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Getting Real About My Eating Disorder Recovery

** trigger warning – could be triggering to people who are in recovery from an eating disorder

I’m not going to lie, I am having a really hard time with my liking my body right now. For those of you that don’t know, I have a history of disordered eating. I was never really heavy, and I’m not exactly fat now, but I weigh significantly more than I did in my eating disorder days.

For those of you that don’t know, I have recently started a travel blog. With this comes content creation, some of which I am in. It’s summer and hot out, so obviously, I have been wearing shorts because let’s be real, it’s too hot for pants. But every time someone takes a video of me walking away, I hate how my legs look and I will usually end up not using that clip unless it’s super far away.

Like today I went to Fort Shantok to get ready for a post I’m going to be putting together and I had my sister take a video of me walking away from her. I was so back and forth about whether or not I wanted to use it. I really liked the clip itself, but I hated how I looked. I ended up using it anyways, but I used the part of the clip where I was furthest away from the camera.

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A post shared by Daily Life Travels (@dailylifetravels)

More triggers came tonight when I was going through my old photos of me at Fort Shantok in the past for the post. The worst part is, I remember when those older images of me were taken, I honestly thought I looked fat in those. I remember not wanting to post any of them because I thought I didn’t look skinny enough. Looking at them now, it’s unbelievable that I thought I looked fat. Body dysmorphia is a bitch.

One of said triggering photos. Dare I call it a cursed image?

It has been so bad, I didn’t even want any pictures taken of me when I was on vacation in Maine at the end of June. This is not like me at all. I have always been that person who wanted their picture taken because I like having them to look back on.

On the trip, I asked my sister-in-law to take a picture of my boyfriend, my puppy, and I in Acadia National Park. When I saw the pictures, I was so disgusted, I didn’t ask for any more pictures to be taken of me during the trip. The only picture I have of me from the park that I like is of the back of me where my body is hidden.

The one picture of me from vacation that I don’t hate.

I also had the same issues and feelings on a recent trip to Vermont and New Hampshire. My new favorite pose in front of the camera is my body and face turned away from the camera and sitting so legs hidden out of view. I pretend that I’m doing them to be artsy, but the reality is, I really just don’t want to look at my body and I don’t want other people looking at it either.

I’ll be honest, I don’t even really love this picture because of my arms.

I think my biggest fear right now is relapsing and falling right back into the eating disorder. If it’s not the eating disorder, I’m worried it’ll be obsessive working out. I’m happy to have the self-awareness of how my mind works and what the risks are, but man it’s still really hard to deal with these feelings.

There is the logical part of me that knows I’m not fat. I’m able to look in the mirror and acknowledge that I look good. It’s just something about having photos taken of me. Like even today before I went to Fort Shantok, I looked in the mirror and I thought I looked awesome. But after videos were taken of me, it was game over. My confidence I had before I left the house was crumbled.

I don’t know what the solution is right now, but my giant bandaid on the problem is just avoiding getting my picture taken. I want to find balance, but I need to be patient with myself. This kind of thing takes years…for some, it’s a life-long journey navigating their eating disorder recovery.

If you’re looking to know more about journey with eating disorder recovery, be sure to listen to the podcast I did with my friend here on TurningPointCT.org: Eating Disorders Podcast

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