I don’t want to be fat. I’ve been obsessing over it lately, just a little. Maybe a lot. The perceived extra ten pounds is incessantly on my mind. I feel like a failure. Because ten pounds is the difference between being an acceptable human being and scum of the earth. And it’s definitely about the weight.
Danger, Will Robinson.
It’s okay to want to look good. It’s okay to want to improve your appearance. It’s okay to take care of yourself. Weight lifting is good for the muscles and bones. Aerobic exercise is good for the heart. Too bad they’re binary and more than exercise. Too bad they’re sticks to beat myself with when things get difficult mentally and emotionally.
Allowing obsessions space to engage to avoid the ugly feelings swirling around inside is a bad choice I often make it before I realize I’m making it. Eating disorders are tricky monsters. I forget that sometimes. They don’t want you to feel the feels. Feelings are dangerous.
I probably shouldn’t have added emergency workouts to my schedule.
Fun fact: Knowing the signs doesn’t guarantee you’ll pay attention to them. As it turns out, knowing things is not half the battle.
The line between self-care and self-harm can get blurry in recovery. Even the things you think are the right things can be harmful.
Everyone has an idea about the right way to recover. The “one true way” is a popular concept even though, even in recovery, trends come and go. Currently, it’s all about body positivity.
I wish I was a “body positive” person. I wish I embraced myself in all my glory. I wish I embraced everyone else in all theirs. I wish I wanted to. I want to be positive but I obsess about the effect gravity is having on my posterior and what that means about me as a human being.
I just want to improve my body in a non-psychotic way.
I don’t know if that’s a thing I can do without drifting into danger.
I’d probably feel better about justifying the extra sets of leg presses if I loved myself “just as I am”. If I didn’t keep measuring my thighs and pinching my upper arms and rolling my eyes in disgust. I’m not loving the skin I’m in. I never have. Abstinence hasn’t changed that fact. I’m not at the “love myself” part of recovery yet. Penelope would be disappointed. *
People with eating disorders usually have issues with fatness. I’m no exception: I have issues with fatness too. I don’t make assumptions about intelligence or empathy or skills or interests or sexual orientation. I don’t make judgments about character. I just really dislike fatness.
It makes me viscerally uncomfortable. The greater the overweight, the greater my discomfort. I know this makes me an awful person. I don’t like this truth about myself. My emotions about this bring on shame. I’m disappointed in myself. I feel small and petty and judgmental.
I definitely embody the positivity movement’s description of “fatphobic”. I’m not sure if it’s a fundamental me thing or an eating disorder thing but either way, I’m working on it.
*Summit Entertainment, Stone Village Pictures (producers) and Palansky, Mark (director). Penelope (motion picture). 2006. United States: Type A films.
Penelope, the titular character of this modern fairy tale, is born cursed. A witch has attached a curse to the family following a love affair that ends badly. The next girl will have pig features and she will wear them until she is loved by “one of her own”. No more being rejected for shallow and petty reasons. Penelope’s mother throws suitor after suitor her way and finally, after an aborted trip to the alter, Penelope cries “enough”. She tells her mother “she likes herself the way she is”. With that, the curse is broken. Which I find kind of ironic – if you already love yourself, why do you need the pig ears fixed?
Citation: What is body positivity?