Northern Girl on… My body image story – update 2 

Having shared my initial story and my update I’ve decided to try and update monthly. I find writing about my story therapeutic for myself and it still surprises me just how little people know/understand about eating disorders.

My last update was a much more positive one than my initial cry for help but unfortunately it hasn’t stayed that way. I recently shared a post on my Instagram of me feeling fantastic having been able to run in just a sports bra and leggings for the first time ever! Fast forward a week and that little, dark, eating disorder voice kicked in. I couldn’t even stand to look at it anymore, all I could see was what was wrong with my body. Coincidentally those feelings started the exact same day I got weighed for the first time in months.

It was a dark, deep spiral and it was one of my lowest points in recent times. I didn’t see a way out. I was crying and obsessing and beating myself up.  It was horrible and I couldn’t explain it to Tom. I stand by that it’s one of the hardest things to explain or deal with. I sometimes feel that at least with other mental illnesses you can empathise to a certain degree but with eating disorders unless you’ve experienced it you simply don’t know. There are so many common misconceptions. I cannot stress enough that just because someone doesn’t starve themselves or make themselves sick does not mean that they aren’t suffering – it runs so much deeper than that.

I was back to being obsessive. I mean I am/was at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Ever. I didn’t feel any different in myself from a week ago and my clothes didn’t fit me any differently but thise two numbers on the scale completely changed my opinion of myself. It felt like climbing a wall to the top only to lose my footing on the final step and fall straight back to the bottom. My body confidence had once again been shattered and I was back to my closed up self. I wanted to start running 3 times a day. I wanted to get rid of every unhealthy item of food in the flat. I wanted to get back to my tiny 8st self. It’s almost as if I don’t recognise myself until I’m at that weight. At least that’s what I thought.

I’m some kind of warped/backwards logic I decided to try on some of my bikinis from a couple of years ago. If you’ve seen my post on my Half-year goals you’ll know that being in a bikini this year is quite a big deal to me. With only 3 weeks to go until my first break I had a panic they wouldn’t fit so I dug them out of the back of my wardrobe, tried them on and looked in the mirror. Low and behold they fit perfectly.

There are always going to be bits that I wish were different but with minor changes to my diet and fitness regime they will get there. I quickly realised that my issues are nothing to do with how I see myself. I love my body. I’ve been blessed with a near perfect hourglass figure and likened to a Kardashian (what’s not to love)! Instead my issues come from what I create in my head based on the numbers on the scale. To me that number 8 is magic even though realistically I know that it would mean losing what I love about myself today.

So it’s an easy fix?  I wish it was. I wish it was as easy as just shaking my head and shaking the negative thoughts away. I think it will take a while to get those numbers out of my head. There are probably always going to be dark days where I can’t control my default emotion but hopefully I’ll never be too far away from a bikini and a mirror.

NG x