Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Wired Image


Wired_Beauty__On_Sale_by_LemnosExplorer(This is not my artwork, but this image is for sale at DeviantArt.)

The title of this is Wired Beauty, and I think it’s such a great portrayal of the problems in our culture, in most Western cultures: this believe that there is one beautiful form out there and that we have to make ourselves fit into it.  By wiring ourselves into garments (corsets are making a comeback), squeezing into tight fitting jeans, and dieting and working out to fit into this shape that is present all around us in the media.

But if you dare look around you, you will see women and men of all shapes and sizes.  And it’s beautiful.

But it can also be frustrating for some of us.  This whole piece of body image that was part of the eating disorder.  I, restate, once again, that I am not anorexic.  I am fully recovered.  But my body has gone through some changes this year, and I’m having a very hard time adjusting.  I haven’t reacted in any way.  I’m taking steps, with my treatment team’s consent, to get back into a comfort zone.

That’s a dangerous phrase, no?  “Comfort zone.”  For most people with eating disorders it came to represent something under what his or her doctor recommended as a healthy weight.  I’m completely fine with being at a healthy weight.  In fact, my healthy weight is almost ten whole pounds above what the charts say is normal. And I’m okay with that because that’s where I’ve found I’m healthiest, strongest, and have the most energy.

But then this whole cardiac diagnosis came along and I’m no longer allowed to run or bike or swim.  I take these leisurely walks where I’ve been yelled at from cars to “pick up the speed a little.”  Some of the effects of the surgery itself have resulted in some weight gain.  And I don’t mean a couple of pounds.  I mean significant weight.  A whole new wardrobe that I can’t afford kind of weight gain.

There is always that line, a very dangerous line, for someone who has had an eating disorder and should lose weight for medical reasons.  What I’m looking for is to re-find that spot where I felt physically healthy and strong and energized.  This is part of my body image.  How I see myself from the inside, what I’m capable of achieving in this body.

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September 23, 2009 - Posted by | Body Image, Eating Disorders, health, heart, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Alexis. You have been a source of strength and inspiration for me many times, and continue to be now. I still have problems speaking of my anorexia because I feel people never look at me the same way. My body image issues are compounded because they all seem so shocked when I say I suffered for so many years.

    I do wish you were here. But, I’m ready to get out my story, like you are, how did you find the strength?

    Comment by Jessica | September 23, 2009 | Reply


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