Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Body "identifiers", and acceptance of the change

If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I would allow myself to not be as thin as I could possibly be, I would have laughed and not believed you.  The mere thought of not being super skinny would leave me completely panicked. 

I was so absolutely obsessed with "thin" as my identifier, that I could not imagine myself happy in any other way.  At that time, my body defined who I was.  If I was not "Yasi, the short, skinny girl", then who was I?" 


(Or so I thought.)

I truly, and deeply, believed that I would not, and could not, be happy if I weighed anything over 109 pounds.  And if my weight climbed over that number, then I was damned, doomed, and done for!

This is why I did absolutely everything in my power to stay slim, and to stay under that number.  Unlike some girls who deal with ED's, mine did not involve exercise.  The reason for this is because I simply did not have the energy to complete my daily activities, let alone exercise.  And, I knew that when my activity increased my body would throw a complete shit-fit and I would lose control of my restriction.  If I did anything more than my normal routine, I would need more fuel (food), and that was a no-go.  So, my simple solution was to never be more active than I really needed to be.

What this meant was that as I lost weight (and did not exercise), I became super skinny up top, and skinny but squishy in my lower body.  My body had no definition.  I absolutely dreaded wearing bikinis, and really disliked my nude form.  I was not proud of my shape when it wasn't draped with clothing.  In clothes, I liked the fact that I looked thin-- my collar bones stuck out, my arms were waif-like.  Without clothes, I was just a squishy skinny person-- NOT that attractive.

After working on recovery for the past year and a half, my body has completely transformed.  I gained some definite weight (~10-12 pounds from my lowest weight, and ~5-7 pounds from the weight that I tried to maintain for the last couple of years before recovery).  I have also gained a lot of muscle, and some major definition and shape in my body.
Not only do I look very healthy, I am very healthy.  I am now much more active than I was-- I work out about 3x a week and I'm always up for walks, hikes, or other fun things. 

And, the reason that I can do all of these things is because I consistently feed and nourish my body.  My goal is not to be as thin as I could possibly be, it is to be fit and healthy.

In fact, I no longer identify with "thin".  But, I do identify with "athletic".  This is a huge stride for me.  Before recovery, I cringed at the word "athletic" as an identifier.  Because to me, it was almost a nicer way of saying "stocky" or "masculine", and I was terrified of being any of those things.  But, now, I don't mine describing myself as athletic, because that means that I can be as active as I want to be, and that is exciting!

This Friday, I even went on a 2.5 mile run at the gym, did strength training for a half hour, had lunch with my best friend, and an hour later went on a 2.7 mile hike with her.  A year and a half ago this would have been nearly impossible for me!

In addition, this year has been one of the first years that I've really felt comfortable with my body in a bikini.  My level of comfort has actually gone up since I first doned a bikini this Summer, so that'a a plus. :) 
And my comfort has nothing to do with looking thin in my bikini- because I don't.  I look athletic and fit.  I look like I eat normally and I work out.  And somehow, through all the positive self-talk, I've come to see 'athletic' and 'healthy' as positive descriptions.

I've actually never had as much fun during a Summer, as I have had this year.  And I attribute all of that to my recovery, and my life-style change.  Hoorah!!! :):)