From Being in the Way to Finding My Way

I stopped weighing myself about 6 months ago. It was a huge step for me in a healthy direction, and I am so glad that I had reached a point where I was able to. My dietician has taken blind weights since then. For the first time since I stopped weighing myself, I learned that I gained weight a few days ago. It is so upsetting. As much as I wish that it wasn’t, that I was more “evolved,” “recovered,” etc., it is, and I’m not.


I am a person that values the internal. I value friendship, honesty, integrity, and humor in other people. Yet when my mind comes back to the reality that I’ve gained a little weight, I feel like I’m sitting/standing/lying here, being slain.


I sat down to write in my journal about all the things going through my head yesterday and I was shown clearly why I blame my body for every “bad” thing that has ever happened to me: because in my child-mind, taking up (more) space is the worst thing EVER.


I wrote down the voice of Inner Critic/radio station YCNW (You Can Never Win):


“Don’t take up space. Don’t be an entity. Don’t have boundaries around you.”

(Hello dysfunctional past relationships…)


“It is dangerous to take up space, be an entity, get in the way, be in opposition of power/anger.”


“The more space you take up, the more danger you are in – more surface area to be hurt, more to be noticed, more to be in the way.”


“The heavier you are, the more difficult to move, the harder to get out of the way, the more trouble disappearing, blending in, hiding.”


“The more invisible you are, the less space you take up, the less of a target you are.”


“You are worthless because you can’t make yourself disappear—you keep getting bigger. What you should do is get smaller, less dense, less solid, less defined.”

(This is ED, trying to rescue me from Inner Critic)


“If I am a defined identity, and the bigger I am, the more that can be destroyed. The more space I occupy, the more conflict I can run into; I want to erase myself and my lines.”


“I have always felt over exposed, too visible. I don’t want to be in opposition.”


Until recently (the past few years when things drastically changed in my life and I began recovery) I have always been terrified of conflict. This feeling intensified exponentially because I always avoided conflict – I never faced it, moved through it, and saw that it passes.


In the passages above, I can see why I have blamed my body for every uncomfortable thing that has ever happened in my life (i.e. every conflict): my body is the mechanism through which I define myself as a separate entity from everything else. From this creation of separation comes the possibility of opposition. And for a person who for over 20 years was deathly afraid of opposition, it is understandable why the blame should be placed there. It makes so much sense why I believed that my misery was because of my body, and I believed that bending my body to my will would solve all of my problems.


What kept coming up over and over was the notion that my life’s purpose was to not be in the way. For a long time, that was the motivation for the choices I made in my life. I am still struggling with it a lot, though I’ve made big strides.


My recovery is about learning who I am as the Subject of my life (not the Object of others’), who I am as one who views, not one who is solely viewed, one who has opinions and preferences that are authentic and different than others’. It’s hard to believe that I am just learning what it is like to truly inhabit my body – to live in my own mind, not others’.


It is the most shattering and rewarding process, and I love it and fight it at the same time every day.



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3 Responses to From Being in the Way to Finding My Way

  1. diahannreyes says:

    Thanks for speaking so frankly about your struggle. I think the more women talk about this inner body battle the more aware we all become, getting us that much closer to a world where women can feel free to be fully themselves.

  2. Csilla says:

    I used to blame all my past unhappiness on the times when my body was bigger than ED’s ideal weight for me (which always shifted to lighter and lighter), but now that I am bigger than I was in most of my disorder, I have also had more positive feelings and experiences. It was not my body I disliked so much in the past, it was who I was that I disliked…but I like the new me, more weight and all (even though ED still puts up a fuss every now and then).

  3. I love that you wrote this. I feel my old demons creeping back into my head STILL- years later- and I do my best to fight back with a vengeance, to truly internalize my beliefs and redefine my relationship and perception of my body- and of MYSELF. The battle does not seem to ever be over… but we get stronger at fighting it, one day at a time. Thanks for sharing!

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