Monday, March 8, 2010

How Does Smaller FEEL Bigger?

How can a person who is literally starving, 'feel' so BIG, so FULL and desperately miserable? When you are caught in the throes of an eating disorder, your perceptions about YOUR own size are not accurate. Anyone who has suffered probably realizes that.
But knowing that does not give you the sudden ability to process what you see in the mirror accurately.
Even though at various times while I was struggling with anorexia, my weight was steadily decreasing, there was never a point where I truly 'felt' thin enough, empty enough, or just simply 'OK'.
For many many years all I could see in the mirror was someone who still wasn't acceptable, and the only method I had control over to change myself was with food, to restrict, to take more laxatives, to exercise, almost ANYTHING, in an attempt to 'shape' myself into a person who would finally meet the expectations of those around me.
I realize now, that it was for the most part, all about that. I had no clue what would please ME, b/c I had never been shown or told that I should consider that.
The attempt to find that 'perfect' acceptable weight is not about what you weigh at all. It goes much deeper than the size of your body .
The smaller I became, the more obsessed I was about my weight, and the more internal pressure I felt to eat less and lose more weight. I truly 'felt' bigger in my own skin as my body became smaller. It made no sense, but because my brain was so starved, I could not rationalize between fact and fear.
These distortions have both biological and psychological foundations. The 'starvation syndrome' overrides a person's cognitive ability to reason, and the literal fact that you are starving, leads to the driving obsession about food, weight, exercise, etc. If you went without sleep for several days, what do you think you would be obsessed about?? SLEEPING!!
I believe that while actually 'being' smaller, the actions that have led to this...avoiding or stuffing any emotions, focusing on our body and weight, are the reasons that we actually FEEL larger. Inside, there is so much confusion and conflicting emotions that need to be expressed and released that we are like a balloon about to burst.
Losing weight and controlling my life in a very ritualistic and lonely way only took a major part of my life from me.
Less became more in terms of turmoil, confusion and illness.
More has now become less in terms of fears and isolation.
My days are now focused on actually living my life.

Without apology...♥


  1. I can relate SO well to this post. While losing weight, I never had a specific point in mind where I would stop- I just said that I'd stop when I "felt thin enough." That never happened, & what resulted was an eating disorder. Recovering now, I still "feel" big sometimes, even though I know I'm small, but I'm realizing that it's more that I'm so filled with pent-up emotions. Great post!!

  2. Julia..thank you for reading and for your comment! I'm glad that you can relate. Have you been able to develop some ways to release those pent up emotions, and/or express tham so that you aren't always FULL of them? I hope so!
    Wishing you well..Jan

  3. tears tears...
    smaller DOES feel bigger.