As I’ve mentioned in a previous entry, one of the most challenging issues with being a new mom is coming to terms with my “new” body. By now, five months since I’ve given birth, I’m trying to objectively assess the toll that my pregnancy took on my body… And as reasonable and kind as I try to be with myself, I still encounter many moments when I feel like a bit like a round, soft marshmallow (especially around my mid-section). As much as I know I shouldn’t admit it or how superficial it sounds, and despite the universal knowledge that all women’s bodies change after a pregnancy, I feel a lot of disdain towards my physical self. But this is nothing new.
It’s rather frightening for me to remember, but it was around this time 10 years ago when I was literally half my current weight and was preparing myself to re-matriculate back into my university after having my hands somewhat tied and being forced to take a medical leave of absence from my school. I had been heavily bulimic for nearly seven long, painful years by that point. I became heavily involved in the dark and seedy, “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia/eating disorders) online world. I also surrounded myself with people who had a very negative influence on me. Just as others in the past have personified their personal demons by giving them a name, I too gave the monkey on my back the alias of “Mia” (after “bulimia”).
One cold and lonely night in February of 2003, I decided I was too fat to live, and took a deliberate overdose of anti-depressants. The following hours are a blur to me in so many ways, but they ended with me having tubes forced up my nostrils and having my stomach pumped with charcoal as I sobbed and sobbed.
Fade to black and flash forward to the present. A lot has happened in between now and then, not just physically. Throughout the years of therapy and subsequent emotional and physical changes that I’ve undergone, I’ve taken and am still taking the steps necessary to comprehend and appreciate the fact that my weight and size does not define who I am. Is it a part of what I am? Absolutely. But as neurotic as I can be at times (well, most of the time),even I know that when I die, it’s not too likely that they are going to inscribe on my tomb, “Here lies Violet. She died at her ideal weight.”
And yet… It still stings when people have caught a glimpse of older photos of me and oh-so-tactfully and sensitively inquire, “Wow! What happened to you?”
Where would I, could I possibly begin?
Whatever. Anyways, in any case, things happen for a reason. I think that it’s rather a shame that I didn’t take solace in writing when I had so much pain to vent and so much to say, but better late than never. And I want to find the right balance of being weight conscious but not unhealthily obsessed. Of being thinner and lighter but not sick and masochistic about it. I want to lose weight to be happier, but not base my entire mood and emotional state on the scale and my waistline. Bulimia hijacked my life for almost seven years, and it’s taken me a decade since then to feel that I really am at a point where I’m ready to find the right path to be healthy inside and out. Now all that remains is to take the first difficult baby steps…