Thursday, 1 December 2011

From the inside out

In western society ‘thin’ and ‘flawless’ images of girls and women are promoted as the ideal representation of beauty. There is therefore little wonder why sometimes people may feel preoccupied and pressured in matters of appearance. A common view is that those suffering from eating disorders do so primarily because they believe their physical appearance is inadequate in response to what is celebrated as ‘beautiful’. Evidently this may be part of the presentation of an ED but I think many times the disease is somewhat unhelpfully simplified in this way.

Many times along the way I have been assured (by people who meant well) that I am ‘pretty’, ‘slim’, ‘hot’ and ‘good-looking’. These kinds of compliments always traveled in one ear, fluttered around within my brain for a short moment and then flew out the other ear. On many occasions I felt that there was something others weren’t getting about EDs and that the disease involved much more than anxiety about one’s appearance. Although I am the first to admit that I have struggled to perceive myself as physically attractive, my anorexia derived from a feeling of ugliness that ran so much deeper than my ‘looks’.

Anorexia is a self-hatred that extreme that you feel that your very being is not good enough; that you are ‘ugly’ right down to your core and it becomes a negative and deprecating presence within yourself that is always there. The very nature of EDs is to fixate on the outer layer of yourself, the losing of weight and seeking ‘perfection’, however, is only a divergence from feelings of unattractiveness that become entrenched well beyond the exterior in which you incessantly try to alter.

Getting better requires looking beyond your reflection in the mirror (and all the tricks that an ED plays to keep the focus there) to the presence of ugliness within. Untangling the reasons why you feel so terrible about yourself is where real change happens and this is where freedom lies, unfortunately it can be the toughest part of all.


  1. this is so powerful. and so true. we can't truly heal until we are ready to look inside ourselves and mend what's broken. it can be scary and painful and that is why it's so easy to focus on the outer appearance - because then we don't have to truly deal with the "other" stuff. but if we don't fix the other stuff - it will be a cycle that we can't break free from. I hope you can see the beauty in you! you are beautiful inside and out! I am so thankful to have met you through our blogs. You words touch me and even though we don't know each other outside of our blogs... i feel like I do in a way. I am glad to call you a friend. Keep fighting and keep believing because life is beautiful and it's waiting for us to come and find it!!!! ; )

  2. So glad to have found you :)))