Tuesday, January 26, 2010
You know what ‘body checking’ is…you are constantly feeling your stomach to see if it feels bigger….you may see if, and how many, fingers you can fit into the waistline of your jeans….or maybe you check multiple times during the day to see how your fingers fit around your wrist, or for me, my upper arm. This applies to mirror images also. Do you turn sideways every time you pass the mirror to make sure your stomach is still flat? Or when you pass by the shop windows along the street, do you stare at your image in horror, or do you look to make sure you appear ‘thin enough’?I can identify with all of these and many more. During my recovery, as I was trying to learn how to deal with the changes in my body and the weight I had gained, I had to come up with some form of ‘strategy’ in order to stay sane. I made the decision to stop all ‘body checking’. This meant that if I knew an article of clothing would cause me to worry and fret, I wouldn’t wear it. For a period of time, I covered the mirrors in my apartment, aside from a small area to apply make-up and do my hair, so that I would not focus on how my body looked. I made a point to avoid watching those shop windows. I stopped ‘checking’ to see the difference in my wrist or arm size. And, I stopped looking at the tags in my clothing. Some of them I cut out purposely to avoid dwelling on sizes.I didn’t have to do this forever, but it helped me tremendously ‘in the moment’, and later on, as I dealt with letting go of body image issues.