The Distorted Mirror | Body Dysmorphia 

One morning, my roommate attempted to compliment me about how thin and healthy I was looking.  To which I proceeded to laugh / scoff, quite rudely…  I didn’t intend to do so, it was the first reaction that I had and I couldn’t hold it in.

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My other roommate instantly called me out on it and in that moment, I realized that perhaps that wasn’t the most polite or positive response.  But I was not in a mindset that morning to hear “you don’t need to lose any more weight”.

The last 2 years I’ve been fighting with the last 20 lbs that just needs to get the f*** off of me.  So to hear someone say “you don’t need to lose any more weight” just sort of sent me into a spiral of “you don’t know what I’m going through and how dare you tell me what I need or don’t need to do with my own body”.

Which of course was ridiculous… My dearest friends were providing loving and supportive words of encouragement, but I just couldn’t accept the possibility that they were speaking truth.

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All of my life, I’ve juggled everyone’s opinions about what my body should or shouldn’t look like.

 

Sometimes even from those that were closest to me – “that makes you look like a cow” or “you’re such a skinny b****”.

 

At 14/15 years old, that sort of molds your mind to an understanding that being skinny isn’t good for you / won’t help you to fit in.  Then I would go to school only to be bullied for supposedly having “thunder thighs”…

I even had a boyfriend at the time who used to pinch my stomach skin and make side-ways comments about how I’d been packing on the pounds.  At the time, I probably only weighed 135-140 lbs (with substantial muscle – because I was very active and worked out every single day).  I was thin, fit and perfectly sized for my height (5′ 4”).

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At another very vulnerable point in my life (early 20s), I wasn’t in a safe place with safe people – at all (for about 7 years).  eyes-730751_1280 I was being mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually abused as well as manipulated.

My feelings were never allowed to be expressed, if they were, somehow the situation became my fault and no honor or respect was given to what I was experiencing.

So, I shut down and began eating my feelings.  At my worst, I was 220 LBs of emotional stuffing.

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I am currently 160 LBs, though, you would think I weighed 550 lbs by the way I talk to myself internally.  I am terribly mean and judgmental to my body.

The problem with losing so much weight?  You end up with a lot of extra / loose skin that really just makes you feel like Jabba the Hut at the end of the day.

People have told me many times it’s just my mental image of my body, if you just get out there and wear a bikini, you’ll feel better.  No.  I won’t.  Because I’ve got “fun bags” where my flat tummy used to be.  I feel like a giant bowl of disgusting jello walking the streets – in disbelief that they even allow me in public.

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In this back and forth, I developed a bit of a psychosis.

I couldn’t fit into my family without being bigger, but I couldn’t fit in anywhere else because I was too fat.  My entire life has been a struggle back and forth between “I’m eating too much” and “I need to eat more food”.

Now, that seems really harsh, but I’ve grown up with body issues.

I actually spent a year not realizing that I was consistently starving myself because I felt too guilty to consume food.  Then I would binge.  Then I would starve.  Then I would binge…and so on.

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Over the years, I’ve gotten better at catching myself in “starvation mode” before it gets too far.  But I continue to struggle with this idea of “accepting my body as it is”, instead of holding unrealistic expectations, knowing that I’ll have to “punish my body” for “failing me” yet again.

I teeter back and forth from starving myself to the point of excruciating stomach pains / almost passing out to over-stuffing (because of starvation mode), followed by total self-shaming which then leads to the new punishment of starvation to make up for the over-eating.

Circle, circle, circle, circle…when does the cycle stop?

Nothing is ever quite good enough as far as the work I put in.  I recently convinced myself that I couldn’t get back into the one thing I really loved doing (running) because I had clearly become too fat and unfit.  I decided that I had clearly gone from weighing 145 lbs to 160 lbs (in a month).

Every time I look at myself, I notice how terribly flabby and fat “I am”.  I’ve had a gym membership for the last year – I’ve gone once.  Because I believe I’m too terribly un-presentable for the public eye that I couldn’t possibly go into a public gym until I get back into running and get a few pounds off.

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When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see what other people see, I see 220 lb me crying and sobbing for someone to pull me out of my own skin and save me from this terrible body shaming nightmare.

How is it that after 6 years of having all of that weight off, that I still can’t see anything different when I look in the mirror?

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These past few months have been rather tumultuous and emotional for me, lots of old things coming up to be healed – patterns to be broken.  This particular wave of clearing comes after moving through a chakra course with a fantastic group of soul sisters.

I’ve done so much work – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – yet somehow, those results seem to fail to make it to that mirror / reflection.  I can only see the flaws, the flabs, the stretch marks, the double chin, the signs of aging…you name it, I’ll find a flaw for it.

I was doing a bit of homework the other day – listening to a shamanic drumming & an OM chanting meditation while I focused on the root chakra.  After a few minutes, I found I was distracted, suddenly I am researching work-outs and Pilates for belly fat, weight loss, toning, etc.

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fantasy-2913953_1280Our bodies are supposed to be our temples; but if we let our mind run the show, the temple often gets left to fall into ruin, all the while, your mind tells you how you’re failing at the temple’s up keep.

It’s a catch-22.  You can never win or be happy when you’re caught in that cycle.

The key, I’ve found, is daily gratitude and acts of self-love.  It’s so much harder for your mind to wander into the field of negativity when you’re bombarding it with positive thoughts and feelings.  You start to recognize all of the little things in your life that make everything so magical in this Universe.

I’m so very grateful to be alive, I’m truly blessed to have so many supportive people in my life as I move through these old patterns.  And I know in my heart that nothing can ever change for the better without that action.

Positive actions lead to changes, positive changes lead to personal growth, and positive personal growth leads to expansion beyond your wildest dreams.

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This past week, instead of focusing on what I have / have not eaten, I chose to just eat properly and not dwell on anything at all.

Making salads and smoothies, smaller portions, less alcohol, sugar and caffeine.  And “somehow”, I now feel like my energy level is much higher – maybe even high enough to get back into running!

When my body (temple) feels loved, I feel good?  Who would have thought?

pop-art-2982960_1920So, in this moment, I choose to stop “struggling” in the vast ocean of shadows and unknown outcomes, of negative thoughts about my reality which only cause more pain…

I choose to open and heal my heart of these old, old wounds, to balance mind, body & soul.

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I choose internal peace …

I choose to honor these shadows …

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… not by ignoring them or pushing them down …

but by taking positive actions towards my goals …

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Lies and stories that once served your soul as a protective measure – these things can’t serve us well anymore.

We are only ever truly limited by our own beliefs and road blocks.

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To shine the light of love into those shadows

– to acknowledge the old wounds without judgments –

it’s the best and most important thing that we can do for ourselves right now.

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Much Love & Light,
Emily Shultz
Lemurian Light Oracle

 

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