Saturday, April 7, 2012

Body Perception

It's nearly midnight but I've been such a horrible blogger as of late, I'm making myself blog for at least five minutes. It's not that I don't have things to write about, I just am feeling and experiencing so much I would rather internalize it (and THAT'S not healthy!). 

So much has happened the past few days. Wednesday I felt dizzy all day. By nighttime, I was so dizzy I just went in bed but was too scared to fall asleep. My heart was skipping beats and, combined with the dizziness, scared the crap out of me. I felt so discouraged. I'm doing all the right things, why is my body betraying me now? I emailed my doctor and dietician. Thursday I still felt dizzy and my blood pressure was 90/49 which is fairly low. My doctor wasn't in the office but his nurse read the email and talked with me. Both her and Viv were pushing me to go urgent care, but I felt like I could stick it out. The dizziness was lessening. I'd be ok. I talked to my doctor this morning and he thinks it's a combination of things. One, I'm exercising too hard which I knew but wasn't ready to admit. Also, I'm not drinking water. Before I'd drink powerade zero a lot, but since I'm not doing artificial sweetener (it has aspartame) I haven't had it. I don't drink water because I don't like the taste and I forget about it. I might have 4 ounces in a day or 16 ounces if I exercise, but that's it besides my morning coffee (which isn't exactly hydrating).

SOOO I got my labs done this morning and I'm waiting for the results. Everything SHOULD be spectacular but I'm afraid my body is going to rebel and pull out some alarming lab results or something.

Tonight was fun! I hung out with a few friends I met through group therapy. Courtney and I made a vegan dinner which actually turned out DELICIOUS! We had fresh spinach salad, quinoa chickpea pilaf, and vegan sausage. Another girl from group came over but wasn't ready to eat out yet. We talked for a long time and it was really nice. I had some realizations though that were...almost triggering for me? 

I don't usually size everyone up but I do tend to acknowledge those in my group therapy who are thinner than me. Yes, it's my eating disorder but I don't contemplate on it and let it trigger me. I just acknowledge it and that's it. Well the other girl, let's call her K, made a comment or something about how I had so much farther to go in weight restoration and later she mentioned how she had already made it to her normal weight. I called her out on it and said I didn't think that was true at all. Both her and Court looked at me like I was crazy and said I was still very thin and had a ways to go. 


...I just am having a difficult time comprehending that they really think that. How does she not see that she's obviously skinnier than me? I'm having a hard time even considering what they say is true because that means I can't see myself clearly and for some reason, that bothers me. I just can't accept it. 

So now I'm in a funky mood and don't really know what to think. I can't believe they don't think I look normal now. I've gained so much weight in the past month and I pointed that out to them. They agreed that they both noticed I look much better and not as sickly, but they still see me as very thin. 

Why can't I see it? Will I ever see it? Why do they see it? I think I wish they didn't think I was thin. 


  1. I have the same problem with body perception. My therapist tells me that I "will not see it" until long after I am well. He says I am just going to have to trust him, the other members of my treatment team and those that REALLY care about me. It is very frustrating to me. I will look at myself and think. WOW, I have gained so much. I look normal, I look big. He and my friends and family will look at me like I am "nuts", literally. It is all part of the distortion. You will have to stop comparing yourself to others. Just trust your team. They care about you and know what is best.

    I also found the same when I was inpatient. We all thought we were the biggest. My roomate and I each thought the other one was much smaller. The compaing game is going to make is so much harder on you! Give yourself some grace and compassion! Yes, you have made so much progress and you are doing great! But, trust your team and friends. They are not trying to make you "overweight, too big, fat, etc" They only want you to be healthy. If they say you need to gain more to be healthy, then you do. Be patient. You will eventually see what they are talking about. It takes time, but it will come.

  2. I agree very much with Agrace12. YOu need to be very compassionate and caring towards not only your healing body, but your healing spirit and mind. ED has has so much time to grow and take root in your mind that it will take a while for all the good nourishing thoughts to weed out all the nasty ED cognition.

    I really urge you to not compare yourself to others, especially those in recovery, but to trust the well guided perspectives of your family and treatment team. You are really doing so so so awesome, and you have no idea how happy I am to see you flourish and excel. You are one special lady.

  3. I think that body perception and how we perceive ourselves against others will always somewhat be there. It is sometimes natural to do that; in a natural state of mind. But with an eating disordered person's mind, it is an entirely different situation. It's learning how to overpower the thoughts and not act on them, to get us through. You will get there. I am very proud of you love.xo

  4. As Jenni Shaefer wrote: "Compare and despair." So much truth packed into that one little line! Your self-perception has been warped for so long, it's going to take a long time to straighten it out! A lot of it has to do with re-feeding your brain for a prolonged period of time; the longer you re-feed, the easier it will become to see yourself right. As discouraging as it is right now, please find the motivation to keep on going despite both physical and emotional obstacles! When you hear the ED start yapping, just remember to disagree and disobey with what it's telling you.

    As for your weight, you need to trust your treatment team when it comes to your weight restoration. Let THEM track your weight and advise you on where you are/need to be - NOT other girls in therapy with you. You have to remember that they are sick as well! Your treatment team will let you know when you are in your target healthy weight range. I know the girls in your group mean well, but you have to remember that their perceptions are off, too. In my group therapy, it was always a game with me and the other girls; we'd play the "YOU'RE thinner than I am, I'M the biggest one here...", and we drove ourselves crazy with that sort of default competition that comes with the ED territory. And of course it's even more of a mind game when they're telling you that you have more weight to gain when you feel you don't. It just becomes ten times more confusing and even leads to straight up paranoia if you're not fully recovered.

    Try not to blame your body for having these symptoms right now...I went through a period of feeling sick after I had been doing all of the right things. My doctors told me it was my body adjusting and it was all part of the re-feeding process. At one point, my blood pressure dropped down to 74/82 which was lower than it was when I was at my lowest weight! I passed out multiple times, hit my head on an iron bar, and almost had to go into the hospital! Try to hang in there and just keep yourself monitored; your body is in the process of fixing itself.

    You're doing a tremendous, commendable job...out of all of the girls in recovery I follow, I look up to you the most because despite the scariness of the whole ordeal, your positive attitude shines brilliantly. I know you'll make it!!! <3