Sunday, May 16, 2010

Body Issues

So I had a moment this morning where I finally understood Michael Jackson (umm, but not the whole sharing his bed with little boys thing). I understood The crazy woman who made herself look like a cat. I understood anorexics who look in the mirror and see a fat person.

I understood because I looked in the mirror and didn't see reality.

I looked in the mirror this morning before I got in the shower and I saw a 300 pound woman looking back. I know rationally that I don't look like that anymore--even before the tummy tuck. But that's truly what I saw. It's hard to explain. It's not that I looked at my very swollen (even more so than the day after surgery) abdomen and felt chubby. I literally saw myself as I was 18 months ago. Even after I put the binder back on and got dressed, I felt fat. Not bloated or swollen or something temporary. I felt (and saw reflected back at me) morbid obesity.

In that moment I understood why someone would get plastic surgery after plastic surgery even if it made them look freakier and freakier. I completely understood how an anorexic could look at their skeletal frame and think they needed to drop a few more pounds.

Now don't get overly concerned, internets. I like food way too much to become anorexic. I was whining and complaining about not being able to eat for 24 hours when I had the tummy tuck. And I don't really see bulimia as an option because vomiting isn't my cup of tea. And finances preclude me from repeated plastic surgery.

But it scares me because I can see how people who do do those things start down that path.

I don't think I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder--I don't obsess for hours a day about it or hide out or any of the really crazy things listed on that link, and I know that what I saw in the mirror isn't reality. But I do constantly compare myself to others. If you know me in real life, you can pretty much be certain that I have checked you out. Scrutinized you. Tried to guess what size you might wear. Compared myself to you. Don't worry--99.9% of the people I compare myself to come out way ahead of me. And I don't do it because I'm looking for flaws in you. I do it because I see you as a "normal," attractive person and I want to see how "abnormal" I am in comparison.

So, umm, yeah...I think I have issues.


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