I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Today's Eating Disorder Victory (Co-Starring My Cat, Arlo)

Do you see the corner of that monstrous beast in the background? You know, the scale? Actually, by calling it names, I am giving it way too much power, which is something that I have done my entire life. Today I did something that normally would have really set me back in my recovery-I got on the scale. It told me that I had gained some weight, which is not surprising. Ever since I started taking Symbyax I have been steadily gaining weight. At first, upon seeing the higher number, my shoulders slumped. "Great, " I thought sarcastically. And just as my mood was about to change from really happy to really crappy, I stopped and did a mental reality check.

"What can I do about this?" I asked myself and the answer was almost nothing. I am a healthy eater and I certainly am not going to start restricting again, so changing my eating habits was out. I exercise when I can, but I cannot do much due to my schedule and my fibromyalgia, so drastically increasing my exercise was out too. I know it is mostly my medication that is making me gain weight, but I am not getting off of it without my doctor's approval, so stopping my medication, for the time being, is out too. The only real change I could think of to my behavior is having a serious talk with my doctor on Friday about my medication and the weight gain, but still that's days away-I needed to do something now, because I did not want my mood to change because of the almighty scale.

That left me with one other thing to change-my perspective. "This is not a bad thing," I told myself. "It is a sign that I am taking my medication and that helps me feel well."
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I looked at myself in the mirror and this is what I saw: I am fat, but this is not a bad thing-it is a sign of my mental wellbeing. I am curvy. I have a womanly figure and you know what? I started to feel sexy! And cute! And soon I was happy with my body and the extra weight. I am still going to talk with my doctor on Friday, but I no longer am obsessing about my body and the number on the scale.

My experience today is a major victory for me. In AA, they say, "If I'm not part of the problem, then I'm not part of the solution," meaning that if I blame my problems on other people, places, or things, then I am stuck without a solution, but if I concede that I am part of the problem, then I can find a way to solve it. My problem was not the weight gain, but my perspective and with that new knowledge, I feel free! The main character in the book I'm reading often says, "God is Change" and I thought about that too as I was having my talk with myself today. It's something I am coming to believe in more and more. One of life's truths is that life is always changing. I believe Godde is a force constantly changing, moving, urging us onto better possibilities and for me to at that moment to remain stagnate in my despair over my extra weight would be against the will of Godde.

I took some pictures of my fat, sexy, curvy, cool self:

I really like this picture, although I'm not sure why. The stripes are horizontal, but the light made them look like an optical illusion.

Necklace: made by my grandfather
Shirt: J.C.Penney's
Leggings: no idea
Boots: Wild Pair
Aren't these new boots cool? I love them. They're flat, so my feet won't be hurting too badly; the zipper goes all the way down to the sole, so I can actually get my feet in; and they will even go over my skinny jeans. It is very hard for me to find boots that fit, as I have tiny feet and big calves, so this was my fashion victory for the day! (My cat, Arlo, wanted to show off his cute paw too!)
I had to include the one with my feline boyfriend posing so handsomely.
I think this is a neat shot too. I had to include a close-up of my necklace this time, which I should have done the last time. My grandpa made this necklace with the beautiful onyx-my favorite stone. He was an army man with a lot of cool hobbies including making stained glass and metal jewelry. I loved my grandpa and I am working on loving my body. This month is Eating Disorders Awareness Month and I propose we all work on loving our body this month and every month. If we can change our perspective and realize that the scale is not our god, then we as a society will be that much closer to becoming a truly free people.

2 comments:

  1. I have to be honest with you: I knew you ten years ago when you weighed less, and you look better now than you did then. Your body looks much more proportional, and your face looks healthier. I am not saying this just to make you feel better or anything touchy feely like that. You seriously look a lot better now. You are pretty and cute and I am glad that you had this breakthrough about weight and eating.

    I can't say that I've ever been anorexic or bulimic (I eat more than any other woman I know!), but I do think that I've at time struggled with body dysmorphia. I think most women do, especially women in their late teens/early twenties. We need to be targeting that group in terms of body acceptance outreach.

    Thanks for posting these blog entries. Congrats on the breakthrough you had about weight (it's just a number!).

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  2. Thank you for the compliment! I still sometimes long for the days when I weighed less, but I know that I am much healthier as I am now. It's reassuring to know that other people see my healthiness and happiness now too.

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