One thing I can’t seem to shake in my recovery is jealousy. Extreme jealousy. When I was really struggling, I would compare myself to other women around me; I would rate myself on a scale based on how they looked. 9 times out of 10, I would rate myself considerably lower than anyone else.
It isn’t even looks that I compare. I compare grades. I compare clothes. I compare friends. I compare social lives- everything. It’s really sick, the things that I allow to go through my mind but I can’t seem to shake those thoughts.
My thoughts of comparing my body aren’t as strong and overwhelming as they used to be; I think that the comparing will be something that I will have to deal with for a long, long time, but it’s manageable.
The thing that really gets me, though, is the talk about weight loss and dieting. Seeing people who have lost a considerable amount of weight and look really awesome. That is the point where I get so jealous and envious.
Just today, I woke up and saw an article about Shawn Johnson losing 25 pounds. I got so many flashbacks of the surges of pride I would get when I would step on the scale and see that my weight had dropped. A woman who used to be one of the closest things I had to a role model-a strong, muscular gymnast-had buckled under the pressure of the media to advertise what transformation her body had gone through.
Friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter will talk about how they’re going to lose weight to get in shape for the summer. I don’t have that luxury or goal not knowing what my weight is. I know, though, if I do figure out my weight and decide to lose some, it will be so dangerously easy for me to slip into restriction and anorexia. A part of me wants to rationalize knowing my weight, just to help me eat healthier, but that’s how my eating disorder started. Plus, I know that my mind won’t be able to rationally factor in the fact that I have built so much muscle, and my weight could even be raising while my body is toning up and getting more compact.
One thing that REALLY kills me is Tumblr. On my tumblr I don’t follow any blogs about losing weight or pro-ana, what have you. But, it’s inevitable that something along those lines will come up. A picture of a slim woman with a caption saying something about jealousy. I stopped using pinterest because when I said that nutrition , food and exercise were things I’m interested in, I got SO many posts about dieting. Extreme dieting. Exercises for slimmer thighs, a flat stomach and toned calves.
Right now the only coping mechanism I have is removing myself from the situation. As much as people say “stop comparing yourself to others; you’re beautiful the way you are” that’s like when people told me (before treatment) “just eat.” It’s not a likely thing. The problem with that method is that it usually comes into play once I’ve already seen or read something that’s triggering and I don’t have much of a way to convince myself to let it go. The only thing that helps with that is time. Time and talking to a friend, Javier or my therapist.
Well, this post has really helped me to figure out some more things I have to talk about in therapy next time!