Body Dysmorphia is a real thing, But I used to think its only a skinny girl problem, and it was that she thought she was fat. The reverse of “Shallow Hal” But its way more than that. It’s an obsession…not only about weight but other imperfections. I was sure I was benign to that, I knew how big I was, I had a healthy view of my self and my worth. I was confident in my skin, I love who I am and I accept my flaws, I work on improvement, but I’m good. Well thats what I would tell myself… recently I totally realized, I may have an issue too but in the wrong direction.
What? Let me explain… I guess we must first define Body Dysmorphia.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.
This clearly does not specify weight. It could be nose, hair, eyes, chin, lips, butt, legs, belly, etc. And I can say I know a few folks that could definitely go down this path, if someone or finances doesn’t stop them.
By this definition, I would say I do not have a disorder. I am not OBSESSED at fixing my flaws. Quite the opposite…I kinda accept them, some as fait, like I cant change it, its genetic, its always just been this way, etc. And as I’m learning more and more about myself, I realize I am in control or at least have the ability to take control. And Ive learned, I do have a weird skewed view of how I view myself.
I see myself much smaller than I am. I know my weight, I know my pant size, and I know people of my stature that weigh a hell of a lot less then me (and their genetics aren’t holding them back) but I just thought I was a little bigger. Or if I saw a big girl, I’d think I’m smaller than her.
Until I saw pictures, I did not take, of me.
When I walked into the party I felt I looked amazing…sure my makeup wasn’t flawless my hair wasn’t perfect, but I felt I looked good. But those pictures do not lie! It wasn’t the angle or lighting or how I was standing (ok maybe a little how I was standing), it was me. Yes, you could definitely see that my foundation did not match my spray tan, my hair was a wreck (we had little time, 2 girls getting ready, yesterdays hair…come on now!) …but it was my face, my round full face staring back at me! The face that I swore, I would never have again…and I dont, but I’m getting there rapidly.
Why? That is a great question. Partly, my body is resisting my efforts, but mostly what I’m doing just isnt working. And no matter how hard I try to pound the screw in the wall, it needs a different tool to make it work! And so do I.
Mostly I have no one to blame but me, bc I didnt do what I know I should do. I kept trying trend after trend after diet after new thing to the point of nearly giving up. And in some respects, I have…given up. Ive given up thinking that a generic diet prescribed by some nutritionist or coach or health guru that I do not know, can be the be all end all. Ive given up thinking some magic shake or containers are going to be sustainable for life. I do believe in supplements, I do believe I do not ingest enough of the proper nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I’m also learning its possible that I’m not absorbing the proper nutrients to aide in a healthier weight.
What? You mean, Ive been eating fairly healthy but bc my gut health is compromised (due to the extra processed sugars/carbs) ny body is not gaining benefits from the good stuff? You must be kidding me? That’s the actual truth!
Now here’s where it gets stupid for me… If you had asked me a question about why your hair or skin doesn’t look a certain way. I would automatically respond with 2 questions…1 How’s your water intake 2. What’s your nutrition like. #DUH Of course, I would. As a hairstylist, I totally believe what you ingest is directly reflected in your skin nails & hair.
So, why would I be any different? My body is constantly inflamed and tired of fighting all the negative shit I put in it. Ive discovered a couple food sensitivities, and I totally see the way they affect me when I unknowingly ingest them. And I know how some processed foods, sugars, sodas, sugars (did I mention sugar?) affects me. Yet I still eat them.
But i never really thought about the prolonged abuse my body takes. If I were an alcoholic (we can examine that another day) and i was in liver failure, or nearing it, Yet I continued to drink…I’d think that person is an idiot! They have no self worth or self control, for god sakes man, quit drinking. And the same is true of a lung cancer survivor than continuies to smoke…whats wrong with them? Well…every sugary shit storm I shove in my face is the same as that shot to the alcoholic, or the half a cigarette to the lung cancer patient…
We are all headed to the grave, some of us sooner than others. I believe, it is God that has determined that, but I do believe we have the choice to LIVE every single day! To protect honor and cherish the temple in which we live…and Ive been doing a really shitty job of that. some would say my outsides do look like my insides. They are a wreck, Some would say, my surroundings and how I care or dont care for my things is also a reflection of my insides…and to them I say YOURE RIGHT!
I’m not an overnight convert to anything, but when I finally see the light YOU cannot believe how strongly I hold onto that truth! And the truth is, I deserve better! I deserve to have my vision be my reality! I deserve to treat myself kindly and to not do what my neighbor is doing, bc she is not me! I am the only see-sayer in my life, I decide what directions I go, with Gods blessings of course. But I certainly dont see Him having a problem with bettering myself!
So my body Dysmorphia thing…its not a disorder. It was a path of protection bc if I would see myself the way the world did, before I was emotionally prepared to make a change, I could have never even gone to the conference, let alone the party! And I know my presence at the conference was a blessing to more than myself!
Yes, I walked away less than I went, but in a good way. I shed the exterior and became a little vulnerable. Vulnerability led me to reality and with reality you can be free! And isn’t FREEDOM what we all want