Saturday, 25 May 2013

'Love your body!'...?

We hear it all the time: 'love your body!'. As much as this SOUNDS wonderful, it really is hard. Especially for someone like me, who has (or still does) suffered from ED. It is strange how society confuses us: one moment we are being told that we are too large and need to lose weight, and the next minute we are encouraged to love our bodies.

I have a confession to make: I do not love my body. There I said it! I DO NOT LOVE IT!

But I'm still living. Loving my body is hard. I still look in the mirror and am not happy. I do not like the way my body looks - my thighs, my stomach, my chest, my behind...etc.

Before you go crazy on me, let me explain. I am recovering from ED. My weight is restored, I am eating enough, and life is getting back to normal. But the body image issue still is there. And it has been with me since I was a little kid. I remember being about six years old and wondering why I had so much fat on my stomach, when other kids did not. So you see, this body image thing has been around for a while. And while I do not love my body, at least I am recovering.

How many people, to be honest, truly love their bodies? I do not know of many people (or anyone, actually) who can look in the mirror and call themselves 'sexy beasts!'. But while we do not all love our bodies, we have learned to appreciate them. What I mean by this is that although I do not adore the way my body looks, I am thankful that I am healthy. I do not have to look in the mirror and love what I see, but I am trying to learn how to accept it. This is my body - my healthy, non-ED body. It does great things for me. My legs help me walk, my hands let me write, my eyes help me see, my brain helps me think, my kidneys remove wastes, my stomach digests food, etc.

While campagins always encourage us to 'love our bodies', I think it is more important that we stop using this cliche. It is such a common phrase that we forget to stop and think about what it really means. It is really possible to, 100% of the time, look at yourself and love everything about it? Likely not. But we can appreciate what our body does for us, or how ir helps us live. We can like certain things about it, like our eyes, our hair, our whatever. Is this wrong? Does this mean we are all ill or have ED or disordered eating? NO! It is reality: we will never love everything about ourselves at once. We are human.

While I am not in love with my body, I have come a long way. I do not love what I see in the mirror, but I do not stare at myself and critcize it, either. I do a quick check in the mirror before leaving to make sure I look presentable, and that is it. No standing in front of my reflection to pick out what I do not like. This has helped me learn that the way I look is only ONE part of life - not the most important thing. As long as I do not have dirt on myself, my reflection is fine.

I guess the point of this post is really to make it clear that recovering from ED does not have to mean that you love your body. Because I do not, and I consider myself to have achieved a lot in recovery. I may not LOVE it, but I appreciate it. I tolerate it. I try not to think about it as often. This helps a lot. Perhaps the key to recovery and success is not necessarily learning to love your body, but maybe it is more of learning to accept or appreciate your body, or to stop focussing so much on it.

32 comments:

  1. Lovely Marina
    Even though it is very hard for those who has or had ED ,it is the best and most important message to all of us.
    When you love somebody or even something,you really care about,protectand please.
    That what ED victims need
    Excellent post Marina

    Kelly W

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  2. If wev do not love our body ,We will not care for it.We really need to love it so We can care and provide for it and our body will pay back to us in good health,sharp brain from from illness ,strong immune system and able to achieve and accomplish a lot in shorter time

    Gerry

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  3. I know how hard it is and I am struggling with it still 6 years after complete recovery without relapse ,however I feel the most important gurantee that ED will not sneak on us is to love our body.Ed makes us hate it and so our fight back is to love it.
    I am still monthly doing CBT ,sometime my therapsit and occasionally on line ( I have no coverage and one session cost me 150 dollars.
    God bless

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marina
    You know me only through this blog but to be honest with you I am ugly looking from head to toe and no body will love me for my physical body but I enjoy chraming smiling personality and so people trying making friendship with me and I appreciate this.People really love me no matter how ugly my face with lots of severe acne and scars and my body has 2 curves in the middle ,first around my breast and second my tummy
    However I really love and care for my body.
    Please comment on my comment .
    I am studying political science and may be one day I will be a famous politician and I am not shying away from how do I look.


    Jack

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    Replies
    1. Jack, I do not believe that you are ugly. You are an image of God, and God does not make ugly things. No one is ugly. Even when I get thoughts of this, I displace them right away because I know they are wrong. And people love you because they love YOU, not your body or how you look. I often say this to myself when I feel down, because deep down, I know it is true. Beauty is truly within - it is society that tells us wrongly otherwise. God bless you! I am sure you will be a famous politician, and if I see you on TV, I can proudly say that I know you!

