(i dare you to try and tell me that title didn’t put the david guetta/rhianna song in your head!)
i’ve always known – first because i was told, and then because i started living it – that body image is the final and toughest hurdle in recovery. long after the behaviors have ceased and your body has normalized, you will struggle to see yourself as you truly are, and not as the morphed, funhouse mirror version of yourself that you’ve bought into for so long.
my eating disorder had nothing to do with my weight when it began, but weight was a damn good scapegoat. when
somebody anybody everybody asked “why?” it was a heck of a lot easier to say “because i’m fat” than to attempt to delve into the real reasons. i never actually was fat, mind you. but it seemed to be that everybody assumed i thought as much, so i played along.
but then after a while it backfired – i actually started to believe it.
fast forward three years. my full-length mirror has been broken and gone for a good six months (because my neighbor slams his door like a neanderthal with ‘roid rage, but that’s another post entirely), which has greatly shortened my morning routine. i can’t see how i look = i can’t stand fixed in front of the mirror, tossing on one outfit after the other only to inevitably end up in the very first thing i tried on. three years, no behaviors, and i still cannot get it out of my head that i am chubby.
it’s not the mirror that lies, but the demons in our minds. they twist and turn what exists in the glass into some morphed and distorted version of reality.
sometimes i catch a glimpse of myself, usually while i’m teaching and not paying very much attention as i hope from one end of the studio to the other, adjusting an arm or a leg. i haphazardly look up and there i am in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. and sometimes i think, “well i’ll be damned, i’m not fat at all!”
and while it’s fleeting and ephemeral, and given more time and a closer look i would find a dozen things in thirty seconds to lament about, that glimmer of light in the darkness is all i need.
it’s a start. and what one begins, one must complete.