What Are Your Beliefs About Your Body

I’m talking about body image here. Because that is where I am now: I am not afraid of food, I am not afraid of eating, but I am still just ….. not totally accepting of this fuller figure. Try as I might.

And sure, I could “cut back” like I did a few months ago, but there is some wisdom deep down that knows that is not the real answer. That is the bandaid again.

Accepting is the real answer. Because if I don’t accept myself now, then even if I do get to an “ideal weight”, there will always be a lingering fear of the “horrible possibility of the failure of being bigger”, and I would probably never even be fully accepting of a thinner body either. Because that’s what happened before.

And living like that is dumb.

If you can’t be happy with yourself now, you never will be….. I am talking to myself here. But I am also talking to all of you.

I have been ruminating on this body image thing for a while. This is my big challenge and spiritual quest now. Because as resistant and afraid as I am, I want to get this right. And I go back and forth between “Fuck yes! I am gonna LOVE myself. Who CARES what anyone thinks. I am a rock star!” (or something) to “Oh my god what am I doing? Am I just kidding myself? I look horrible! And I am telling people to eat everything!? Does everyone think I am out of my mind!?”

But… I know I am right about all this. And I know this irrational fear of being bigger than whatever we/society have deemed our acceptable and “ideal weight” – is flawed. I know it.

Reflection

Body Image Wise, here is a reflection on a few of my acceptance mistakes. These are things that I didn’t realize I was doing that have held me back from full acceptance and recovery:

  1. I realize now that I have been attempting to accept my body for the purpose of “getting over this quickly so I can hurry up already and be thin again because I have will have become so normal, well adjusted, and intuitive“. Basically I have been playing the end-game. I have been trying to work the “paradox of acceptance”. And while the paradox of acceptance does exist, it doesn’t work with fake acceptance. Duh. And that is what I was doing: fake acceptance.
  2. I am afraid to be judged by other people as harshly as I have a tendency to judge myself. By friends, by family, by the kinds of people I connect with on here… let’s face it, we disordered body perfectionists can be a tough crowd.
  3. But this biggest of all, is that I am afraid of some big inner beliefs about Body and Weight that…. upon further reflection ….just aren’t true.

What am I so afraid of?

I believe overweight means I’ve failed somehow. That I am weak, and, being extremely curvy, that I am sexualized and objectified and not taken seriously. I believe it means something bad. I’ve failed again. I have failed at doing something important. Afraid of what people will think. People will assumes things about me. People will think I can’t get it together. I will think I can’t get it together. That I am unworthy. I can’t do my job (which for a long time was only theater/auditioning). People will think I have an inflated sense of worth. And that I look ridiculous. And biggest of all- that I am ugly.

I have legitimately believed and internalized these things above. Some have come from society, some have come from acting, some have come from my family, and some have come from me and the way I turned around and judged the world.

But the fact is, they are not necessarily true. But they hold so much power if I let them be true. Which I don’t have to. Which you don’t have to either.

I have been so attached to what I assumed being fat means, when it actually means nothing.

Why has it taken me so long to accept that? Because I thought my fake acceptance could work? And I could keep going through life feeling like I had it under control, even while “healing”. PSHAW.

Recovery takes TIME. Physically and mentally. Your body takes time, your eating takes time, your mind takes time, it takes trust, and time and trust and time. But still waiting for a waif-like reward for your recovery efforts is so against the whole point, and still your miniature healed body may not be in the cards anyway.

Maybe, one day, becoming skinny because I am so normal, well adjusted, and intuitive will still happen anyway. Maybe that will actually eventually be the point like I previously hoped. Maybe. But what if it’s not? Am I just going to go through my life being perpetually disappointed every time I look in the mirror. Isn’t that the opposite of what we all actually want?

So the next question is: if I never changed, never got thinner than I am now, would that be ok? Yes. It’s gotta be.

What is so bad about being fuller, anyway? Only the things I have decided to believe about it. And those things I believe about it aren’t even necessarily true at all.

The suffering comes from believing that being bigger is ugly, or failing, or the result of an “addiction that I continually fail to control” (false on so many accounts) . I worry that the fact that I am still above my skinny body weight means that maybe I’m wrong about this whole intuitive eating thing. Or even if I’m right, why would people listen to me or care about what I have to say if I’m not skinny? Because skinny means power and control. Our so I tell myself.

