Thursday, April 9, 2009

I am MORE than Just a Pretty Face

Hurray for spontaneous posting!!!

I am feeling a million times better than I have all week and I just feel like grinning from ear to ear! Thank you again gals for always welcoming me back. My schedule/eating disorder/ker-razy life is just so sporatic it's a wonder I ever get anything done. But I am feeling really good right now, craziness aside.

Yesterday, on the other hand, was one of THOSE days. My body image, my self esteem, my happiness was at such a low point that I felt like bursting into a million tears. I am going through kind of an awkward phase right now beauty-wise (I know, I sound so vain right) because of the horrible SQUARE-HAIR ordeal that happened to me earlier in the year. Basically I went to this new stylist because my old one just up and quit and received a VERY botched, short don't. It's grown out considerably now but the layers are still off and I have to grow out my bangs to get everything evened up again. This is extremely unnerving for me because I often feel worthless, ugly, and depressed when I don't look as good as I want to. On top of that I have also had to wear my glasses all this week until I can reorder my contacts, which just further adds to my low-esteem. So, all of these factors combined with the fact that I have to gain weight have made me really depressed.

But you know what?

I have realized just how UNHEALTHY this is. If I constantly base my self worth off of how I look or how I feel about my body each and every single day I am never EVER going to learn how to love and accept myself. Even if everybody tells me differently I will ALWAYS find some little flaw that I am unsatisfied with. I am my greatest critic. But I can't keep doing this!! Recovery is supposed to be about learning how to love myself for who God created me to be and to be content with what He has given me NO MATTER WHAT. Too often I find myself frowning in disgust at my image in the mirror and automatically thinking, "If I JUST had thinner thighs then I could be happy, or If my hair would JUST lie straight for once then I would feel good about myself, or If ONLY....(fill in the blanks)." The more and more I continue this type of negative the self talk the more I stay stuck, firmly held in the grasp of my eating disorder.

I think, in some twisted a way, that God is desperately trying to teach me this year how to be content. My hair used to be my pride and joy. It was once very shiny and healthy and luscious and I always sported the hippest, cutest trends. I had these great Euro-chic, eyebrow skimming bangs that I LOVED. They made me feel so confident and ATTRACTIVE, but guess what? Their purpose was to cover up a perceived flaw--my forehead and eyebrows--which I'm not so fond of. But then I got greedy and impatient and wanted to change up my style and before long, even though I HEARD that nagging voice telling me NOT TO CUT MY HAIR AGAIN, I ended up with a total nightmare-weed on my head! And I'm still living with the repercussions of my decision!!! So now I have to accept the consequences, live with my decision, and sit and w a i t.
And while I've been waiting I've had to put up with a lot of anxiety over my looks. There have been many days where I know my hair has not looked that great and I can't do anything about it (my hair is still too short to pull back into a ponytail) but just sit and live with it. It's has not been easy for me. In a way I have pretty much had to let go of my vanity entirely and learn to live my life knowing that I don't look as pretty. I have had to learn how to not base my self worth off of my looks. This is probably one of the HARDEST lessons I have ever had to learn and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I am STILL struggling.

And so, cleverly disguised as a simple, but horrendously bad haircut, I have discovered the next step in recovery for me. And that is to love ME, the whole package, every IOTA, all flaws included. This means that I can't always be striving after perfection. This means that I need to learn how to stop comparing myself to others. This means that I need to stop the constant body bashing. This means that I need to stop changing myself everytime I find something like I don't like. This means that I need to learn how to be happy even if I am not super skinny. The weight gain aspect of recovery has always been my greatest stressor because I worry that I will not be skinny when I reach goal weight.

Then I find myself thinking, well maybe I will still be skinny and then everything will okay and I won't have to worry. Let me propose something scary for a moment.....bare with me this could be triggering....what if I'm not skinny? What if I don't have the body that I WANT to have.

Why does my happiness have to be based on my weight all the time. Answer: It doesn't and it shouldn't. ONE of these days, so HELP ME GOD, I have got to learn how to love myself no MATTER what I look like.

My biggest challenge in this regard is going to be learning how to accept my HEALTHY goal weight. This is a weight that I have NEVER been satisfied with and I am terrified of reaching. Even though I know that I am not fat at this weight I still feel like I am. The last time I was near this weight was two years ago after being discharged from the hospital. I was only 2 POUNDS away from the final resting point (hehe, sounds like a cemetary) but I started freaking out and restricted all over again. But this time I can't. I need to learn how to accept and love that weight.

God has made me to be more than just a pretty face or a thin figure.
I need to find that person.

