Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia

UGH, it’s crop top season.

Alright guys, so I’ve been pretty MIA the past month and a half (unless you wanna count my previous red-faced emoji rant about the UK coverage as “blogging”) and I haven’t really been writing because truthfully, I’m like a lizard changing its stripes (is that even the idiom??)

Moving is a huge change- goes without saying – and I haven’t really wanted to write until I felt more settled, or at least more genuine, about what I’m even writing about.

Some days I wake up overlooking those Colorado mountains and think “This is where I was always meant to be,” and other days I wake up with this incessant loneliness, longing, and nostalgia for my life in New York.

The world is a playground and I can barely figure out where the slide is (also, I’m directionally challenged). Yes, I’m meeting people. Yes, I’ve gone on a few dates (post on that to come soon ’cause my GOD my relationship life is always a hot mess) and yes, I’m interviewing quite often for jobs, but it’s been over a month and I haven’t yet found that “comfort” of the familiar, and I find that theres always tis feeling of insecurity when meeting new people.

Sometimes, I think because I was sick for so long that I literally just didn’t learn basic human skills and abilities. I was so obsessed with food and being thin that like I missed the college lectures on how to balance a checkbook, or even the cultural staples of my generation.

I will never really be a girl that has “seen that movie,” “heard that song,” or “read that article.” I can tell you how many calories are in that banana by weight and size, but I have zero idea what Games of Thrones is, or what band sang that song – and that reality comes out when I’m meeting new people and like trying to relate to them in a basic millennial way. Therefore, I feel more insecure than usual.

I know I’m not meant to yet, but it is hard some days to not wake up and go straight to g-chatting my former co-workers as I lay in bed picturing them in their offices. Picturing the sounds of the office, knowing who’s always late to work, who is getting their 8th coffee –

Summer coworkers.jpg
Co-workers! (one of the few times I wore a dress)

I miss my familiar. I miss my work husband walking into my office every morning, happy hours with my female coworkers at the wine bar across the street – knowing which subway line will be delayed – and even the comfort of “the crazies” who roam the subway trains spouting off about religion, and how we’re all going to hell.

I miss my banana waiting for me on my desk, and a granola bar in my office desk for breakfast.

I miss New York – yet I know it’s over. Funny how people do that, yah? How when we lose something, we have this human ability to only remember the good, and negate all the negative.

Anyway, I know in my heart I made the right decision – but you leave pieces of your soul wherever you roam.

It’s a balancing act I’m not entirely sure how to equalize so naturally, my immediate instinct is to turn to my ED. It’s what I DO know. It’s funny how eating disorders work. It’s not even my “instinct” anymore so much as just my natural habit. Like biting your nails or playing with your hair –

I get stressed and insecure and ED just seeps back into my daily life as quietly as my dog when he’s trying to sneak food off my plate.

Of course I’m cognizant of it, but at the same time – when I’m vulnerable – it’s far easier for me to just be like “eh I’m not at my best, I don’t have to deal with this yet.”

… And that attitude right there is exactly how I lost 8lbs in the first 3 weeks I lived here.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not too thin right now. I was a little higher than my “normal” weight when I left New York (there had been A LOT of going away parties/happy hours and cake) so it’s not like this 8lbs is a drastic change in appearance … but I know it’s there. And I know how it happened.

When you don’t have a schedule, or stability, it’s so much easier to lop haplessly through life. I wake up and apply to some jobs – choose not to get out of bed until noon – and TA-DA, I don’t eat till like 2pm.

Or, hey it’s 2pm and I’m not at work and everyone else is. So, what do I do with my time? Oh, yeah, I’ll go work out a lil longer than usual. And then I’ll take the dog on a walk. And then maybe I’ll meet my roommate for Yoga at 630pm.

I know EXACTLY how and why it happened – I just didn’t do anything about it.

I feel ashamed and stressed that I don’t have a job yet; I’m lonely for my best friends; and I feel lost all the time – that’s the real truth. And instead of sitting with those emotions, I block them with the same ED coping mechanisms I’ve used throughout my adult life. I punish myself mentally and then basically come to some ED conclusion that I don’t “deserve” to eat until I’ve done something productive (i.e. work out) because I’m useless to society and not earning a paycheck. I have some subconscious voice saying “you should eat less because you’re not making money to eat.”

It’s all so completely skewed, right? But, that’s what ED does. Alcoholics justify drinking because “hey, it’s vacation and I should be allowed to drink” and eating disorders justify restriction with “you should punish yourself for this reason or that.”

So yeah, here I am. 5 weeks in and trying to put back on the weight I let fall off of me. Do I feel any better because I’m like 3-4lbs under what I “usually” am? LOL of course. I love waking up and feeling a hip bone. It’s like a trophy.

I imagine drug and alcohol addicts feel the same: If I could have a functional ED that didn’t suck my life – I’d probably live that way. I love the highs of restricting that much. I love the high of over-exercise THAT much. If alcoholics could drink to just feel tipsy and stop, I bet loads of them would do it.

However, we are who we are – and it is NOT possible for me to be under a certain weight and not crave/anticipate/desire more weight loss. The SECOND I lose 2-3lbs, I want more. I want it so much. I feed off it. It becomes my goal – my pride – my coveted little achievement.

“I am better for it,” I think. “No one can do it like I can. I have that much control; that much will power; that much pride.”

PEOPLE WILL FIND ME MORE ATTRACTIVE AND WANT TO BE MY FRIEND.

Blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on of frantic ED fixations.

So, here I am. On the cusp of summer weather and crop tops and shorts – and yet I’m going against all natural desire and trying to put back on a couple lb’s and I don’t like it one lil bit.

Sitting here writing this outside on my balcony, the sun beating down on me because I’m in a long sleeve shirt and black work out pants – when I should totally be in shorts and a cut off.

April blog 2 April blog

Summer can really be a pain in the ass. Every time someone asks me “mountains or beach” I’m all like “MOUNTAINS” DUH.

Beach = summer. Beach = less clothing. I’m convinced people who prefer the beach to any other environmental condition are either lying, fitness KWEENS, or naturally thin.

I love hiding behind winter. Half my wardrobe is black, and the other half is practically covering my ankles. I’m getting better, but summer can feel like a constant struggle of insecurity.

When it’s 90 degrees out, it looks ridiculous to rock black skinny jeans. And, also it’s just really hot. My shorts sit in their drawer whispering my name no matter how hard I try to shut them up.

I know I’ll cave. I don’t have a choice – but so begins the days of “if I wear those shorts, will I feel distracted all day – or will I be able to get over it and be present?”

I never know. Sometimes I’ll wear shorts and be fine after a few minutes like yesterday. I wore them for the first time this season and felt okay. (But, also because I know I’m a couple pounds under what I usually am)

Other times I feel so uncomfortable I’ll leave where I am to go change because I can’t pay attention to what’s going on around me.

April blog 3

I started on this recovery journey to be more present in my life – and summer is when I always feel the least secure. It’s up and down, as recovery goes, but it’s tiring. And here we are on the cusp of the ED season.

However, on a positive note, I just celebrated my 27th birthday on Friday and y’all – I rocked a crop top.

A FULL OUT, STOMACH SHOWING CROP TOP.

april blog 11

And you know what? I actually had a blast.

I don’t dress sexy. It’s not in my nature – in fact, on Friday my friend in China called and he legit goes “So birthday girl – you gonna go out all sexy tonight and pick up some strangers?” To which I replied “LOL- I’m in a flannel and black jeans.”

“God, surprise surprise,” he snorted.

april blog 7
Flannel of choice

But, that’s just where I’m at and that’s how I’m most comfortable and present, so Friday was an interesting experiment for me.

I thought I’d hate it about an hour in – ESPECIALLY after eating a hot dog and drinking a beer. But you know what? I felt confident. I never wear heels, never worn a crop top, and I legit felt confident. FOR ME. Not for anyone else – for me. It was fun to play dress up for a night. I’m not a really “feminine” human and it was just a fun momentary change of pace.

I place all these self-imposed limits on myself from my ED, and I guess it just made me have a sense of like “hey, if you wanna show your stomach and feel confident – you can DO THAT.”

No one is telling me I can’t do these things; just me. I am my own rule-maker and for a hot minute, it was nice to break those rules.

I didn’t drink too much to avoid the insecurity and I didn’t feel like going home to change. AND that, to me, feels like progress- regardless of the insecurity and loneliness of this transition.

And progress to me is just little moments of insight. Moments of letting my guard down – tiny, rather insignificant feats of living without ED or rules.

I’m not perfect – but I’m alive. And I’m aware. I’m very aware of what I’m capable of when I choose to do it.

I’ll put back on these stupid pounds because it’s the best thing for my life. I’ll go eat a stupid ass banana after I’m done posting this because I’m feeling that 4pm snack-time hunger.

aprul blog 8
Dessert for my Bday!

I don’t know if I’ll wear a crop top again this summer, or how many times I’ll rock those booty shorts – but I know it’s possible, and I can.

Woo- now I’m winded, y’all. Haven’t written in so long and DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE BACK.

Thanks for all the love as always ❤

april blog 9
mmmmm, Colorado
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6 thoughts on “Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia

  1. thirdwheeled12

    as aways – super powerful and so damn relatable i almost hate it! good for you for realizing ED was back before it was too late. It’s such a slippery slope. at this point in recovery it’s tough – we know what we know: we know what we’re supposed to be doing and what we’re not supposed to be doing, so it makes it hard to allow ourselves to get away with things for a length of time.

    In flannel’s best,
    your friend,
    Jamie

    Like

  2. It takes time to settle somewhere new, longer than we ever want it to. I moved country knowing no one a few years ago and thought would take me 6 months to really settle but it took almost 12! The same as you I dropped weight initially too as got unconsciously unnerved by change in routine but with time things started to fall into place. Keep putting yourself out there but be patient and give yourself a break. You are doing awesome. You are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey! I’m hoping you remember me! (You came to a comedy show for my birthday!) I told you I’d read your blog! And I will continue to do so, I like your style of writing and aside from being able to completely relate to you like we discussed back in Denver.. I’m sitting here in the Philippines sweating my face off I. Black jeans and an oversized long sleeve shirt. Keep your head up! It took me a bit of time to adjust to Denver too, but it ended up being one of the best places I’ve lived yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morgan — so happy to hear from you! Sorry it took me a couple days to write you back – I hope you are just killin it in the Philippines girl. You deserve all the happiness and crop tops in the world (but I know what you mean about those damn skinny jeans – ugh). Anyway, you’re a beautiful person, not even touching on the physical sense – you have an energy people feed off (And I only met you one night) – if you ever need anything – or just a vent session, feel free to email me. I hope you come back one day to this lovely lil place 🙂

      Like

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