Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Body Image Backslide

Why now? Why, for the past two weeks or so, has my body image plummeted? While it may not have been what you’d call good body image, desirable body image, it was, at least, more or less accurate – 70% of the time, because I am still recovering here, my pretties.

And now, now all I see is how big I am. I went from thinking about my body and my weight maybe 35% of the time to nearly 85% in any given day. What’s with the preoccupation? What’s changed?

My weight really hasn’t. Technically, I still have quite a bit of weight to gain, if we’re going strictly by BMI, here.

So you could argue that since anorexia is largely about feeling out of control and needing to re-claim it somewhere, that I’m feeling out of control again and want to restrict or get thinner to fill some control-less void inside me. Maybe. But why? Like I said, nothing’s changed. Holy osmosis, I almost wish it would – it’s kind of a snooze fest over here.

Still working, still being a mother, still not being a very good homemaker, still worrying worrying worrying, still trying to gain weight, still not living up to my sky-high potential, etc.

Maybe I’m just PMSing. You never know with me. But is that normal? For 2 weeks? I don’t know my flow! Nah, I don’t think it’s my P word. For some reason or another, anorexia is rearing its ugly head and I’m like, what, supposed to fight it? This used to be easy, like two weeks ago. Not even kidding, my little kittens, it hasn’t been this bad in years and years.

And don’t worry, I’m eating – I haven’t let it control my intake. But the preoccupation of it all scares me.

So many questions in this post, no real answers…


Sarah said...


WARNING: Psychobabble ahead...

I always seem to experience fluctuations in my body image and it always seems weird and random like this. When I look back, though, it does follow a pattern: my body image is worst when I'm worried about other things in my life but not "letting myself" worry about those things, you know? Like, this spring I think it was easier to be preoccupied with my body then to be preoccupied with my feelings of loneliness, and it was easier to spend all of last summer hating my body instead of thinking about the fact that I was getting married and was scared. I wonder if the things you are worrying about are too hard and too abstract for you to consciously worry about, so your mind is still looking for a place to put that anxiety and it found its easiest target--one you can "agree" with. Not the most scientific explanation, but it rings true for my experiences, at least. You've been writing a lot lately in a way which almost "defends" the choices you've made about finishing school, taking a step down at work, taking time off from mothering--all good, personal choice-type things that don't need to be defended. Do you think you're feeling guilty or depressed about some of these things, but focusing on your body instead?

Either way, hats off to you for not letting it effect your intake. This is REALLY hard stuff, chica. I'm impressed.


Standing in the Rain said...


sorry you are feeling this way brie. it sucks. big time. i don't have an easy answer for you, or really, any answer, but i'm so proud of you for continuing to eat and all. (i know, don't you hate it when people say they are "proud" of you for that. or maybe that's just me?) anyways, its super hard to do, and you're doing it. and that, my friend, is recovery. keep at it. i have to believe this leads somewhere good.

Angeline said...

I personally struggle with a bit of Seasonal Depression. I have tracked that as soon as the weather changes is when it hits me the most and even the smallest thing that I could normally shrug off becomes this huge weight that I can't stop analyzing or dwelling on. My doc said that it was my brain's way of handling the physical changes that happen in my body when the weather changes. They have actually tested and found that my hormone levels fluctuate during these weather changes. The last two weeks the weather has gotten a lot hotter and I know that is why I have been struggling to stop thinking about things...maybe...just maybe you might be experiencing some of the same things.

lisalisa said...

Hang in there! With me, there is always a point in the weight gain process where things change. Like, I am ok with my body up to a certain point, and then it gets to be too much and things get hard. But if you can keep eating in spite of it, and keep talking out your feelings, I think you will get through this. Remember, it may not be easy, but it is definitly worth it!

Krystle said...

I can identify with this post. A lot. BI has been abysmal for me as well, particularly these past couple of weeks. Maybe it's an ed full moon. Gross. You're awesome, and brilliant though, and you will pull out of this funk. I am proud of you for still staying the healthy course. ♥

Angeline said...

Just for fun and to keep your mind of other things....


inthemainstream said...

