I am so sorry for being absent for so long! I started grad school and the first 5 weeks were at lightning speed and I barely had time to do anything other than read my textbooks. But, this new course is a little more laid back and I have had more time to breathe. A few months ago I started running, something I never thought my body was capable of doing. While you still won't be seeing me speeding across your screen in the Olympics, I have kept up with it. I only go when intentions are pure. In other words, if I ask myself "why" I want to go on a run and my answer is in any way food related or body altering motivated, then I put the shoes back in the closet. If the intentions are to celebrate my body's ability to move, push myself to reach goals I set for myself that are NOT related to a number on a scale, then I will lace up and go. Some weeks I am healthy enough in my mind to go 3 times, and other times I may only go once or not at all! My priority is to keep a healthy body and mind. Running does make me feel strong and a sense of pride in my body's ability to do more than I ever thought it could. I still go pretty slow and my distance game is SUPER weak, but that isn't what it is about for me. For me it is about having confidence in my skin and seeing it for more than appearance. Instead of seeing jiggle, rounded areas where I don't want them, or dimples, all I see is strength. Granted, this sparkle of positive body image typically only lasts for the day in which I ran, but that is ED doing his job. Trying to convince me that I am only allowed to love myself when I have exercised. Luckily, I have been able to combat his lies, but it certainly isn't always easy.
On days when my body image is feeling like a rock star, I feel like I can pull off any look, and I even have the courage to try them. One trend in particular that in my mind I "should" wear because all the cool kids are wearing it, is the good ole crop top. I think they are so cute and would love to wear one with leggings or high waisted shorts. I only own two and have never worn either outside my house. I take that back, I did wear my crop top sweatshirt once, but I had a tank top under it so that doesn't count. Anyway, recently on days I feel comfortable with my body, tummy in particular, I feel like today is the day. I am going to put one on and just feel like a cool kid! I put it on, check the mirror and just like that, I've expanded and put on 50 pounds. Of course I know that my body composition did not change in the 10 seconds it took me to put the top on, but it sure as hell looks like it! You don't need to struggle with an eating disorder to know the lies the mirror can tell you. They aren't to be trusted. So I change from the top to a tee shirt and carry on with my day. But the desire to pull one off does not leave my thoughts. I question why I can't pull one off. I question why I feel like I NEED to be able to wear one. Yes, it is a tend I think looks cute on other people, but so does having pink hair. It looks super cool and pretty on some people, but for me I just couldn't pull off such a look. Why can I so easily accept that my HAIR can't pull off a trendy look, but I can't accept that my BODY can't do the same thing. It shouldn't be that way. Neither are a fault of mine or make me less worthy or beautiful. It doesn't change my heart which is all that matters.
I know some people out there would say F it, wear it if you want! Who cares what other people think? If it is something you want to wear, then that is enough to be able to "pull it off." I agree with those people. I would be the one saying exactly that to a friend that was also in my position. But I know that for the sake of my recovery, it is a smarter decision to wear something I am comfortable in that won't be nagging at me all day than to suffer through wearing something I am going to be constantly stressing over. To be clear, I am by no means saying you have to have a certain body type to “pull off“ certain looks. I honestly feel that every body can pull off looks. It’s just a matter of comfort level!
Super short post, I am sorry, but I have a date with my cousin and a piece of cake this evening so I need to get going! I will definitely be posting more now that I have gotten into the groove of grad school. I am always looking for topics to write about, so please, message me if you have any questions about eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or body image. If you feel comfortable, share your story with me! I love hearing about how this blog is relating to people around the world.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
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<3 Stay Strong and Beautiful