I did something today that I probably should have done about a year ago. I emptied my wardrobe of all the clothes I’ve been hanging onto ‘just in case’ I fit into them again. Turns out that’s pretty much everything I own.

I’m trying to see this as a good thing, I really am, but honestly, I’m struggling. I actually feel more ashamed of this than quite a lot of the other stuff I’ve written about. It feels so small and petty. But here’s the thing – I’m actively disgusted by how I look right now. I can’t stand to catch sight of myself in the mirror, and I absolutely hate the way my body feels. There are parts of me jiggling that have never jiggled before. There are parts of me rubbing off each other that have never rubbed before. I’m trying to embrace it, but so far, I’m hitting something of a wall.

I don’t have an eating disorder – thankfully that’s something we’ve been able to keep off the list. But I am extremely conscious of my size. Over the last year, as I’ve continued to get better, my weight has correspondingly increased. I could blame the medication, but I think it’s more to do with my chronic lack of willpower when it comes to food. I’m a comfort eater, always have been. I eat to celebrate, to make myself feel better, when I’m tired, when I’m cold, when I’m bored………in short, far more than I need to. I don’t make smart food choices. Fruit? No! Cake makes far more sense. And it’s infinitely worse when I’m in work, for reasons I can’t yet fathom. This week is a prime example. Every morning, en route to the office, I picked up a danish, less than an hour after breakfast. I just wouldn’t do that at home. As I’m doing it, I know it’s ultimately going to make me feel worse. But I can’t seem to stop it. Compulsive behaviour? It’s almost the same sense I get when I take a notion in my head to contact Therapist. I know I shouldn’t. I know it will lead to guilt, and self loathing, and shame. But I also know, as soon as the thought has registered on my radar, be it contacting Therapist, fb snooping, giving in to yet another food craving, that I will do it, regardless of all of the above.

I’ve talked about it with Hubby, and to a lesser extent, with a couple of friends. Everyone agrees I look better than this time last year – when I’m not well, I tend to lose weight and at my worst was pretty gaunt. But the problem is, show me two pictures, a then and a now, and then is the one I’ll prefer! This isn’t new. This whole subject is something that has always been lurking in the background but I’ve been too preoccupied with all the other insanity to give it much time. Now that things are that much more settled, it’s coming to the fore. I don’t like it. Ignoring it isn’t making it better. Normally I find a good wardrobe clear out really therapeutic. But not this time. This time all it’s done is serve to highlight what I currently like least about myself. Now where did I leave the chinese menu……….

This article has 1 Comment

  1. I don't have any real insight to offer but I always get a lot out of reading what you write and I kind of feel like at least giving some sort of feedback is a decent mechanism of showing appreciation. The issues you discuss are not often ones that I always necessarily experience (although your post about university really struck a chord) but you explain it so well that it is easy to understand and empathise.

    You almost always do so well at separating how you feel from how you want to feel or what is probably the more rational way of thinking. So, I don't really see that me saying something obvious about how if everyone thinks you look better it's probably because you do, will change your own feeling about it. Maybe another voice and another perspective and some sympathy/empathy will help a little though. If not, feel free to tell me where to shove what I think!

    A few things I thought about as I read this were as follows.

    – The exercise you do is bound to balance out a decent amount of eating, even when you don't manage as much of that as you would like either.
    – Taking on and addressing this stuff is what seems to really work for you in terms of trying to be in a better place. The fact you even did the clear out is a pretty good sign in that sense.
    – Personally I think maybe the extreme reaction to perceived slip ups like comfort eating or seeking comfort from fb or contacting Therapist or whatever else is more of the issue than the act itself.
    – I kind of feel like the things you describe are much less harmful than other behaviours and acts which might be way more destructive.
    – In a way it is really good this stuff is coming up because it's a side effect of the fact that, as you say, the other stuff is relatively settled. Everyone has issues with body image, everyone struggles with controlling their eating and I'm sure everyone has guilty habits like stalking someone they really shouldn't on social media.
    – The thing you often say about being kind to yourself definitely comes into play here. I was going to say that we're all judge ourselves way more harshly than anyone else would but I guess there are people who don't. I know I do and you certainly seem to. It is pretty challenging to hold yourself to the same (lower) standards you would hold someone else to but maybe it's worth trying?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *