Last year I spent two months at a treatment center for eating disorders, and after I was discharged, I spent a lot of time writing about it. I even shared some of my heavy journal entries with you. It’s been over a year and things have settled down. I want to update you and show you where I’m at.
I see a therapist every week. That hasn’t changed except for a break for a few weeks – my therapist is on maternity leave. At every appointment, my therapist does blind weights and my weight has been stable for the entire time I’ve been home. My therapist says that’s proof that I’m doing something right.
Accepting my body exactly as it is has been the most challenging part. My therapist says I need radical acceptance – it is what it is. For once in my life, I don’t feel guilty for the way my body looks. Judged? Yes. But guilty? No. Unfortunately, this breakthrough didn’t come until I got away from some judgemental people in my life.
I’ve struggled with eating disorders for nearly thirty years, but on top of that, I have schizoaffective disorder and my medications have caused significant weight gain. I almost doubled in size. I find body shaming very hurtful because you never know what a person has going on. It’s not always food that makes you fat and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s incredible how narrow-minded people are when it comes to how a body should look. I know because I was once one of them. Bottom line – everyone’s different and you should mind your own business. If you can’t be supportive you shouldn’t open your mouth.
I’ve been feeling really good physically. I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full but I still have trouble trying new foods. Something really simple that made me feel good about myself was just having clothes that fit really well. I’m not going to lie – I spend a lot of time in leggings and hoodies – but I’m trying to branch out a little bit. I bought this cute jean jacket that feels like it was made for my body. I want to wear it every day. This may be TMI – I recently bought a couple of really nice bras that fit well. Do you know how hard it is to find a bra that fits well? It changed my life! I feel good in my clothes and it boosts my confidence.
I’ve spent so much time looking to the future – when I lose weight, I’ll look better. When I get this or that done, I’ll look better. But you know what? I look cute just as I am right now. No need to wait for the future; I’m going to enjoy the moment now.
My recovery journey has been long, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and life-changing. It can be really painful but I still feel I need to share my story with you. I find purpose in wanting to help others as much as I help myself. I want to stay honest and authentic to show you the real picture of an eating disorder and I really do hope it can promote some understanding.
It’s been a rough year and I want to thank you for your support.
How do you feel about body acceptance? What has your journey been like?
Do you know how hard it is to find a bra that fits well?
Yes, because I’ve listened to several ex’s who needed good ones, and when they found them, it was like a revelation to them that the things even existed, having tolerated ill fitting ones for years. This paid off later when I was able to diagnose “bad bra” for a friend AND recommend a shop where they could get fitted right, and after they got sorted out they literally used the words “boob whisperer”. More people, including men, should know the importance of good fitting bras.
I have nothing to add re: body acceptance as I haven’t needed to go on that journey. Good to know you’re feeling happier.
In many ways I am in a reverse situation than you. I’ve always been pretty open to new foods, and have had practically zero interest in clothing. I still find clothes shopping tedious, but my increasing involvement in our local Renaissance Faire and our Dicken’s Christmas Fair has gotten me more interested in clothes. I now understand, at least a little, the language of clothes, how they communicate not only social status, but also some of the aspirations of the wearer. To me, to do that 24/7 in real life would be exhausting. All of that, on top of body shaming, it’s a wonder that anyone attuned to that stuff can walk out their front door.
Ashes, I’m glad you are in a better psychic place this year, and I wish you well on your journey.