We all have those clothes at the back of our wardrobe with the ability to make us feel fat or thin! The black baggy dress you wear on a ‘fat day’ or that pretty summer dress you only dare wear on the day you are feeling thin.
As my illness progressed, everything made me feel fat and I was also ashamed of my body and how thin I look to other people. I wanted to be thin, but I wanted it to be for only me to see – I felt ashamed. I still do.
I have always LOVED clothes and fashion and clothes always felt like a way of expressing my confidence and personality. I did not care what other people thought about how I dressed, it could be quirky at times BUT it was me. I felt comfortable and confident and that was all that mattered.
As anorexia grew in confidence, my love for fashion and clothes slowly ebbed away. Pauls oversized jumpers, baggy colourless dresses, anything that hides my figure ARE my new wardrobe staples.
I hate wearing anything tight, anything that remotely makes me feel FAT or obvious to anyone else. My clothes are grey, black and white. My rainbow lost its colour a long time ago.
A question I have been thinking of for some time and certainly as I contemplate what recovery could present me with.
Is FAT or THIN really a feeling?
Why do we wake up and FEEL FAT or THIN?
OK, so a LARGE dinner the night before can leave us waking up FEELING fat. Of course, it’s our bodies way of telling us we have over indulged.
FEELING FAT is also our minds way of berating us and our deep subconscious giving us the boot for indulging. After all, we are often reminded how over indulging is bad and we should feel GUILTY.
Anorexia works on restriction, so the object of being THIN is the key. It is the control around food and how our bodies look. THIN is the goal, not for vanity reasons but for feeling like we are not failures. SHE won!
The irony is there is no prize other than ill health, thin hair, stomach issues, body hair, anxiety and extreme depression. No medal, trophy or ‘well done’……
I believe we confuse FEELING fat or thin with other emotions. Feeling thin can often mean you feel confident and able to wear a tight dress! Feeling FAT may mean you are feeling sad or anxious and the way we have learned to express our emotions is through FOOD and through berating our bodies.
When you FEEL FAT what is your mind really trying to tell you??
I am as guilty of this as the next person. We all keep clothes that we can no longer wear, for whatever reason!
I am hanging onto my anorexia clothes WITH nervous anticipation. I can only ever imagining wearing my Age 10 – 12-year-old clothes and my super skinny jeans that are too big.
I, at this point, cannot imagine a time where clothes will become tight….that makes me feel sick to the stomach and scares the bee-jee-bees out of me.
I know part of my recovery will be throwing away my anorexia clothes and moving on. I try to vision myself stood there, calm and ready. I have a black bag and Paul and I are shoving all the Anorexia clothes in the bag, I will feel cleansed, free and ready to move on. I keep visualising this, I need to believe this will happen.
Maybe I will be ready to include colour in my new wardrobe and feel ready to wear adult female cloth sizes without feeling shame and disappointment. Step away from the children’s clothing section…..
Why do we hang onto clothes we know we will never fit into again?
Why keep a dress that makes us unhappy every time we look at it?
It is because we associate that dress with FEELING happy – after all when we wore that dress we were so much happier than we are now. Come on, now really think about it – were you really happier OR were you still wanting to be different in some way?!
I have come to realise we are a product of our own emotions and we put a lot of that onto our looks and what the outside world thinks of us.
I do care what people think about how I look. NOT as much as I used too, but I want people to look at me and think ‘she looks nice’ or ‘I like her hair’.
WHY do I need approval from other people?!
WHY do society associate ‘thinness’ with happiness?
WHY the f*ck can we just not judge people and like them for what’s inside?
All questions which are thrust down our throats in ‘self-help’ columns and books every day, yet still we don’t listen and societies judgments take over.
I am hoping there will be a time when I LOVE or even LIKE myself enough to treat my body with the respect it deserves. I will nourish my body and stop putting it through grueling exercise regimes and more importantly I WILL throw away Anorexia clothes and become Katie again.
I wonder what she will look like.
Next time you are having a FAT or THIN day, really think about what it means. Maybe you are just pissed off and your body does not actually have anything to do with it!