TW: anorexia and mention of harm.
Christmas holidays are coming so soon, I can’t wait because even though I have a ridiculous amount of work I’ll be at home and that’ll settle me. It’s also my favourite time of the year, as it leads up to my birthday too. Genuinely can’t wait, I’m just excited to spend some time with my family and cats and see my friends!!! Finally!!!!
In posts about my fitness journey, I’ve mentioned my previous problems with eating, I’ve also mentioned them throughout this journey I’ve been sharing with you all. It only dawned on me today however that I’ve never explained that part of my life fully. This will not be a post directly on that, but on my journey since then. But here is the background on why I still struggle to this day with body image.
When I was eight years old, I was ridiculously skinny. Most children are really skinny, so it’s nothing that would be often considered dangerous. I did a lot of sports, despite being absolutely trash at them all and I was an active person rather than the lazy one I am now. I got diagnosed with an eating disorder because I was starving myself, I would eat one meal a day and would throw out my lunches. I would barely eat; I was told I was fat, and I took that ridiculously seriously. Someone who I was barely friends with once looked at my thighs and told me I needed to stop eating so much because they were huge. I was 10 and eating the bare minimum as it was, I was not huge. The photos below show me at the age 11 and now.
My eating disorder caused a lot of problems for me down the line, none more so than my body dysmorphia. I look back at photos from when I was in school and I remember crying because I thought I was a whale, I thought I was ridiculously fat, and I can barely recognise the woman in those photos. I had ab lines and genuinely it makes me so emotional to even look back at what I used to look like. I just miss it.
Throughout my teenage years I was always fixated on my ‘flaws’, for a long time I was so embarrassed about my forehead. It just didn’t make sense; I’d occasionally get a comment about it and it changed how I viewed myself. I went through stages where I’d never take selfies or if I did, I’d cut the top of my head off so you could only see from my eyebrows down. It sounds so stupid now, but back then I was so fixated on how disgusting it was. Then came my chest, when my boobs grew, I was so pleased. I loved them, then they kept growing and growing. They are still growing today, and to the person who told me when I was young, they stop growing at 18 you were wrong, and I hate you. I’ve spoken before about how when my boobs grew my self-confidence was ruined, this is because for years the only thing about me that would get attention is my boobs. So, I grew up feeling like the only way to get attention, to feel wanted was to show them off.
I’ve grown up a lot and I no longer work my outfits or my photos or anything around my flaws. I know my angles and know how to make myself look better; I usually fake tan because I believe it covers my flaws. It hides my paleness, my stretch marks, my burn marks and my acne. It makes me like myself more, but I’ve also not had the motivation to fake tan recently. I’ve been really trying to deal with my body issues recently. I struggle though because I don’t know what I look like. I look in a mirror and I want to cry; a full-length mirror genuinely brings me to tears. I see all of my stretch marks, I see my burn marks, I see the scars and it’s all I see. I can’t look at the positives, and parts of my body which I used to think were alright are now painted with stretch marks. I love my thighs, and yes, they are big, but they are so nice. I love my legs; they are long, and I get terrible friction burn and shaving them is a nightmare because it hurts my back as they are so long. But I love them.
I’m amazing at telling people to love themselves, to embrace stretch marks or growth. I’m terrible at loving myself. The me I see in photos, is someone completely different to the person I see in the mirror. Since I was 17, I’ve grown and I began using alcohol as a coping mechanism, I gained an alcohol belly and I’ve struggled to get rid of it. Seeing that belly led to comfort eating and in turn I put on a lot of weight, I don’t like looking at the figure on scales because I know I am tall, and I have big boobs that weigh an awful lot. I try to ignore stuff like that but at the same time I’m clouded by the genuine truth is I’m obese according to the BMI chart. A chart that was created in WW2 heightens my depression; I spend a lot of time thinking I know the easiest way to lose weight.
The past month before I moved up to Scotland I was eating terribly, I barely had one meal a day and I’d snack if I fancied it. I got takeaways often, and I lost all passion and desire for food. I couldn’t sleep and the figure on the scales had plateaued. I lost strength and everything in life was draining. I used to look at myself in the mirror and just point and cry at my fat around me, I was so drained and stressed with everything that the best way to get through was to pick apart at my looks.
My skin has recently flared too, something which I’m not used to. Growing up I had the occasional spots, but I don’t remember a time where I actually had terrible acne other than now. Which is also ridiculously annoying considering I’ve actually bothered to get a skincare routine other than sleeping in my makeup and caking my body in fake tan. I keep thinking it’s the beginning of my period but not yet, we’re 2 months late which is always a good thing. To be honest I’m just hoping it comes soon so I don’t go through the trauma of remembering having to go to A&E last Christmas because of period/UTI problems. I just finished this post and the conclusion, and something triggered this memory, when I was young, I was ridiculed for having red skin, I always get terribly pink not even just when I’m embarrassed but in general. I also had freckles and I remember one of my friends telling me that the best way to cover them up was a high coverage foundation. I was so young that I remember being bewildered about having to cover them up, and yet now it is a trend to paint on freckles???? I also pack the blush on and my skins probably pinker than it is without makeup, things that I was terribly insecure about have now become a standard makeup look for myself. It makes no sense.
Summer 2019 I made a post on Instagram talking about my body image and how I still struggled with it years after ‘recovering’ from my anorexia. I don’t believe I’ll ever fully recover though I’m definitely not anorexic anymore, I’ll still consider unhealthily losing weight even though I know how much it ruined me. When I posted that, I got a comment from some random bot account calling me fat, and even though it was some anonymous man it broke me. I was beyond upset, how can someone call me fat when they can’t even publicly show who they are, what they look like, but the problem is it doesn’t matter. Once someone has said something your mind can’t help but wander. It can’t help but feel like it’s true and I sometimes find myself scrolling back through these messages I’ve received because to me they only affirm what I already believed. It’s shattering to hate your body the way I do. I can only hope that one day I’m happy with it. But first I think I need to work out what I look like.
I sometimes feel like when I speak about my weight, about my figure that some people think I’m attention seeking, and this was proved when I received a load of nasty messages saying exactly that. I’m not going to say I’m fat because I’m not, but the truth is I have gotten fatter. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 2 or a size 18 you can still have body image problems, stop judging people like me for not feeling comfortable in my skin. You don’t live in my skin. You don’t wake up to the sight of my bright purple stretch marks on your chest, you don’t go to shower and see my bright pink stretchmarks along my thighs and belly. You don’t have a word to say about my body because you aren’t me. I’m the only person allowed to hate my body, and even then, I’m the only person who can fix that feeling.
My journey to body love is not short, instead I think it’s lifelong. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be comfortable in my body, there will always be something I can improve and my life sucks till that changes. But to people like me, and my sister who I know needs to hear this, your body is beautiful and everything you consider a flaw is what makes you so special and unique. You aren’t a clone; every curve, every scar or mark, every freckle, every hip dip- all of it is beautiful. To everyone like me who often skips meals, stop. You may not like your body but it still needs food, if not for the simple reason that starving is painful and detrimental but to improve energy and allow you to sleep.
More blog posts are coming soon, as always my messages are open. m