When I look in the mirror, I don’t think, “So this is what 225 pounds looks like?”
When I look in the mirror, I do think, “So this is what I look like.”
Why the difference? Because for so many years I never felt like I weighed as much as I did. Maybe it was my lifestyle – the fact that I wasn’t bullied or made fun of for being fat – but I just didn’t feel like the fattest girl in school, but I was. This was all fine and dandy until one day riding the escalators up to the plus size department at Macy’s, looking at the wall-to-wall mirrors around us, I asked my mother, “Do I fatter than her?” She said yes.
I’m not mad at her for being honest. I think that moment changed my life forever (though not necessarily in a good way). From then on, I became obsessed with the number on the scale. I switched between anorexic and bulimic habits – starving for days, then eating more than anyone could imagine in one sitting, and sticking my fingers down my throat to make myself throw up. I don’t think anyone noticed the problem. I mean, duh, fat girls can’t be anorexic or bulimic! Anorexia is only for girls that look like this:
In my case, what I saw in the mirror was smaller than what I really was. I saw pictures of other people that weighed the same as me (290 lbs.), like her:
Jamie – 290 lbs.
But I felt like this:
But I really looked like this:
Me – 2008 – 280 lbs.
I eventually realized that, on top of my depression, I have some form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. According to Wikipedia, BDD is…
“…A type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features. The person thinks they have a defect in either one feature or several features of their body, which causes psychological distress…”
BDD is known to effect 1-2% of the population. It is most usually linked to people with anorexia, and pretty much works like this:
Though, much less common, my case of BDD worked a bit in the opposite way, like this:
Well a huge help for me was learning. Learning about proportions, metabolism, how medications effect my weight, etc. I think what snapped me back to reality was being integrated into the BBW/size acceptance world in my late teens. I HIGHLY recommend this website to give you an idea of how your weight looks proportionate to your height. It really gave me a great comparison, and helped me learn how to present myself (especially in modeling). Here is my comparison:
Jill – 5’7″ 225 lbs
So all in all, don’t be in denial of your body. Be aware of your height, weight, and proportions, only for the sake of dressing well! Try (as hard as it may be) to focus on whats really in the mirror as opposed to the number on the scale. Just like age, weight is just a number!
Stay Curvy and Keep Curious