Post # 1
Hey, bees! I need some advice from women who have gone through something like this, are currently going through it, or have overcome it.
Starting at about 15 years old I suffered from an eating disorder. Not your typical anorexia or bulimia, but an obsessive desire to limit my food and exercise like crazy. I was very thin, although not considered “underweight.” This was aggravated by a bad relationship; I never felt good enough or skinny enough for my previous partner and had this desire to be “hot” like the people I saw on TV and in magazines. At age 19 I was engaged, but was so unhappy (for many reasons, not just this), but I always resented my ex because, in a way, I felt like he made me hate myself and overanalyze everything.
Last year, I met the most amazing man I could ever ask for, and he showed me how a woman should be treated. Within a few months of knowing my now-fiance, I knew I had to end things with the other guy (I could never cheat), and I did. I have never been so happy as I am with him. I have gotten back into a normal routine of eating (we love to cook together and eat together). Even though I eat healthy and exercise daily (I got my degree and work as a dietitian), my body has changed. At 15 when I wasn’t eating, I was thin with larger hips, no chest, and tiny everything. I had no periods for years, struggled with depression, and was unhappy. Now, I have size D breasts, a big ol booty, and a tiny waist. I’m about 20-25 lb heavier than I was when I was my sickest (and I’m still at a healthy body weight). And even though everybody tells me I have a Kim K body, look so healthy and beautiful, I can’t help but wish for my skinny body back again. I just don’t believe them. Even though everything in my life is so much better now, I miss that “perfect” body that I used to have, and would do anything to have it back. It may sound crazy, but I can’t get past it. I got my wedding dress about a year and a half ago, and although it still fits, it fits much differently now. I pick apart my body when I have it on; I see “problem areas” that nobody else does. My mother will tell me I look beautiful, but I just don’t believe her. I waste my days worrying about my body and how terrible I look in my dress. I have two weeks before the wedding, and I’m tired of worrying. I want the wedding to be a happy day and to stop these negative thoughts; I just don’t know how. Does anybody have any advice?
Thank you in advance. I know this is a hard topic, and one I was scared to talk about for a while. I just finally need peace.
Post # 2
You met the guy last year but got your wedding dress a year and a half ago?
Post # 3
Yes, I worked for a bridal shop that closed and they told me that I could take a dress with me before they went out of business!
Post # 4
wingwmn : first I want to congratulate you on turning your life around and maintaining a healthy weight. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for your mind to struggle with how you look.
A lot of bees have heard my story before. My sister is currently battling an eating disorder that will kill her. She has been in and out of rehab facilities for the last 6 years. Watching her whittle away to nothing is heartbreaking. She is now at her thinnest, she’s maybe 70 lbs. my father is in the process of obtaining a lawyer to get power of attorney over her to send her away again bc she refuses to go this time. She has no job, no boyfriend, no friends, nothing. It is the saddest and most self absorbed disease imaginable. And it will kill her. And it spiraled out of control very fast.
I’m telling you this to give you some perspective. You have a fiancé and a good life. You are beautiful and everyone tells you so. Please believe it. I would never wish what my sister is going through on anyone. You have moved past it, you have conquered it. And you can continue to live a good and happy life. Don’t listen to those thoughts that tell you that you are not good enough. My sister might die because of this and I have to reconcile the fact that I don’t know how to help her.
I hope this helped you in some way. If you feel like you can’t control your thought please go to a counsellor to sort out your feelings. You will not be weak for doing so. I wish you all the happiness in the world. Don’t let the disease win.
Post # 5
First, congrats on getting out of an unhealthy relationship and lifestyle!
i understand your frustration with your body. I was a high performance athlete until my early twenties, in an endurance sport. After I stopped training, I had no idea how to eat healthy or even work out like a normal person (I ate a ton of calories just to keep up my energy), so I gained about 30 lbs and my body shape totally changed. What’s helped me come to terms with the changes are
– realizing I’m not a girl anymore and having a size zero body isn’t the goal. Real men want real women, curves and problem areas and all. Your fiancé loves you for the woman you are
– recognizing one of the things I admire most in other women is their acceptance of their bodies and their “flaws”. I so appreciate both celebrities and other women in my life who are comfortable in their skin and that confidence is way sexier than any perfect body
its a long process to learn to love your body (I’m not always there yet) but seeing body confidence in others has really helped me accept that there are so many types of beauty
good luck with your wedding!
Post # 6
I encourage seeing an ED specialist. Eating disorders are horrible, wedding is a stressful event and might trigger (it already happened) a lot of potentially dangerous feelings and emotions. The sooner you have good, professional support, the better.
Post # 7
wingwmn : I struggle with this as well (orthorexia) and though I was doing really well for a while, it hit again recently as the wedding has gotten closer. Are you working with a therapist? I know that’s everyone’s first response, but talking it out with a professional and coming up with ways I can push past it and change the thought process has helped me a lot. One thing mine suggested was any time I was having a negative thought, she asked me to think about why I was having that thought, what good it did (none), and to instead think of a positive (ex. “why did I eat that cookie?”, you’re stressing over not eating “perfectly”, but it’s ok to indulge once in a while).
It’s a lot of faking it il you make it in my experience and I still have a lot of bad days, but the action is under control (my nutritionist has me on a healthy diet and I don’t punish myself with exercise, but struggle with wanting to and thinking badly about myself for not being tiny).
