Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Learning healthy habits

Body checking. I think we all do it. Well, anyone with an eating disorder anyway.

I never realized I did this, until I talked with the family therapist yesterday. I walk into the bathroom, and there's a huge mirror. I look at my thighs, they're huge, a size eight at least, I feel so disgusting. So I check in the mirror in the other room, suddenly I'm thinner. Then I check in a different mirror in the same room, I'm thinner again. Then I go back into the bathroom, yuck look at those thighs.

I didn't change sizes from walking one room to the next! Body checking is also trying on clothes to figure out how each one fits. And its also feeling certain places of the body to see which place is thinner, stuff like that.

Now that I'm more aware of this, I realize I "body check" a lot! And it really bugs me. But I am really glad that I've realized this, so I can finally stop it. My parents are going to take down the mirrors in their room so I can't examine myself in them anymore, and we're going to block off a part of the mirror in the bathroom. It will take a while to get rid of this body checking habit, but I'm determined to do it. It doesn't make me happy, it only makes me feel fat and miserable.

I'm also trying to learn healthy exercise, and so far its going great! I'm doing strength training (only with 2 lb weights) and pilates. And I'm going to the dog park once a week with my dog. And I'm not exercising to burn calories, I exercise to be happy, and because I actually want to. I will no longer be slaving away on the treadmill. I don't really even like treadmills that much!

I have made progress, and that really really scares me. I haven't been at this weight in almost 3 months. I almost feel like I'm doing something very wrong. But I'm not! I'm still thin, and people are still worried about me. Hopefully being thin will no longer matter to me when I'm recovered. I just want to be healthy now.


  1. I love your attitude. It's so positive and leaves me feeling better about my own recovery! When it comes to body checking, I am definetely guilty as charged. But for me, it was always just my stomach. Throughout my entire ED, that was the only area I even remotely cared about. I have to keep reminding myself that there is a difference between "fat" and "full" and when I eat, my tummy is full, not fat.

    You should be proud of yourself for taking another step toward recovery. If you know that the mirrors make you feel worse, then it's great to take them down for now so that it doesn't make recovery slower than it has to be. It's a big step to actively do something to aid your recovery. Progress and weight gain are really scary, I know, but it is so worth it in the end.

  2. That's one thing I still have a mega problem with - body checking. It's the weirdest thing too that depending on the mirror I'm fat or skinny. I used to look in the mirror of my house and feel fat only to do a double-take when I'd pass by a reflective shop window because the person in the reflection is so thin. It's weird how your mind can mess with you like that.

    I'm so happy you'll get to incorporate some light exercise into your schedule. Exercise is fun, especially when you don't feel "forced to do it" but you do it because you enjoy it.

    Take care and keep on going! You're on the right path.

  3. Danielle, I admire how hard you work and how far you've come. :) I think covering mirrors is a great idea. I have the hardest time not looking at my stomach whenever there's a mirror around.
    Like the other girls said, progress is scary, but you can do it!

  4. I have a very bad case of body checking too! The therapists that I have had in the past said that this is VERY common in people with ED, Body disphromic disorders, etc because our thinking process are so warped to begin with. I used to have about 5-6 floor length mirrors all over so I'd check myself constantly. It was not a narcissitc thing, mind you! But it was just an awful consuming obsession that I had.

    I had to remove all the mirrors in the house and my family did the same. Then I moved to college and banned floor leghth mirror in my dorm room. Ever since, I preferred to have at lesat waist length instead of floor length because that way I would not fall into that body checking habit.

    I love to work out BUT in a healthy way though. :) Keep it up Danielle!

  5. Again, such a beautiful quote. Good for you for making such progress. It's hard, but worth it! I definitely do the whole body checking thing, everywhere I go-and it's annoying because each time it's a little different. Stay strong, girl! You can do it <3

  6. Holy mind warp...after years of hearing about "body checking" I finally understood what it can be so Subtle! Now that I realized I am, like you, stuck in that yuck of realizing every time we go to do it...but that's part of going through it. So subtle...things like notches on a belt or just the feeling of a certain annoying!
    I started to make rules. One is really working. Maybe it will help. I set a rule to change only once if I am "in a mood"....second outfit doesn't work? Tough.

    Hard...but worth it.

  7. I don't think people realize how negatively body checking can effect recovery. It's great that you're attacking that problem and trying to end it! I have faith that the mirror will be just another object in your life one day again, and not a tool to obsess over your body and weight. Mirrors, shmirrors!! Haha :)

    <3 Tori

  8. You're going forward and making progress. That's what counts. And it's hard, but you're doing it. :)

  9. Progress is good! It's great that you are making progress!
    And the body check thing.. all of us do it :/
    We need to look for the beauty in ourselves rather than the flaws. Sometimes I try to think of what my boyfriend Connor sees in me when he looks at me rather than the ED thoughts of how gross I look.
    Also yay for exercise when done in a healthy way! You sound like you're doing great Danielle :) I know this unchartered territory is scary, but even more so is the thought of returning to ED! Remember that!
    <3 Haley

  10. I know I can body check so frequently, and it is always lies! You've done so well to identify with it, and taking down mirrors is a good idea.
    The mirror lies to us, and we need to accept ourselves for who we are, not what we look like on the outside. Because people will not stop loving you because of the way you look. People who truly love you, love you because of what is inside of you, and that is true beauty.
    Your doing great :)