I know people look. They stare. They wonder. They want to know why my body looks the way it does.
If you know me, you know why.
If you don’t, you have questions. And sadly sometimes even giggles. Yes. Giggles.
This happened last week while I was at Vaughan Mills with my son. I saw two women walking towards us in the opposite direction. It’s a scene that has become all too familiar. I was wearing shorts and I could see them both look at my legs. As we passed, they whispered to each other, giggled than turned around to get a better look. When they saw me turn around, they both quickly turned their heads in a different direction.
I understand human nature. I know that people stare. But it’s also hurtful and more than anything else embarrassing. I can’t wear a parka all summer – I want to wear shorts, I want to wear a t-shirt – but at what cost? When I get dressed I feel good about myself because this is the skin I have been living in for so long. I am well aware that I need to put on weight. I am well aware that my arms and legs are too thin – I get it. So when I get dressed I am very careful what I wear.
Tank tops – no way. Bicycle shorts – nope. I don’t want to draw any more attention to myself than I already am. So I will put on a jacket, sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt to cover myself up if I’m feeling extremely uncomfortable. Even if it is 29 degrees out. I am extra aware around my family. They have lived with my eating disorder for as long as I have, so I am very sensitive to their feelings.
When people look do they think that I want to have a body that looks like a little girls? Do you think shopping at Gap Kids was one of my goals during the past 20 years? No f’ing way.
This didn’t start as a goal. I was curious and it became a habit, which as anyone knows is difficult to break out of. Than it became my coping mechanism, than it simply became a way of life.
Fast forward 20 years when I am doing everything in my power to get the hell out of this way of life and keep living the wonderful life I do have – without ED.
I want to put on a pair of Lululemon leggings and have my body fill them out. Not have them so loose around the crotch that they look more like slacks. Again, this was not the goal.
The thing about an Eating Disorder is that is becomes a moving target. You achieve one thing and you feel it’s not good enough so you have another target to move towards.
I do have a goal now. Stop, aim, hit that target and get a bullseye. That means I win.