      Delete
    2. Marina
      Really I apprecaite your kind words.
      I am sure I will count on you when I run for a political party.
      So far I am independent and impartial.
      I do have a lot of self confidence but your comment impresses me so much and makes me feel what every body commenting about you is not exaggeration and I may say people never given you all the credit you deserve.

      Jack

      Delete
  5. If We do not love our body which body and whom do we love ??

    Jenn
    Welland

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  6. I worship my body ,I do not care what people say or feel about me.
    Am I selfish???

    Cindrella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cinderella, this is not selfish - this is pure strength and beauty! God bless you.

      Delete
  7. Marina
    I hear you clearly.
    Next months is my last months for out patient program and I am still struggling with how to love my new body.I am now 55KG and I am trying the best I can with my therapist .
    DBT on on one and with the group helping a lot.
    I know time will be on my side.
    Please find a way how to love our body so that ED thoughts will not hunt us and please write a post about how Ed victims can love their body.
    Thanks you so much.
    Once again I am recovered because of you ,that is all.
    I was blind about the disease till I was given your blog by a friend.

    Anne

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    Replies
    1. Great job Anne! I know how hard you have worked but it is paying off. I am always here for you, as is God. Continue to update me and let me know how you are. I am so proud of how far you have come!

      Delete
    2. I keep thinking how did I make that 360 degree change in my life.
      I just happened thanks to you.
      You know I am one of those who do not believe authority,parent or doctor but I adore a friend.
      Now I changed ,I trust my parents and my doctors but I still adore and worship my dear friend Marina who made the big differenec in my whole life.

      Anne

      Delete
  8. Guys if you see me ,you may laugh at me as I am only 4'9".
    However I love my self and my body and before people make fun of my height ,I joke about it and laugh together.
    Loving and respecting my body is my way to perk my self esteem and my trick to success and no body has the right to take this from me and make me feel I am less efficient because I am little short.
    Come on
    People are different.
    Every one is unique .
    I love my height and my body and I urge all of us to do same

    Sebastien

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    Replies
    1. I am short too, and many peopel tease me because of this. But it is the way I am, and I am pleased with it. It is silly to think that we can be defined by how we look - our true strength and power is in what we do and how we act. You are very noble, Sebestian! God bless you.

      Delete
  9. I love my body and I wish I have the best body but NO MATTER HOW DO I LOOK ,I adore my body and my self
    I am cool !!!! right

    Sally

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  10. Marina
    As if you are talking about me but I think I am still in my early stage of recovery and I was told it may take long time before all symtoms go away especilly my period may take years to return back and my self image and hunger cues.
    However We will keep going and sooner or aletr We will be fine but We will not give up to any of the ED threat.

    Nanaraj

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  11. God bless you Marina and all your readers.
    You know our body is a house for God and spirit of God lives in our body.
    If our God lives in our body ,We ought to love and care for it.
    I will pray for you and all your readers

    Sunday Priest

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  12. I was born with congential defeority named PFFD ,partial focal femoral defect making one femur shorter and I was using prostheic since I was a child in Iran.In canada I used new prosthetic andI can walk normally with little limp.

    I used to be bullied in Iran by other children and I was sad as achild but since I came to Canada and got a job and I can walk ,I regain my self esteem and I love my body.
    We all are human and our body is Holy shrine and We need ,to love ,care and protect it.

    Shekofay

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  13. I can understand why you do not love your body as I was same like you.
    Your expereinece in the past still not over from your mind yet and you need to get this over so that you can love your body.

    Savana

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  14. Hi Marina
    I just was visting back home and came back and I am catching up.
    I completely undersatnd why you feel this way.
    You know with CBT you can change the way you feel and behave and react if We chnage the way We think.
    We can make our life brighter,postive and happier if We look at the positives of every aspect.
    I believe there is a positive in every one and every thing in life even when We are not feeling well,all what comes to our mind is the negative.

    Sorry if I am trying to be a therapist as I know you are better than me as a therapsit and caring nurse and as kind person

    With my humble respect

    Mohammed

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  15. Slowly but surely you will love your new body and be proud of it.
    One step at time.

