Tag Archives: adolescence

“Are you anorexic?” Taming Body Image

self-dissectionWhat does it all mean, the dips and grooves in our bodies? How do they define us? Some see stretch marks as beautiful scars of battle; others view them as embarrassing reminders of weight struggle, laziness, unattractiveness. Who is really to say what is most beautiful? Our personal definitions of beauty reach both ends of the spectrum, and some never can get a grasp on what they think they should be, and instead spend every morning in the mirror, bouncing helplessly between confidence and self-loathing.

I never recognized my weight until we were forced into the nurse’s office in the eighth grade. I was “chunky”, sure – so were several other classmates, thirteen and awkward in size, overindulging in candy and ice cream and still watching cartoons. We were a year away from high school and still ignorant to a world of tight skirts, sex and pure vanity.

I don’t remember the number, but I do remember the look of concern on the nurse’s face, and the warm tears that rolled down my face that afternoon as I drank Mountain Dew and buried my face in my mother’s shoulder. I had just been introduced to body image, and from the start I knew it’d be a disastrous relationship.

The summer between eighth grade and freshman year I ate cupcakes and pizza at sleepovers, drank my favorite soda and spent afternoons in the pool or on the trampoline. With no apparent reason other than some sort of growth spurt, I dropped about twenty pounds and was suddenly sharing jeans with my – previously – much thinner best friend. The weight had melted off of me so fast I looked tired and pale, but either way I was happy to be approaching fourteen a size three. Then my grandmother cornered me at a family BBQ in late August.

“Are you anorexic?” She was lucky I knew what the word meant.

I can’t remember my answer, although I can only guess it was “no” between bites of a hotdog.

As freshman year began I made plenty of new friends, who later confessed between giggles that they thought I was bulimic. The thought still twists my insides into a constrictor knot. Large or small, I found it impossible to escape from the judgment, both internal and external. From there the bedroom mirror became my best friend and my worst enemy, and with each morning came the unpredictability of how I’d view myself for the day. While I struggled, I remained somewhat of a social butterfly (even involved in chorus and theater), and had two boyfriends while in high school. My first told me my bra made my breasts look saggy. The second never judged my appearance. We lasted a bit beyond senior year.

In those four years I went from super thin back to plump, and in the beginnings of college I remained that way, camouflaging the insecurities with lots of black clothing and lots of piercings. (I still love black clothing and piercings, but my reasons for that love have somewhat evolved.) I weaved my way through a string of insignificant relationships that temporarily made me feel better about myself. Typical, is all I could, and do, think.

When I met my husband I was still thick, and while I worked my confidence in my own sexual prowess I was still scared and insecure. I knew he found me attractive, but as always I was terrified that with the first argument or the first pass from another woman, he’d be gone. The worst part of my own self-judgment is the thought that my own physical imperfections somehow make me intellectually inferior to others. I have managed to convince myself that my opinion is never quite the best, that my voice could never be heard over the voices of everyone else when I’m the girl in the corner with the chocolate in her hand; that without the perfect hourglass, there will always be someone better, no matter what someone sees in me. Ridiculous? Maybe. But never for a second will I think I’m the only one.

I’ve gotten better since, despite events in my life that completely tore down remnants of confidence I had to force myself to regain. A few years ago I joined a gym and unearthed a love of running, and while every day is a struggle, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I eat pretty well with the occasional indulgence. I drink too much. I scold myself for both. The mornings are still unpredictable, and sometimes I still want to smash that mirror to bits. But in the twelve years since thirteen year old me came face to face with a lifelong enemy, I’ve discovered ways to keep the beast at bay. But don’t ask me for pictures; I’d like to keep the past in the past.

Who has the right to judge us, but us? Let’s spend every day trying to feel good about who we are.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with Anorexia or Bulimia, there is help.

xo

 

 

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Thing, Thang, Thung

Fat book? That isn’t very nice. Also, that cat look suspicious.

Quite a while back, I rediscovered an old diary that had Winnie the Pooh on the front and talked about my love for food and boys. Well last night one of my very best girlfriends was kind enough to bring over her ridiculous book of old memories (circa 1999), and she may just have me beat for highest level of adolescent arrogance. I thought I was hot stuff, but this girl….

Well, just see for yourself. While she may be older and wiser now, she still possesses the same love for boy-watching. Get ready for some serious entertainment.

*Some names have been changed. The grammar, however, has not. 

 

MY VACATION IN OCEAN CITY JULY 17-24

I had a lot of fun in Ocean City. My mom let me bring *Peggy Sue with me for the week. There was a huge park across the street from my house. Me and *Peggy Sue went there almost every day. There were so many cute boys cheking us out. We decided to give them names:

Thing, Thang, Thung, at, ut, it, ya, yo, yoo, hoo, cha cha binks, tennis boy, car boy.

