I am baaaacccckkkk! Since Yoga Teacher Training finished I took some time off from yoga and blogging because I had a lot to process. Not just mentally, but physically too. 9 months of training finally ended and I was tired yet refreshed. So much started to fill my head after I got my certificate that I couldn’t sit down and write a weekly blog entry. I couldn’t practice yoga physically because my body was tired. I had to practice mindfulness, appreciation, gratitude…..all of this lead me to the idea of doing a few series sets for my blog. I had a slight set back with my ED not too long ago and I became fixated on a body part—my usual. Then the lightbulb went off! Here was my first series set for imageoftheheart. I wanted to write about how a survivor feels when their body begins to change during recovery. How horrifying, how liberating, how it can lead to relapse.
With all of that said, here ya go!
The thing about those of us with eating disorders is that we are very vain. We are also very controlling. We are controlling about a wide variety of aspects in our lives but we are mostly control our looks. Each and every one of us has a different fixation on a specific body part and we do certain rituals to ensure that it stays to our specific (mainly our ED) look. Some of us like the thigh gap, some like rib protrusion or scapular protrusion, some are about the belly, some are about the clavicle, or even the chest. Sometimes it is more than one. I had multiple body parts I would obsess with: the belly, clavicle, and my top quad, how muscular I was. Like most things about an eating disorder it is ritualistic and tiring.
Every day I had my routine of body checking. Upon waking I would check my belly in the mirror from all sides to make sure I had not gained a belly (still do occasionally unfortunately) and put my hands around my waist to make sure I could still have a curvature and it “feel right”. I would then step on the scale (which I had to sneak around to get to because it was in my parents closest) and check my weight to see if it was within the appropriate range. Throughout the day I would check my clavicle-I was proud to have “clavicular cleavage”. And then I would check out my legs to see my definition and to make sure that above all else, I had no cellulite. Let me just say short season would be ultra tiring.
Anytime I passed a mirror or a reflective surface I had to take a look. I would check out my legs, my butt, and my side profile. I also had to check my hair and makeup. Melvin’s #1 rule: always look presentable. And if one thing would have changed (and usually it would because I had eaten something and Melvin made me see a dimple on my thigh, or my clavicle instantly went away) it was time to restrict, lift, or run many miles. Better yet all three! All of this to make sure I looked presentable, I was skinny, I was fit, to be well liked, and please those around me. The list could go on and on.
The moment recovery happens, your body begins to change and sometimes the body parts you constantly check are the ones that change. When the change happens a part of you feels great but mostly it feels horrible…..and this is what I am going to write about.