“You’re not super-skinny, but you’re not, like, fat”
I think that was supposed to be a compliment.
A friend said this to me earlier today. In the past, ED would have encouraged me to use symptoms after a comment like this
I would have drowned in self-loathing because someone doesn’t think I’m skinny, and skinny=pretty. Not to mention she hesitated before saying fat… so she definitely thinks I’m a cow.
Today I laughed. I laughed because bodies change and mine has been through way too much for a label. Because I couldn’t believe how little I cared what she thought. I was feeling a mixture of shock and pride for feeling so little.
I was too busy thinking about something else.
I was at work when this happened. Moments earlier one of the mothers was dropping off her toddler to my class. She is pregnant with her second baby and today she was glowing. I admire kind people and good moms. She is one of those people.
I was thinking about my future, and hoping I’d be like her someday. I was daydreaming about being pregnant. And I wasn’t letting ED get sucked into worrying about how anyone judged my body. That felt like a recovery win.
I wish that the word ‘fat’ could be eliminated from other people’s vocabulary. Fat is considered an insult. God forbid we are ever tagged in a photo that makes us look ‘fat.’ FAT is the important substance protecting all of our organs. HELLO we need fat. But that definition doesn’t change the way people interpret being called ‘fat.’ That word, along with many others, can really fuel eating disorders.
I still remember my best friend at 17 telling me, “be careful, you’re getting fat.”
I am still good friends with her today, and I’m sure she doesn’t remember this moment like I do. But then again, I was in the midst of developing an ED. And she had just struck the fear of God in me. I was changing after eating a meal together, and didn’t give a second thought to how I looked until she spoke. I had been losing weight consistently. I thought I looked skinny. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t get my clothes on fast enough.
“I know,” a very naive 17 year old me agreed in response. She must be right if she called me out like that.
To this day I wonder if words like that helped to fuel my body dysmorphia.
Words can really sting.
My weapon against this is having my own voice.
(I know it isn’t as simple as words, but If they can hurt enough to fuel eating disorders and body dysmorphia, then I can see the importance of “self-talk.”)
24 year old ME would have responded this way: “That was really judgmental. I have to eat every meal because I have an Eating Disorder. So thank you, but I didn’t ask.”
I am also not the most confident dresser. As much as I love my style, the action of putting clothes on can be challenging(#EDproblems). However, I have lived by the saying: “fake it till you make it.” SO THEN, I’d also throw in:
“Besides, I think I look smoking hot.” (Even if I don’t fully believe it).
Most people who make ignorant judgements aren’t bad people, they just need a new outlook. I initially want to rip their throats out, but that wouldn’t help.
By choosing to ignore negativity and try to build up my own self-esteem regardless of other people’s standards, I hope to make a difference.
My dream is that self-love becomes real and stomps out poor body image. That the ‘everybodyisbeautiful’ movement replaces all the diet fads.
Ultimately, that’s why I post what I write.
But, besides spreading awareness, writing helps to take away the sting that some words leave. This entry helps remind myself how far I’ve come, the vast difference between the voices I choose to listen to now (voices like iamiskra, nourishandeat and lindseyhallwrites), and to also commend myself for being one of those voices in my own small world.