I try not to make a habit of looking through pictures of myself at my lowest weights. While my lowest body weight was never clinically **unhealthy** they were unhealthy for me and look very different than I do now. But every once in a while I stumble upon on picture of myself with my sickest body, usually, while I’m looking for something specific on my Facebook feed, and it takes me aback. I developed my eating disorder during my senior year of high school and didn’t go to treatment until after I graduated college, so every single one of my pictures from college is of me at some stage of my eating disorder, in its many fluctuating phases.
The truth is…I would kill to have that body back.
I wish I had appreciated what I had when I had it.
I look back at that body now and it looks perfectly fine to me. It seems better than what I have now and I wish I could have that body.
I WANT MY SICK BODY BACK.
But here is the truth, I can’t have that body.
For one, my methods of getting that body were unhealthy and unsustainable. They took away so much from me. They left me with 5 semi-miserable years of my life that I will never get back. Having that body meant weekly doctors appointments and monthly blood work to be sure that I was stable enough to go about everyday life. Having that body meant spending four years in an amazing college town avoiding every tradition and festivity involving food. Having that body meant spending days and nights in agonizing hunger and discomfort brought on by laxatives. Having that body meant spending more time at the gym than with my friends. Having that body meant crying alone in my room over an afternoon snack. Having that body meant lying to my friends and family constantly. And if I had continued to pursue that body, who knows where I would be right now. Possibly not alive at all and that’s the stark truth.
Secondly, I did have that body for some time and I STILL hated it. You see, the thing about losing weight is that it doesn’t change anything else in your life. Not. A. Damn. Thing. People with eating disorders aren’t suddenly satisfied with their bodies once they lose weight or continue to use behaviors because it’s not actually about your body. I look at that body now and I think, “wow, I love that body. I want that body. I would feel comfortable and happy and beautiful in that body. This time I would appreciate that body.” But it wouldn’t be this way….no matter how much I wanted it to be that way because once I was back in the habit of using any behaviors to get that way, the switch would flip in my mind……it’s never enough….it will never be enough.
Right now I am mourning my sick body. The sick part of my mind wants to glamorize it; it seems like my real, ideal body and maybe it was. But the life I was living to get that body was not my real, ideal life.
Right now I’m mourning my sick body. Not because I want to get it back (or my wise mind knows I don’t), but because it’s just another piece of the recovery puzzle.
I want my sick body back and that’s okay because it won’t last forever. This feeling not forever, this feeling is just for right now. I am feeling that feeling (feel the feels, y’all) and I will move forward with my life and my recovery.