    Zak

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  16. Marina
    My daughter told me exactly same thing long before I came to know you and you alerted me to ED.
    Does this conside an early sign of the disease.
    If I can remeber ,when she was 8 ,she was telling me she does not like her buttocks or her boobs .
    I think she still not happy with her body too but she is really eating her meals well and her mood is friendly and our relationship is better.
    All this good progress thanks to your advice Marina


    JP a thankful mother

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  17. Marina
    Let me share with you my frustration from medicine and my skin.
    I was diagonsed with Rosacia ,basically a skin condition making your face red and flushed and scaly.
    I am listening to doctors advise but hard to have the skin that you like and feel satsified with it and so several time I may say I do not like that face ,
    However since I am one of your regular readers since the begining ,I really feel my skin problem is nothing relative to what you and others with ED suffer.
    You taught me how to live with a problem and how to manage to make life easier despite the burden of a disease.
    I like your way of thinking that changed my negative way of thinking.
    Since I changed my way of thinking believe me my face started to get better even with less use of the creams and I do now love my face

    Eric

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  18. Hi Marina
    This is Mays
    You have done a lot of good work and people said you made your own recovery and you made a breakthrough in medicine in treating ED and in motivating and guiding others.
    Just one little bit left is to love your own body and to be comfortable with it.

    I am sure this will happen as you are a blessed unique intellegent person

    Mays

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  19. Marina
    You are a lovely girl,you love others so much to the extent that you do every thing to help them.
    You remember your words about my boys>
    I wih you can give some of this love to your body.
    I can understand your point and I thank you for all the hard work.

    Shiela kitson

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  20. I know soon you will regain the love to your body from head to toe.
    A loving and caring person like you< who is able to love people that never seen> has no room for hate or neglect.


    Hamza

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  21. I have been watching your blog very closely and I have been monitoring your progress and way to recovery.
    You have made breakthrough in treating ED by your own. You are the patient ,doctor and nurse and dietitian and therapist. You are whole team approach in one person.
    I do not know what is the key to your success in recovery. I can not pinpoint one factor ,may be multiple factors one can attribute to this huge success but I know one most important for sure and this is YOU ,yes You ,Marina
    You as a person honest sincere ,determined and strong enough to accomplish what you believe in.
    I am sure you want to give this message to many others .
    If you fed up with the abuse by ED ,believe in your self and go on your way to recovery.
    I am not worried about your post saying you do not like your body ,as this is your next step.
    You have motivated many many others .
    Let me mention if others struggle with ED ,go to programs and have big team to help and still not progressing ,may be one part of the ring is missing ,weakest link.
    Marina your are a team in one and one person making a strong team and that is why your are succeeding
    best regards

    Penny
    medical student

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  22. You have come along quiet well and you are progressing in your steps to recovery .
    You have used your wonderful blog to show every body that winning the war against the terrible ED is REAL.
    You used this respected blog to motivate victims of any disease to wake up, have hope and start their own road to empowerment and recovery.
    You are making big difference whether others admit or not.
    You are a testimony

    I gave you all the respect and credit.

    Shady
    Mississauga

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  23. You know any of your post is usually followed by helpful comments from different people with different views that all productive and valued.
    Most other blogs that I come across I read silly and negative comments

    Lesliana

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have a friend and she is 19. She is 5'3 and 90 pounds. She says her doctors do not see a problem with this. She eats according to what she likes and wants. She is not willing to deliberately eat more. On top of this, she runs marathons and does a lot of strenuous exercise. I think she may need help.

    I am asking you about this because I know you were a similar weight when you went into hospital and even your muscles were wasted away etc so your diaphragm was weak and you needed a ventilator.

    Curious to see what advice you have because you have personal experience and were probably at a similar BMI when you went into hospital.

    Taylor

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    Replies
    1. Hi Taylor and welcome. Im sorry your friend is suffering, can you send her here for help? I would encouarge you to help her by supporting ber without blame, but if she needs help, maybe a team is best. DOes she eat enough? Because if she will not eat more, then maybe she is either full, or she is naturally thin. Or maybe she has ED, which is a different story. I cannot tell you if she is sick with ED or not because I do not know her. All i can asy is that is she is limiting her food itnake to be thin, then she might have ED and that is dangerous. If so, she needs medical attention as well as a lot of support to get through this. As a friend, maybe you can calmly approach her and ask if she needs help, if she feels lonely or scared, if she would like anything, etc. Sorry this is so hard. God bless you.

      Delete
  25. I believe Ed is not only about weight or over exercise or BMI.
    I believe it is a serious disease that change the person thinking so that will see her/his body fat ,ugly and not in good image or shape. The victim continues to have this obsessive thoughts(not real) and then compulsively(not willingly) continue to act upon these obsessive wrong thoughts by restrictions and or purging and or over exercises and this continue to happen ,non stop till either get help or die.
    There in addition a lot of feeling can go through the mind of the victim.


    Good news Taylor
    Marina has proven that disease is curable and the victim(if wants) can start the journey of cure .
    I believe no program or doctor or hospital can help victim unless the victim herself wants and put her mind to it.

    Remember good news MARINA has been able to put an end to this disease in her life.

    Penny
    medical shcool

    ReplyDelete

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