Body Dysmorphia

Recently I started therapy, I think it is something that everyone should do. No one is perfect and everyone could use some help, life is hard so why not?

I half expected my therapist to tell me I was fine, that I was just worried about things for no reason. Oddly enough I have some trauma-induced issues that needed to be dealt with. It was also discovered that I have an intense desire to be independent, control my own life and know the outcome of situations. As you can imagine, that is not possible all the time; which results in stress.

I have noticed recently that with surgery coming up a lot of people are telling me that I don’t need surgery, that I look fine. To be honest, I am not having surgery solely for the physical aspect of it. There are a lot of functional issues that will be solved with this surgery.

My 1-year anniversary is coming up since I started my journey. I found some videos and pictures from the early days at the gym and my response to them was unusual for me. I can’t believe that I let myself go for so long, I was ashamed that it was me at one point; I actually had a hard time watching it. I have such a fear that I could easily slip back to that place, that place that is so familiar and all my hard work would be a waste.

Something that I have struggled with is seeing something different in the mirror then it actually is in person. I noticed this at the beginning of my journey, I would order sizes online that would be so big on me. I did not even consider that I had lost enough to drop pant sizes or what not. There were times I would be discouraged by looking in the mirror, negatives thoughts so easily flooded back. People often tell me that it seems easy for me, that I have so much self-control. I assure you; my self-control is tested all the time, I keep myself on a tight leash because I know that is what I need.

Body Dysmorphia is an actual disorder, it is characterized by thinking about a flaw on a specific part of your body or face that is often imagine or, if present, exaggerated in your mind and hardly noticeable to anyone else. I have never actually been diagnosed with this disorder; however, my life has a lot of similarities. I spent most of my life avoiding mirrors and refusing to be in photos. I used to position my body specifically in pictures to cut off as much of my body as I could.  I still to this day avoid mirrors, I hated gym mirrors and still do. I will purposely position myself to be out of the way of the mirror. These thoughts that I get take over, if I do a lot of jumping in my workout, I can feel things jiggle. From that moment, that is all I can think of, nothing else. I cannot verbalize to my trainer why I don’t like don’t it, I just don’t.

There are days that I still feel like I look like I did a year ago, there are days I feel fat and don’t like the way my clothes fit. However, in the same day I can feel slim and be excited about my transformation.

The mind is a very interesting thing, it takes years to create these rules and thoughts in your head so it would be crazy to believe that can change overnight. Weight loss may appear solely physical since it is the only thing you can see from the outside. Weight loss is so much more than that, it is changing your entire life. To lose over 100lbs is a significant thing, I have had to change the way I think, the way I cope and the way I manage my life. If you have not gone through this type of lifestyle change, it is very difficult for someone to empathize with that person. I am lucky to have some awesome people in my life that help me through everything.

One of the ways I have tried to deal with these thoughts is to take a lot of photos and focus on what I do like. I do a lot of comparative photos to see the changes and to remind myself how far I have come. I try to focus more on my performance and my upcoming goals and how I am going to achieve them. It is important to feel all of the emotions that come with weight loss, its ok to feel a certain way; it makes me push forward and keep going to achieve what I want to achieve.

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