“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
In this post I am about to do something I have never done before on this blog. That is a year of writing for BBA and I’m about to do something new. While it isn’t mind-blowing and it isn’t anything exciting, it is more honest than anything I’ve ever written before (and I’m honest in every post). I am going to share real thoughts, with images, from my journal. My most secret weapon in recovery is about to be opened, unedited, for others to use as a tool for their recovery to realize they are not alone and show some serious radical body acceptance. It’s about to get real, folks. Am I a little nervous about being THIS raw and honest? Yep. Is it going to stop me? Nope. So, here it goes…
Last week I did something that absolutely terrified me and brought me to tears. I had my body traced by my dietician. I stood with my back against a wall and let someone trace my body so I could see more accurately the size I am. I’ve known for quite some time that I don’t see myself accurately when I look in the mirror; my mind plays tricks on me from the remnants of the eating disorder. Often it is similar to looking into a funhouse mirror. One second I will think I look pretty good then I will turn to walk way from the mirror (or other reflective surface) only to catch a glimpse and it suddenly looks like I gained 20 pounds. This is my real-life way of viewing myself when there is a mirror present and I’ve been working SO HARD to change it. I mean, that’s the whole basis for this blog!
Before the tracing began my dietician handed me a piece of paper with the same images as the photo at the top of this post. She directed me to circle the figure I thought most accurately represented my body and then set it aside. Anyway, after the tracing was done I stepped away from the wall but I was afraid to turn around. I was afraid of what the outline would reveal about my body. I was afraid it would be bigger than what I thought. I was afraid it would be smaller. I was just afraid in general. Why was I so afraid? Because if the outline of my body was not what I thought I saw then it would show me I still have a lot of work to do toward accepting my body and seeing myself accurately. A difference in size from what I see in my mind would represent the eating disorder still having a heavy grasp on my body image and I didn’t want that to be the case. I desperately wanted to see an accurate size portrayal to show myself that I am doing well in recovery and with accepting my body.
However, when I turned around all I could do was stare.
I had no words for the few few minutes.
My eyes darted to the different parts of my body outlined on the brown butcher block paper taped to the wall.
Finally, I could bring myself to conjure up some words to express what I was thinking and feeling. Initially I was disappointed. There were parts that seemed larger than how I see them and shocked at the parts that appeared to be smaller than what I see. Nothing seemed to be accurate. My mind was reeling that the eating disorder could still have such a strong grasp on this part of my brain, but as I began to really process what I saw later that night, this is what developed…
I wrote…a lot. I thought…a lot. And I went to the all-mighty Google to find the same images I saw earlier that depicted body sizes. Once I found the same body size image I printed it. I stared at it and realized I hadn’t been completely honest earlier in the day. I knew I saw myself as larger than the image I circled, yet I desperately wanted my dietician to think I was significantly further along with my thoughts regarding my body than I figured I was. So I decided to get completely honest with myself about what I thought before and after. This was the result:
As you can see, I decided by the end of writing that my body couldn’t accurately be depicted by just one figure because I am not made from a cookie cutter. Did ya catch that? I AM NOT MADE FROM A COOKIE CUTTER. My body is as unique as my fingerprint because I was created in God’s image and He created us all uniquely. I love it. That was a pivotal point for me in this body image and body size acceptance journey. Realizing that my body doesn’t look like any figure on a paper because I am unique hit me pretty hard.
I. Am. Unique.
Say it with me,
“I am unique.”
Yes, I am talking to you.
YOU are unique.
I challenge you to hang on to that. You are unique. You aren’t made from a cookie cutter.
You are not a cookie.
(But it is totally okay to eat a cookie. mmmm….cookies.)
With Body Love,