[This is quite possibly the best thing I have ever heard. Especially the name Cha Cha Binks. And the fact that she still lists people in her cellphone next to something important like the make of their car, or the color of their hair.]

Thing was very cute. When I saw him he was wering shorts with a shirt that was unbuttoned. He was staring at my butt when I was climbing a tree. Thing was at the park. I never saw him again. [So mysterious….]

Thang was really cute too. He had dark hair. Every time me and *Peggy Sue passed him, he would say, hi! Thung was one of the cutest ones. He had dark hair and wore sun glasses. Before he left the park, he stared up at me from the tree and moved his eye browls up and down. [What exactly what was he suggesting here, by moving his browls in such a manner? I wouldn’t trust that Thung.]

At had blondish hair and a good body. I saw him at the waterpark on Wendsday. He was wering a dark green bathen-suit with flowers. He keep starring at me. [Oh giiiiirl, he keep starrin’ at you?! I’m not sure about that At, either. guys in bathen-suits with flowers on them are questionable.]

Cha Cha Binks was driving by in a car when he saw me. First he stared, then nodded his head and stared some more. He had dark hair. [It sounds like you and Cha Cha Binks had come to some mutual understanding.]

These guys were some of my favorites. Even 16 year olds were looking at me and *Peggy Sue. [Pretty sure she was 12 or 13 at the time. Pervs! Especially that Thang.]

One day on the board-walk [You will soon learn she had a deep love of hyphenating anything she could.] it started pouring. *Peggy Sue yelled out, “I’m wet, your wet, we’re all wet!!” and these guys cheered her on. [I wonder why.] One guy said “We’re all going to die.” [Someone had to be a party pooper…] And then this one guy wanted me or *Peggy Sue to go out with his younger brother who was 13. But we said “no!”.

School Stuff 12/10/99

Guess what! Adem has a girlfried. (disapointed) 😦 [Adem fried a girl?!?!? Maybe you should have told someone about that.] 

But a few days ago I think it was on tuesday, *Bob told me that his friend Adem wanted my picture and he wan’ted to meet me. So I wait-ed by the stairs right by my locker after 7th period. Right when I saw him walk up at the top of the stairs he started smililing at me and said “hi”. So I smiled back. He seemed really shy because the only other thing he said was “bye”. Adem was so cute!!! *Bob kept telling me that it sounded like Adem liked me the way he was talking about me.

But the next day on Wed. , only *Bob passed my locker and said Adem went a different way.

But on Thursday he didn’t pass my locker again. I ask “were is he today”. *Bob said he had a girlfriend. And also that Adem didn’t want to go out with me at this time but that he wanted to be my friend. [That’s what they all say!! Don’t do it!!]

I think *Bob just said that so my feelings wouldn’t get hurt. Adem might be avoiding me because he hasn’t passed my locker in a while. A bunch of boys only want to be my friend. This sucks. Well I’m going to go to bed so I can dream about what would never happen. [This is depressing. #12yroldproblems]

The Next Day at the Mall [an excerpt]

Later on my mom stopped at *Victoria’s house so I could get changed and *Josh [yet another young man] could get droped off. After I was changed *Josh and *Victoria came into her room. After a few min. my mom said we’re gonna leave. So I said good-bye to *Victoria then *Josh. And *Josh just decides to give me a hug (I was so happy) when I went downstairs and my mom was talking so I went back upstairs. *Josh said “Back all ready” happilly. *Victoria left the room right then to do something and *Josh put the JO CD in he bought that day. He played one of my favorite slow song “I want to know” [I will forever make fun of her for that.]

I just wanted to dance with him so bad. exspecially cause he was starring right at me during it. Then he said “You were acting all crazy in the tube” [The pool tube, of course.] We were flirting back in forth saying “not ah”, “ya ha”, “I was you not me” He’s just so great. [That’s how Joe flirted with me when we first met. It was magical.]

I didn’t want to leave. I had to go in a min. So I said “Bye” He gave me another hug. (I just new he had to have some fealings for me)

My mom was talking a little more still so I was talking to *Josh downstairs. Then we left. As I walked out the door he said “no hug” in a low voice. I said “what” [This is her usual response to most things I say to her.] but he just said “bye”. I hope I get together with him again soon!! 🙂

*Josh was tall, muscular, had brown hair & brown eyes, 15 years old. [Are you getting his milk carton ad ready? I wouldn’t trust this girl…]

* and such a hottie [Don’t forget the most important part now!]

I’m gonna miss him so much. [See? She’s already planning his demise.]

——————–

I hope you guys enjoyed. I know I sure did. She’ll be reading this, so please feel free to make fun of her in the comments section.

 

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