Bodies Themselves

centerfielder08's picture

So, bodies.

Bodies are an interesting thing because since they're right there, attached to us, it's easy for us to get caught up in thinking that our bodies define us. They don't.

Or maybe, they do for the time being, but we don't have to let it control us.

Sometimes I hate my body. Other times, I don't like it but I can deal with it to an extent. Sometimes I don't think about it. Other times, it is the object (or subject?) of a compulsion / obsession.

[Trigger warning: eating disorders, eating, body weight, body image issues, weighing self, self-perception..]

I don't know if I've mentioned this on here before, but I'm starting anew with all of this (though I won't delete my old journals) and so I'll say it again.

I know I am not fat. And yet, I want to lose weight. There is a target goal of what number I want to be--that is, how many pounds I want to weigh. I know this isn't really healthy, but I'm not doing any restricting (well, maybe a very slight bit) or binge eating. It's not that I necessarily want to be skinnier. I mean, in a sense, I do. But I am just very concerned about getting to a certain number and so I want to work to get there. The number on the scale means nothing to me. And at the same time, it makes me so uncomfortable seeing the number there.

I am hesitant to share this, but I am going to do so in order to hopefully benefit others as well as provide as an account for myself.

[Trigger warning again: eating disorders, therapy, eating, restricting]

Though I've never been diagnosed with an eating disorder and I can't say that I really think that I should be diagnosed with one, I have had some eating habits that aren't healthy and are very problematic.

This came up recently in therapy and my therapist had even asked me if I've ever been treated for an eating disorder. I said no and followed up by saying that I've never been diagnosed with one.

When I was younger, I had some bad habits. In elementary school, my mom would pack me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch and I would take literally one bite and then not eat the rest of it. I didn't get why people, such as my friend M, made such a big deal of me not eating much (I thought it looked as though the bite I took was large and so I wasn't actually too little).

And then there were the times that I would hide the uneaten portion of my sandwich in the depths of my backpack and throw them out when my mom wasn't looking (ie, throw it out and then cover it in tissues so it wasn't easily seen in the wastebasket or throw it out at school). Or just leave them in my backpack and pretend to forget about them, and silently hope that somehow they'd disappear so I wouldn't have to deal with others asking me about eating.

I was small when I was younger and people would often comment on my skinniness. This went on through my time in middle school, as well. I didn't know why and was embarrassed to mention this to others, but for some reason, I was secretly so happy when people commented on how skinny I was and asked if I had been eating. To this day, I don't know why that made me happy.

High school, I don't remember much of my actual build, however, I was still on the smaller size and a couple summers had drama started because of comments others made about my weight and how if I kept up the way I was, I would die.

I've always been anxious and dealing with butterflies-in-your-stomach kind of feelings and perhaps that's contributed overtime to eating issues (should I call it that? is that an accurate name?) with which I've dealt. In tenth grade, my anxiety heightened (to say the least)...more like it shot through the roof at the speed of light.

I won't go into nitty-gritty details because its gross and I don't feel comfortable even saying it at all. Even to myself, I don't think I'm ready to be at that place yet.

But I stopped being able to have breakfast and effectively keep it down. And then I stopped being able to eat lunch without a similar sort of feeling as I had experienced earlier on in the day during breakfast. And then, after almost a full school day without any food, I would feel like I was going to faint, I'd get dizzy and nauseous and light-headed. It felt horrible. And I couldn't imagine why it kept continuing.

I started bringing flavored water to school and that's what gave me sugar, but even still, I could not really eat much more than one meal a day.

Now, I eat. I eat three meals a day. But I am hoping to lose weight to get to a certain number that for some reason seems really important for me to accomplish.

I find it hard to not think about my body image and perception. I do miss being acknowledged for my skinniness.

But I also have friends that have been, and still are, plagued by various eating disorders and I do not want to drive myself so far. I'm not near that by any means, because I have a pretty healthy understanding of my body weight and I don't count calories or track my food intake. For the most part, I eat when I'm hungry. I control my eating so that I'm not eating crappy food all day, but I do not turn down sugar or chocolate, or other such things.

I think about my body a lot, both in terms of gender and just in general and I know that many others do, as well. I would assume that the majority of people are at war with some part of their image of themselves. So I know I'm not rare or weird or sick.

I just wish I was able to let my obsession / compulsion go of feeling like I have to reach a certain number on the scale before I can be content.

I'm not fat and I never was.
But if you ask me if I'm skinny, I don't know how to answer that.

I'm not comfortable with my body.

And stuff like how I started this journal entry (talking about how bodies don't define us) are things that I say to myself to remind me that bodies are so unimportant in terms of a person's character and morality and gender and all of that.

(This turned out differently than I was hoping, more about my own weight stuff and less about weight issues and the relationship of body and self to one another. So I will have to write another journal soon.)

I should probably get going. This is a long journal entry and I could use a break from using the computer and staring at the bright screen for so long.

~Eli.

Comments

angel syndrome's picture

Hi Eli! I find myself much

Hi Eli!

I find myself much in the same position :

"I was small when I was younger and people would often comment on my skinniness. This went on through my time in middle school, as well. I didn't know why and was embarrassed to mention this to others, but for some reason, I was secretly so happy when people commented on how skinny I was and asked if I had been eating. To this day, I don't know why that made me happy."

I know this feeling, it feels oddly rewarding to me as well... "Are you eating enough these days?" or things like this... Because you feel confident in your self-control and deprivation maybe?

But your body shouldn't be a battlefield... even if it doesn't correspond to the "self"... it is just a body in many ways? but so much more than a body, too... I don't know.