Archive for the ‘Body Image’ Category

Body Image: A New Perspective

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

My attempts to reconcile me and my body have taken an interesting turn over the past few weeks. I have begun to realise that my response to my body does not derive from a vision; it begins, instead, at the pit of my gut. I am feeling my appearance, rather than seeing it – which might explain why I have been finding it so hard.

It is not the size of my leg or the shape of my arm that make the relationship difficult; it’s the emotional response that’s messy. The lack of differentiation between what I feel and what I see.

Instead of being objective and basing my body-perception on facts and realities, I have been building it on far more precarious grounds; and, by reinforcing these through my emotional responses, all sense of perspective has been covered up.

This means that when I am told to look in the mirror and focus on my ‘good points’, I zoom straight past “I have nice eyes” or “I like the colour of my hair” and nose-dive into the feeling instead. It has been interesting to observe what these are:

Body Image: Missing A Link

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Since deciding that my eating disorder was about far more than body image (which I’ll stand by); and determining that the outside was a reflection of the struggles which were taking place within (yes, again), I seem to have cut off any consideration of my appearance and swung straight to the other extreme.

If I understand that my perception can get distorted; and I know that it’s all tied into how I feel about myself; and I have a whole bag full of CBT tricks to prove that no, I can’t possibly be fat with my BMI or yes, the reason I feel uncomfortable now is because I was used to being so unnaturally thin…

Well then, it’s all hunky-dory, really, isn’t it, and there’s clearly nothing to dwell on?


The Killer Dress

Monday, April 5th, 2010

For my 30th Birthday, I brought a killer dress.

I know that taste is subjective; but there’s no other way to describe it. This dress totally rocks.

It might not be bang on trend as I couldn’t tell you what’s strutting along the catwalk and have never quite got into Vogue; but, it makes me feel a million dollars, and has reminded me of something that gets lost behind the catwalk debate and the size zero phenomenon

In my recovery, fashion and fabrics were an unexpected friend; even when I wasn’t that comfortable in my own skin.

All Joined Up

Monday, January 11th, 2010

In July, I had a nasty incident with a treadmill and some osteoperotic bones, and I learnt a thing or two about this piece of machinery that I have been walking around in –

The human body is pretty amazing; and it deserves a bit of respect.

As I have been struggling with befriending my body recently, I thought that re-visiting what I learnt on the physiotherapist’s bed might be a good idea – or at least plug in a few of the holes that the therapist’s couch has evidently left – so, here’s a run down of a few key bits of learning that might make me hesitate when I’m next tempted to give myself a good kicking.

The first thing that my physio did when I sat down for my consultation was to tap me, sharply, on the knee to see whether my foot shot up. It did. Lesson 1: we’re all joined up.


Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Last night, when I was busy flooding my flat, my ears woke me up to warn me of the impending danger. In the light of the abuse that I have thrown at this very body over the years, this was quite considerate. My body has been far more forgiving then I am. It’s not the first time it’s stepped in to divert a disaster.

This morning, as I surveyed the wreckage, and realised just how timely my ear’s intervention was, I have been struck by how successful my mind and body are as a double act. The eating disorder may have succeeded in driving a great big wedge between us; but, really, we should be fighting on the same side.

We are not meant to self destruct; we are meant to survive –

Hello body, meet Melissa..

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Since putting on weight, I seem to have separated me, from my body. It sits, over there; whilst I stay, over here; and, never the twain shall meet.

We weren’t this disconnected when I was hideously underweight. We may not have been friends but we were, at least, on speaking terms. Now we don’t acknowledge each other.

The Great Size Debate

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Being thin is the telltale sign of anorexia.

Thinness and anorexia. The words have almost become almost synonymous now. Interchangeable descriptors.

I can see where they’re coming from. Starvation is a pretty visual effect. It demands the most attention. It’s a bit of a giveaway.

Being thin was at the heart of my eating disorder and completely irrelevant to it. It was, simultaneously, a desired consequence and an unintended outcome.



Size Zero

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

I’m anti size Zero. Not because it’s unhealthy (which it is). Or because it feeds into the whole messed up body image culture debate (which it does). Or even because it encourages anorexia (keep reading)…

But because it’s an easy answer and it stops people looking at the real problem.

Because it’s a dangerous mirage that makes anorexia all about vanity and fashion and superficial surface level things – when really it goes far deeper than that.