*NOTE* I really want to apologize to anyone if I triggered you towards the end here. Admittedly this is a very hard possibility for me to grasp because I am so body-conscious. But the bottom line is, THIN DOES NOT EQUAL BEAUTY OR WORTHINESS. You are all so much more than your faces or your bodies and that truth shines through in each and every one of your blog lives. I really pray that you can learn to embrace your true selves and love yourselves NO MATTER WHAT.

And don't think for a moment that this is easy for me. There are days when I just want to turn on my heel and run full speed in the WRONG direction. But I have made a commitment to stick to recovery and I am going to continue doing what is right for me. NO MATTER WHAT. And honestly, I don't think that God is going to punish me or anything with a body I am going to hate. I think that He is going to bless me and honor my faithfulness and obedience and give me the body that I NEED and that is GOOD and HEALTHY for me. And maybe it won't look like I want it to look but I think that by the time I get there I will have learned how to accept it.

I'm just posting little revelations that come to me, sometimes more for my good than anything else.

I was also not implying IN ANY WAY that anybody is going to get fat!! Please DO NOT THINK THAT!! I think we all know (deep down) the truth about that one. The main thing is, I know what my goal weight looks like and even though it is not fat, I still think I am. What I meant was, I know that God is going to teach me how to accept my HEALTHY GOAL weight, because I have never done that before.


Lauryn April 9, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

this post was absolutely amazing! so glad i stumbled on your blog =) you're absolutely right, we are our own biggest critics, and we're so much more than we give ourselves credit for. thanks for the reminder, i needed it!

Anonymous April 10, 2009 at 2:39 AM  

No one is going to hate you for this post - nothing could be less possible, it was really amazing to read :) You are so right. I know what my body looks like at my target too, and although it's a scary prospect I think the thing to remember is that people with eating disorders are NEVER happy with how their bodies look, so it is far better to fight the eating disorder, be healthy and give ourselves a chance to learn to accept ourselves than to hate how we look and be very ill as well, if that makes sense. I am sorry you had to go through that ordeal with your hair (a similar thing has happened to me in the past, it sucks) but it sounds like it's taught you some really good lessons. Hair grows :) good luck finding a new stylist!

Kiki April 10, 2009 at 4:48 AM  

Amazing post! I know nobody will hate you. I think that even people without EDs constantly pick apart the flaws in their body. If we always do that, we're going to be trapped with an ED forever. So matter how badly we want to be recovered, it'll never happen if we're constantly criticizing our bodies. We have a much better chance of going on to live a happy life if we just accept our bodies for how they're meant to me, and learn why it's so wonderful to be unique.

Happy Friday, love!

Maya April 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

love this post..i can relate SO hair used to be so gorgeous long and wavy and shiny and now i must wear it up in a little bun each day because it is so brittle and fell out...from all my ed damage. you are not alone,my dear. you are beautiful,and dont let ed tell you otherwise..we can both be happy one day at a healthy place and live life like it was meant to be lived:)
lots of love

tinyirishdancer April 10, 2009 at 8:09 PM  

Aw - I missed you too, m'dear!

Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I'm so glad to be a source of inspiration for ya!
And Robert Pattinson = yummy, no?


Wow. Actually, this post was the exact OPPOSITE of triggering. I actually found it quite uplifting.
You have such a great sense of self, and a genuine desire for recovery. It's refreshing to read. =]

That said, I'm terribly sorry about your hair. I used to have sooper long hair mahself, until, one day...I figured it'd be a BRILLIANT idea to chop it all off.


I cried about it for weeks.

But! Good thing about hair: it's re-growable! You're gorgeous as it is, but I'm sure you'll have your lovely locks back in no time. ;]

Anyhow. Almost bedtime for moi. Hope you have a relaxing Easter weekend, girlie! Take care <3

Anonymous April 13, 2009 at 6:23 AM  

this is such an amzing post in so many ways. "Recovery is supposed to be about learning how to love myself for who God created me to be and to be content with what He has given me NO MATTER WHAT" I really loved this quote! you're so right. I think this not only applies to those recovering from ED, but to every human being as well. we need to learn to love ourselves and be thankful for everthing.

nourishing mornings April 14, 2009 at 2:40 AM  

i loved your really helped and made me smile!!!!:D


Neela Marijana April 14, 2009 at 4:00 AM  

i loved this pos. every word you say in there is so true and so honest and actually couldn't describemore how i feel right now.
we are so much more than a number on the scale and our purpose is far beyond being a certain shape/size. only we have fooled ourselves into thinking we need to be this way. i had such a big smile on my face when you talked about your hair cause that is what i think almost every mornung. i feel so ugly because my hair is not right. GREAT! and then i feel awefull all day just because my hair is not right??? WTH? i could spend my day enjoying this life. there is so much more we can see and discover.
well done on posting this
much love

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