“I am not my body”

Project Description:

I am insecure about my body. In high school I struggled with binge eating and subsequently bulimia. I had a rough start to high school and so I didn’t care about respecting my body or health and ate whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. Junior year, a close friend said to me, “You’re not desirable; like no one would expect you to look beautiful so you should get that dress.” Not only was I shocked and upset, but I also bought the stupid dress that I kind of hated. Although looking back I don’t think that this message my best-friend at the time meant to say, I heard it as “You are not desirable; your body is wrong; you are wrong.”

Unfortunately I internalized these messages and started hating my body even more. I grew up loving food and then found myself loathing meals—craving to enjoy a family dinner without analyzing calories and calculating which what workout I would have to do or meal to skip. I avoided vomiting though—that meant that I had an eating disorder. A close friend of mine from was recovering from Bulimia Nervosa in which she vomited to maintain a certain weight and I didn’t want to be like her. So I obsessed and found different ways. Although I lost most of the excess weight I gained at the beginning of high school the “healthy” weight I plateaued at made me cringe.

I was depressed through most of high school. I hated being labeled as “depressed” and once I heard it too many times I desperately needed a reason why. I didn’t understand how my facticity could be so ideal, from the family I was born into to the place that I live, and yet I was depressed. I felt guilty for having so much and feeling the way I did. After hearing my friend say “You’re not desirable,” I felt like a nuisance—what was I doing alive if I wasn’t being happy or even fulfilling my evolutionary purpose of attracting anyone. I had suicidal thoughts and so I experimented with self-injury beyond occasionally starving myself or purging after meals. I justified my body image and self-injury with my depression.

I work on my body image to this day. I struggle with feeling comfortable in my skin, especially considering that most of the “action” or attention from men is anonymous ass grabbing/slapping or nothing at all. I want to love my body and move beyond self-injury, and I work on it every day.