I'll make a Psych 101 guess, too. Maybe because your parents are back?

Whatever it is, you are strong and are fully capable of kicking some major ass.

kristin said...

Stupid anorexia! Kick its ass, Brie!

Hang in there!

lots of love and hugs, kristin

tawny said...

Your just having a "moment!" You are a gorgeous, hot mama! Keep your head up girl! WE all have those bad days, they pass!



Ah girl. I am so sorry to hear that the Body Image Monster is at it again (or full force, rather!). That lame piece o' crap! But I totally hear what you mean. It seems as though just when you think you have found some control in containing that ugly beast of a monster, ED (aka the monster), totally jumps out of no-where-land and tries to rain on any happiness going on in your life.

My advice...Keep working your butt off to overcome this. Force yourself ("feel the fear and do it anyway") to keep eating, keep moving, keep living, even though all you can think about is The Body Image Blues.

And most of all... Everyone is rooting for you! You don't have to fight your battles alone! Remember to lean on others! :)

Åsa Schrader said...

Well, sometimes these thoughts will pop up, but you need to just keep going and doing the right thing, and it will eventually pass. I still have those thoughts too but I don't act on them and after a while they get easier to deal with.

HAFC said...

I'm actually having a shitty time with my body-image now, and I'm apparently, "recovered." I think the whole body image thing is one of the last things to go, if it ever does, that is.....hmmm.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're going through this now. I agree with whoever commented on the weather changes. My moods totally change with the seasons and temperatures! I'm also struggling cuz of getting married. I want to look nice, ya know? I want to look thin. I want to be perfect. But I know none of that can or should happen. Times like these, I get so overly moody cuz I have to find THE dress, and I want a dress that doesn't make me look fatter than I already feel, and think I look. But it's all just in my head right now, and hopefully it'll go away. It sucks though. I hope it gets better for the both of us!
- H

Kara said...

I'm so sorry that ED is rearing it's ugly head. Body image issues are SOOOOOOOOO hard. I know that everyone knows that recovery has it's ups and downs, but sometimes it's hard to handle those "downs" that come out of the blue and bite you in the ass. Downs like that happen to me too - when I have no idea what caused it or why life was suddenly so hard. I feel for you.

As Pink would say, You're a ROCKSTAR!

Jackie said...

Hang in there sweetie - just keep eating, that is all you can do. As you know very well, recovery isn't easy and it isn't perfect. I think it is normal to have moments (or weeks) like this - the true test comes when you choose to not let the feelings overcome your need to eat. And you haven't so you basically rock.


"Julia" said...

Briester, you've come so far and overcome so much. Honey, you and you alone made your weight go up. Clearly you have the willpower to maintain the eating. Now use it to beat the crap out of the negative thinking.
You are smart, you are funny, you are talented, and you will always be beautiful no matter what Anorexia tells you.
Anorexia is just jealous.
Show it who's boss.

Krista said...

Ditto what others have said. You rock Brie and you will get through this body image crap. We are all rooting for you!

Telstaar said...

Hey Miss B,

I guess I'm wondering (cause I'm in over think thinking mode) whether maybe things haven't really changed (as far as externals) but maybe that's part of the issue? Like you worry (as stipulated) but maybe the worry has also come with a sense of never-endingness or extra concern about unfixableness to some of those worries? That could cause someone to feel a) outta control and/or b) a bit despairing/helpless even if other things are still going okay. It wouldn't necessarily mean ALL things are crappy but if some of those things you were worrying about are significant to you or family etc or have the potential to impact on you and/or your family in a significant manner (health, welfare, enjoyment etc) and those worries go on for long enough and/or are scary enough and/or options are being crossed off the list so to speak...I reckon that could be enough to make the anorexia decide to try and sneak back in.

You know what I think is positive? That you recognise it and you're still fighting it even when its digging its claws in. I think THAT demonstrates change and recovery in the coolest way.

Keep hanging in there, keep leaning on people and get support Miss B. You need and deserve it. You're not alone.

Love you,
Love Telly xo

brie said...

thank you, all, for the advice and encouragement. it really does mean the world to me.