The morphing face of perception

As I have described before, I find my own visage reminiscent of something squiddish. Or at least I did. Some peculiar change has taken place recently in the face that lives in the ocean at the bottom of the mirror that cannot entirely be explained by my all too tardy discovery of eyebrow pencils. No, there is something inexplicably different and almost, human about the overall mask. It’s uncannily like I am simply Homo sapiens like you and not a demon-spawed sea-creature abomination. Could it be that I’ve transformed through some cephalopodic adolescence into my mature form? A flood of aquatic hormones that has flushed out the adolescent obsession with facial paranoia? A transition where dysmorphia is displaced by clarity.

It’s funny how a slight change in perspective can alter perception so vastly. The monster under the bed retreats into its former scarf and slippers form with the flick of a switch but I’m left wondering which switch got flicked this time, and how do I keep the light on?

“I think I should be

a little more confident,

in my self,

in my skin” ~Daughter, Home


locking horns with the irrational monster who lives in my belly

Today I was told the following

-that I look really healthy and am obviously not underweight


my interpretation of that was

-that I look really chubby and am obviously not slim.

or worse

-that I look really fat and am obviously not skinny.

This pisses me off something chronic.

Seriously – I’m not annoyed about the comment – it was genuinely not meant negatively – it was a reflection of my current good health and lack of brink-of-deathness.

I’m pissed off that my interpretation is STILL so backwards! I frickin HATE that, I KNOW I look healthy and well and normal and all those words I so feared becoming.

Ok while I’m on this topic I had another disturbing experience at the weekend – it was mentioned to me that some girls we were meeting were very skinny and something to the effect of ‘about as thin as me at my thinnest’. What annoyed me again wasn’t the comment, nor the perceived fact – that’s fine- its nice to have warning if people are going to be worryingly thin… but my triggered reaction – some horrid creature inside my belly was offended at this comment, tapped on my brain and said – go-on say how much you weighed at your lowest, and how little you ate…but thankfully I wrangled it back down and tried to be vague and not look like Id just been affronted. THAT is ridiculous! how can ANY part of me still be in ANY way PROUD or DEFENSIVE of what I did to my body?! FFS!!! PLUS how can I expect people to know how bad things were before they knew me when I was until recently TOTALLY incapable of admitting any real problem let alone talking about it (hence blog posts smeared all over with recovery and body image stuffs now I feel able to express myself). Gah! So annoyed with myself, so very annoyed.

Sorry belly monster but this is how things are now – you are gonna have to stop trying to strangle me and control my thoughts because I’m much stronger now, and I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m in a competition with every other woman in the world, being ranked by BMI  and sliding down the scale from what society perceives as beautiful and desirable and down into the murk of what is seen as bland and unexceptional. Well fuck that. I just need to remind myself that it is EXCEPTIONAL that after so many years in the  of strangle hold of various spectrums of an eating disorder that I have FINALLY got myself healthy – for ME, not for anyone else. I have been told repeatedly by professionals that people like me never fully recover, that they will always be on the spectrum of disordered eating – so now all I have to do is prove them wrong…if only I could silence the monster in my belly and believe in myself a bit then we are all set :).

oh here’s a fun game – go to put in your height then without looking a the weights or BMIs consider based on how the 3D model looks what you think you look like to other people. Look at what value you settled on then compare to reality – I think I look like BMI 21.4 even though unclothed Im more like 19.2 – obviously this is not an exact science!! studies have shown that women of normal weights often perceive themselves to be bigger than they are.

I think I look 6 kilos heavier than I am- no wonder I am paranoid about looking much chubbier than I used to be!! also this one is fun but I get the same answer!!

anyway that just number and perception procrastination – i find it fascinating that even women without disordered eating or body dysmorphia still think they look bigger than they actually do…have you seen that program ‘how to look good naked’? have you noticed that when women put themselves in a lineup where they think they fit size-wize they almost always think they are bigger than they are? well they do! ok enough rambling i have students to supervise and foundation to slap on my gloriously clear facial skin 🙂

Why are we beating ourselves over the head girls? for goodness sake – beauty, happiness and success are not measured in pounds ladies, so do me a favour and just appreciate the health you were blessed with. Unfortunately on my cycle ride to work I suffered a flashback to measuring my waist at my most sick and quite honestly I don’t understand how I could be so tiny and not think there was nothing wrong….<shudders> yuck. If I ever need or desire a tiny waist in the future I’ll keep on munching and wear a damned corset 😉