seems to be finally resolving itself, which takes a huge load off my shoulders. I think my spring break plans are in place, and I'm super excited for what should be an amazing trip and experience. I did have a minor meltdown on the phone with Mama Bear the other night because I had too much homework and my eyes were bothering me and my jeans felt snug...but other than that, nothing catastrophic.

It is interesting to me, however, to track changes in my body image when other stuff is going on. Like now, I'm pretty stressed out with my workload and therapy and medication stuff, and oh my lordy is my body image horrendous. Normally when I start ragging on my body and feeling yucky, I am still able to maintain the implicit knowledge that I am maintaining an underweight BMI and am therefore not actually fat. But lately: uh uh nope, not only am I dissatisfied with my body, but I'm convinced that I am literally and unequivocally overweight. Doesn't matter what the scale says, Kaylee, look in the mirror. That is not the reflection of an acceptably-sized human being.

It's giving me an identity crisis of sorts. Like suddenly I've realized that for real, I'm not skinny. And if I'm not skinny, then what the hell am I? Yes, I've put on a little bit of weight over the past couple of months (not much at all, to the dismay of my therapist and dietician), but not enough to drastically change my body size. Other people probably don't even notice, but I do. I'm trying not to care, I really am, but it's hard.

I think maybe my unsatisfying weekend was part of the reason my body image has taken a nose dive. When I'm bored and frustrated and exhausted, I get stuck in my head, ruminating on ED stuff and shutting the real world out. Something to work on: not letting that happen.


  1. It's hard not to care about your size, particularly in a culture which is obsessed with it. When I feel really down about it I try to remind myself that the only person who matters is me. My friends don't care about my size, and the people who do care aren't my friends so the only person left is me. "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" The only person who cares is you, so we need to stop ourselves caring so much about it - that's where it gets complicated! Keep going Kaylee, you can do it xxx

  2. I really relate to having to an identity that was tied to being "the smallest." Even before my ED, I was the smallest and the skinniest. It helped me to conceptualize myself as a woman - and trying to embrace the real, confident, authentic, proud woman that was inside of me. Women - all women - are supposed to gain weight throughout their teen years and the first part of their 20s. Try to conceptualize yourself in a way that makes you proud that doesn't have to do with being thin. For me, I wanted to be a role model for younger girls. I wanted to have a confident energy about me. I wanted to be a strong woman. I have developed a new way of conceptualizing myself that makes room to be "average sized" and that makes room for not seeing myself as "the smallest."

    1. That's a really good point - I have this fixation on not getting bigger, but then it bugs me when people think I'm younger than I am. I get mistaken for a high schooler or young teen VERY often, which is more than a little demoralizing. I would definitely prefer to be perceived as a woman, but there's some sort of disconnect in getting there.

  3. I agree with, keep in mind that you are probably a lot smaller than you realize. When I was in your stage of recovery (back at school trying to make it all work,) I thought I was HUGE! Looking back, I was smaller then I am now...and most of the time now I can realistically know that I am not huge (even if I see it in the mirror!) Every time you think that, remind yourself: "I don't see rightly. I don't see rightly," and then move on with your day.