I would also write things you like about yourself (inside and out) and hang them around your house. Sometimes a reminder that you’re kind, a good listener, and have gorgeous hair helps when you’re feeling down.
Post # 8
You need to learn to love yourself. Have you actually though about what you just said? Even at your skinniest you did not think your body was perfect and you were unhappy. Stop comparing yourself to others. Once you love yourself you will start to see what everyone else does
One exercise that may be a good place to start is positive self-talk. Stand infront of the mirror every morning and pick on part of your body that you absoluetly love or think looks good, or maybe even is better than most others. Take the time to really look at yourself and admire that one aspect of your body. Do not let negative thoughts creap in. It could be as simple as your hair, or your abs, or a particular birthmark. Anything! Just take the time everyday to give yourself some love.
Post # 9
Cheekie0077 : aw girl I’m so sorry your sister has taken a turn for the worst. Keeping your family in my thoughts. Big hugs.
wingwmn : others have given good suggestions and of course I agree with seeking help now rather than waiting, because an eating disorder/ disordered thinking is dangerous.
You’re about to marry a person who loves you and needs you to be healthy. What a gift. There is nothing more precious than knowing you’re loved by friends, partners, etc as the imperfect being we all are. That said, I am quite sure you’re gorgeous in your dress and will be a knock out bride.
Post # 10
mrs2014 : This is not helpful. If you don’t have a comment that’s helpful don’t comment.
Post # 11
BalletParker : thank you so much Bee. I’m praying for a good outcome and I hope it’s not too late for her… What you wrote to OP was so well put it made me tear up!
Post # 12
wingwmn : I’ve struggled with eating disorders also, I struggled with bulimia for about 6 years. Once I finally got over bulimia, I went through a period where I struggled with what you are describing. I ate a very low calorie diet, and worked out way too much. I was completely over my ED once I met my Fiance, and I have gained about 15-20 lbs since I met him (though still at a healthy weight).
It has been a struggle to be at a heavier weight, and I worry about how dress shopping is going to affect me. I know the exact feeling you are talking about when you say “My mother will tell me I look beautiful, but I just don’t believe her.” There are times when I get that stuck in my head and I cannot accept a compliment if my life depended on it.
Body image is something that I think every person that has had an ED will always struggle with, regardless if they are completely over the disorder itself or not. I have some periods where it doesn’t affect me, but other times it’s all I can think about.
When I’m having some really down days, I try to think about the good things about me that should outweigh the bad, and I tell myself those things. Like, “I have a really pretty smile. Although my legs are bigger than I would like, I have a really tiny waist and big ta-ta’s that most girls are jealous of(even if I hate them, ha!). I have a supportive fiance that loves me, and loves my body how it is. I have a good job and accomplishments to be proud of. etc, etc.” This really helps me move my negitive energy into positive energy.
Just know that you are not alone in this never-ending battle with EDs.. If you ever need someone to talk to about it, feel free to message me. I know it’s a struggle that not just anyone understands!
Post # 13
Cheekie0077 : I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s battle. I hope your dad is able to get PoA for her, and get her the treatment she needs. I know how much I fought any treatment for the longest time, but luckly I was a minor so my parents were able to force me. I was so mad at them at the time, but it saved my life. I don’t know if you are religious or not, but I will pray for your sister, as I know what she is going though and it is so, so hard. I will also pray for you and your family, because I now realize how much I hurt my family throughout my battle. Hugs!
Post # 14
wingwmn : lol, thanks for clarifying the timeline.
I really feel for you, but I am afraid I have no word of comfort… I myself have gained weight due to an illness, going from skinny with underweight BMI (on good days) to healthy shape with larger breasts, hips and some softness in my belly. I struggle a lot. A month ago I tried a diet that basically consisted of starving myself. The truth is, I actually am OK with my current body but I grieve the lost skinny me. I also come from a culture where being skinny is a must, so partially I can’t let go of cultural stereotypes and accept the new me. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I can only say that I hope you will find it in yourself to accept and to live your new healthy body
Post # 15
wingwmn : The best advice I was ever given was to treat myself as if I were my best friend. Would I talk to my best friend the way that I talk to myself? If not, then I need to change what I say.
I’m sure you look beautiful in your dress! We are all our own worst critics (I know I am). You need to remember that you got to what you consider the perfect body by unhealthy means. You don’t want to fall back into that again. You are healthy now! That’s what’s most important. You have a fiancé that loves you just the way you are. You guys cook healthy meals together and you have come so far! Look at how unhappy you were when you were skinnier. You also didn’t have regular periods at that time which is unhealthy.
If you had a client come to you with the same figure you have stating they wanted to go back to the time when they were skinnier even though they were depressed, didn’t have regular periods, and limited their food intake to the extreme, what would you say to them given your nutritional expertise?
Bridal gowns are made to enhance our figure. It sounds like you have the true hourglass shape that most women would love to have! Would you really want to lose the curves and have the dress hang on you or have to pay a lot in alterations to get it more fitted for your old size? No guest is going to notice the “flaws” that we see in ourselves. People are going to see how beautiful and happy you are!
“Self-Love is like turmeric for the soul: It heals everything.” — L.K. Elliott