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Gaining

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
-Seth Godin

Well, yeah, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  And right now, the thing that scares me the most is having to gain weight in order to get to a healthy BMI and get closer to recovery.

It’s scary, but it’s also so SO frustrating.  Because I fully understand that it’s necessary, and when I think about it, I really do want to gain weight.

I’m tired of having a little girl’s body.  I’m twenty-two, I should look like a grownup!  Boobs and hips and a bum – I should have those things!  I never minded before; I guess when I lived completely by ED’s rules, looking like a kid was just the price to be paid for being skinny and having that “control” over my body.  Sure, I was annoyed when people thought I was much younger than my actual age, but I never, never wanted to change that if it involved gaining weight and having a grownup’s body.

A grownup’s body, grownup responsibilities, grownup decision – I’ve been avoiding all of them.  Even at my job where I do administrative-type work for a legal office, I feel like a little girl playing pretend most of the time.  There, and in a lot of other situations, I feel like I’m not taken seriously because I’m always labelled as the tiny, quiet, young girl.

Cute.  That’s another word that goes along with those belittling adjectives.  I’m always the “cute” one. Never hot or sexy, which makes sense I guess, because who considers a twelve-year-old’s body hot?  My curve-less body kind of lacks any of the parts that constitute a sexy, womanly figure.

Some days I’m okay with that, and really like my body.  But more often lately, I’m uncomfortable with it.  Besides the younger-than-I-am judging, I don’t like being limited to cute.  With Halloween coming up, I was considering possible costumes, and it was frustrating.  I’m not by any means saying I’d like to look slutty for Halloween, but it is the one day a year when it’s kind of okay for women to dress a bit more…provocatively.  I could put on the sluttiest costume I could find, and I’d still just be cute, at best.  I’d like to at least have the option to dress up and be sexy.  I’m twenty-two after all, when else is that going to be okay?!

I say all this, and in my mind I’m fully on board with the weight gain I need to make happen.  But the actually gaining, I’m struggling with.  Any slight difference that shows up on the scale sends me into a panic.  Even when I haven’t gained weight, some days I’ll see my legs in the mirror and cringe, thinking they look awfully huge all of a sudden.  I almost wish I could wake up one day suddenly at my healthy set-point weight.  It certainly sounds a lot easier than this transition-y in between phase.

When I talked to my psychologist about feeling bad that I still haven’t gained any weight, she put it in a different perspective.  Gaining weight isn’t an action – I can’t just choose to wake up in the morning and decide “‘I’m going to gain weight today”.  What I can do is decide to eat the foods ED tells me are bad, and keep challenging his rules.  I have been, but I need to do it more.  Which is scary, but that’s why I need to do it.

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2 thoughts on “Gaining

  1. Gaining weight was the hardest part for me with recovery. I would gain a couple and completely freak if i even felt it and resort back to listening to ED who was still yelling in my ear. My recovery began as a forced thing so it wasn’t my choice which made it even more difficult and is probably one of the reasons i still struggle so much. Kudos to you for being brave and realizing that in your early 20s you want to look like an adult. 25 and i am finally buying adult clothes. But it is exactly like you said if you look like a grown up then you have to do grown up things and i much prefer pretending most days. But that’s not healthy and in the end will get me no where. You are a strong woman. If no one has told you today I am proud of you for making such difficult changes. Keep it up!

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  2. Hey- let me just say, getting to the “fully on board” with gaining in your head is a BIG deal. Like a really big deal. And for people like us, to gain is GOOD. We have so much to live for.

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