Every day for the past year and a half, I have started my morning like this:
I wake up, walk to the mirror, lift my shirt, inspect my body and then weigh myself. And even though for the past 12 days I have not weighed myself, I have continued this exhausting process of what I call body checking every single morning.
My body checks go exactly like this:
First I look at my waist, then I look at my upper stomach and then I move down to my lower stomach. After this I look at my chest bones, my shoulder bones and then my arms. Lastly, I look at my cheeks and my jaw bones.
Once I get dressed, I complete the body checking process by checking how the front of my legs look in my jeans, then the inside of my legs, and then the outside of my legs. Every single part of my body has to be in check-meaning that it has to look exactly the same way it did the day before, and if it doesn’t,(which lately it definitely hasn’t), my eating disorder starts to tell me all the unhealthy things to do to fix it.
Ever since I have stopped weighing myself, my body checking has become more intense than ever before. I find myself checking how my stomach looks and how my skin hangs from multiple angles in the mirror every single morning.
Beyond that, every day this week when I have gotten dressed, I have purposely made the conscience choice to wear the skinniest and smallest pants that I own to see if they fit tighter on me.
And it really makes me think, “why am I doing this to myself?” It is pure cruelty.
If I saw a woman on the street treat herself the same way I have been treating myself, I would take her hand, look into her eyes and tell her how beautiful she is and how deserving she is of treating herself well.
It makes me so sad to think that I would treat a complete stranger better than I treat myself. It is a true measure of how far I have let my eating disorder go, and it hurts me to realize that.
But instead of continuing to feel sad and sorry for myself, I am going to make a decision right now to make a change. I am committing to myself and to those reading this blog entry, that I will not body check today when I get out of bed and I will not try on pants that I know I bought when I was starving myself. I simply will not do it.
I cannot say that I can do this every day, but I will do it for today.
The reason I will not body check today is because I feel that I need to make a change in the way that I treat myself, and it is going to start now.
I know that if I challenge myself every single day to make one small change at a time, that I will successfully carry myself all the way to the finish line of recovery.
I know that getting up and getting dressed in my bathroom without a mirror will be extremely hard. I know that learning to be kind to myself again will take a lot of time and adjustment–but I am ready to make it happen.
Today, instead of walking to the mirror and lifting my shirt to look at my stomach, I am going to walk over to that mirror, look into my own eyes and tell myself, “hello life.”