As I stand in the washroom each morning dressing, I look in the mirror and see a body that is, in my mind, substantially larger than it once was. It isn’t - really. Over the course of this year, I have probably gained 15-20, though I wear it better than I once did. Possibly, because I choose clothing that fits better, or perhaps this is my body changing like my therapist keeps threatening will happen. Either way, it is there, staring back at me each morning. I feel like I am the biggest I have ever been. (Though, if you were to see me, you probably wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. But I know.)
This is an area I haven’t really talked much about, even with my therapist (there have been so many more pressing matters, that this seems insignificant… at least until now). Among my other issues, I have body image problems. Since I started this experiment, they have been improving. I look in the mirror and have good things to say to the person I see. I like who I am and how I present myself. Even when the weight started to build, I was okay. My therapist had said it was normal to gain weight through this process and eventually it will all come off again. I trust her implicitly – when I’m not doubting her. Either way, she has always ended up being right.
The first 5 pounds had little effect. 10 started to be noticeable, but I figured I would round out there. Now at 15 or 20 (these are all approximations, I gave up having a scale years ago for reasons that will be explained shortly), the dialogue has changed. I look at myself each morning and see a fat person. I think “gah, you’re fat.” I’m not. Not even really close, not even what you would call plump. But that is beside the point, I see a fat person and that is what I am telling myself.
Now, I’m fighting desperately to change that conversation, but it is difficult and it is ingrained in much deeper sources than just body image. I still think I have a nice body. I know (on a conscious level) that I’m not overweight. I’m hoping that sharing this struggle will help. Much like with the rest of this blog, it may give me some external accountability. If I can’t convince myself to change my thinking, perhaps making it an expectation from my readers that I need to achieve will.