And I feel the need to write “Well I am not even that fat guys, I wear like a 6, so don’t worry you won’t balloon up if you say Fuck It to diets and recover”. Not. The. Point. Yes, sure, that is a fear many people have. And yes, Body Image disorders aren’t about your actual weight and body, they are about how you feel about your body. Still, my fear of having to prove myself to the world, as not being totally worthless, but also not being totally happy with myself is… literally the problem.

Not Going to Appease the Disorder

The truth is, there are many people who may not want to listen to me or follow me because I am not as skinny as they want to be/stay (not that I have any pictures up here anymore- HA!). That is a fact. But, in the end, I am not writing this to appease anyone’s eating disorder – theirs or mine. I believe in saying Fuck It to the diet mentality. So I also believe in Fucking Up disordered body image. Yours and Mine.

I always have cared about this, I just didn’t know how to follow through. I was in denial and scared and confused. And doing some fake accepting. And I couldn’t shake those beliefs…. that aren’t even true…. So…. ummmmm…… IT’S TIME.

 

5 comments

  1. saradraws says:

    You’re in my head. Struggling with a lot of this right now…confronting, and trying to dismantle, my own deep seated body beliefs.
    I try to remind myself that thin does not equal happy, and that the pursuit of thin is only a distraction…but I have good days and bad. Especially now as I re-enter the workforce and meet colleagues I haven’t seen in some time…and they see me as fat (I don’t use the f-word here in a pejorative way).
    Anyway, all this to say, I hear ya.

  2. daguttgrl79 says:

    wow… okay seriously this hit home. I lived in an ED prison for over 20 years, food was nothing but pain, rituals and comfort. Sick. Since Aug 1, 2011, I haven’t shoved my fingers down my throat – which was a daily activity back then – and have been in “active recovery” or whatever you call it, ever since. After the “honeymoon” I did start to look around for skinny people that ate food, eager to know their magical secrets. Ha! I’ve been all over the food hemisphere, eating everything, eathing certain things, not eating to you name it. There are no secrets, sometimes it just is what it is. sometimes i really don’t want to give a fuck about food and just enjoy it. Why can’t we just be?

  3. jade says:

    You just wrote my life story, ha. this ‘ I realize now that I have been attempting to accept my body for the purpose of “getting over this quickly so I can hurry up already and be thin again because I have will have become so normal, well adjusted, and intuitive“. Basically I have been playing the end-game. I have been trying to work the “paradox of acceptance”. I can totally relate to. I feel like I am just telling myself I am ok with the way I look because in the back of my mind I am hoping I will end up thin at the end of this whole recovery process, but thats unlikely to happen and I must start to accept myself for how I am. Now.

    I think a lot of my dislike for myself also comes from what I choose to believe about my size and more so what I think others will think of my size.
    Anyway
    Great post 🙂

  4. Deandra says:

    This is exactly how I feel. I gave up dieting months ago when I realized that in spite of my best efforts, I was gaining weight rapidly due to bingeing from restriction, and completely obsessed with food, and my body. It’s quite silly; my weight is well within normal limits, but because I have screwed it up with dieting/bingeing, it doesn’t feel like my body anymore. It’s been violated and messed with, and manipulated.

    I haven’t binged massively in a while (knock on wood!), but my weight hasn’t gone down as a result of stopping either. It’s saddens me to think that I may be stuck here, and what could have been if I had never dieted in the first place. I think that’s what depresses me more than anything else – more than having the extra weight on me.

    I’m like you though; found intuitive eating to be the gateway to release and acceptance, but at the same time I have never mastered it the way the books talk about it. I do not have complete acceptance of myself no matter how much I lie to myself. Some days I’m fine with my body, some days, I even love it and think it looks awesome, and some days I flat out hate what I see and wish to drop 10lbs instantly. Normal eating allows my weight to remain stable, but it doesn’t normalize my thoughts.

    I am tired of thinking about food 24/7. I have no life. My life is food, and I’m tired. I never thought this would be me. Everyone always writes about how to eat, never how to get rid of these unwanted thoughts.

    I wish they would put a disclaimer on diet commercials – “may cause a unnatural preoccupation with food and weight that will not necessarily disappear once the diet is stopped. ” Sadly, that would be too kind, and the diet industry doesn’t care about your physical OR mental health anyway.

  5. kyla says:

    Wow this really hitting home. I’ve been on this journey of “badass eating” and loving it, but I totally get the whole wanting to get this over with so I can be skinny again. I’m getting the intuitive eating, but in the back of my mind I eventually want to be able to intuitively eat my way back down to a size 4-6…I’m not “fully” accepting my size 8 body (which is totally healthy and awesome…I realize that).

    It’ll just take time I suppose. I am on the right track!

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