My body has been changing quickly. There are some mornings where I wake up and I SWEAR that my body had changed overnight. Legs, arms, cheeks, stomach, thighs... everything is getting bigger. Gaining weight is rough. Seeing the number on the scale go up is one thing, but there are many moments when I look in the mirror and don't even recognize myself.
Body checking is something I am trying to work on. Oftentimes I find myself walking from the mirror in my bedroom to the mirror in my bathroom and back again, looking. Examining. Criticizing. Measuring. "Do I still look skinny?" "Where are the next X pounds going to go?" "How big do my legs look this morning? Are they bigger than yesterday?" Body checking is my way to reassure myself that I am not fat but at the same time, it almost ALWAYS causes more distress than reassurance because what I see is not what I want to see.
I cried many tears this week about my changing body. It's frustrating because I am directly making an association between food and weight gain. I don't see the food for what it is; tasty, nutritional, and a source energy. I see it as "bad" and "wrong" and the whole process of walking to the dining room four times a day has become dreadful.
I have called myself "fat" and "disgusting" and a "pig". I have felt embarrassed by the way I look and by how much I weigh. I have felt so dominated by my eating disorder that I cannot show myself some compassion and be kind to myself. I feel like I don't deserve it.
I am not able to say that I love my body. I am not even able to say that I can tolerate my body. Most moments of most days I hate everything about the way I look. But you know what? I laugh more now. Yesterday I played silly games outside and watched funny videos online and was in HYSTERICS. My abs were hurting from laughing so hard. I went to bed happy instead of anxious, and that hasn't happened recently. When I was at home I would go to bed hungry or sad or frustrated... but that is no longer the case. Since I have started gaining weight, I have formed friendships and look forward to socializing and exploring this magical city once I am able to leave on pass.
So bad body image days happen on the regular now. Most days I can't stand the way my body looks. And, I still have a lot more weight to gain. But you know what I do like? Laughing. And you can't laugh when you're underweight. So really, gaining weight is a good trade off - at least that's what I try and remind myself of in the roughest of times. And I encourage YOU to focus on what your body can do and what a healthy mind allows you to experience, rather than calling yourself names or insulting the physical body that gives you life, love, and purpose.