Hey Beautiful Girl!

Today at work I met a lady that called me beautiful.

I don’t know why this really hit me.

In the past, I’ve been called beautiful. But I never believed it.

When I was sick with the eating disorder, I thought I was huge. My freshman year of college, I began to run. A lot. I lost a lot of weight. Suddenly, I was a size four, maybe 110 or 115 pounds. My clothes hung off of my frame.

The stress of maintaining this ideal weight–this idea of beauty–felt like a thousand pounds. I ditched the scale around this time. The constant weighing brought me down (pun intended).

Then I moved to the northeast for a summer job and went to rehab. I gained a fair amount of weight really quickly, too quickly.

When I moved back home, I went to a rehab in my town. At this point, I was completely distressed and confused. I gained more. Since I decided not to weigh myself, I never really knew how much I gained, only that I went to a size 8.

Over the next two years, I became a size twelve/fourteen; still not weighing myself.

What I looked like in my mind and what I looked like in pictures were completely different. My body image improved when I was a size twelve, very much in fact. I met Glen. On our first date, he told my size twelve body that it was gorgeous. I thought I looked okay, but there were still times that I would look at pictures of myself and be completely shocked.

In the last 8 or so months, I’ve been able to focus on getting myself into better shape just being. I don’t count calories, I just eat what I want. I lift weights and run because I enjoy it. I do yoga because it makes me feel good. I rock climb because I love the thrill. The weight has slowly melted off, and I am at a comfortable size. I have no idea how much I weigh. I have a guesstimate, of course based on my clothing size, but that’s okay.

I feel so much better about myself than I did four years ago.

So when that lady said I was beautiful today, completely out of the blue, I kind of believed it.

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A Change of Perspective

Recently I chatted with some friends about my “guyatus”.

I was explaining to my friends why I chose a one year break from men, what my goals are, etc.

It was actually really nice to share my thoughts with these lovely ladies because it allowed me to hear some other perspectives about my goal.

From: http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/atlas-mobile-calendar/
From: http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/atlas-mobile-calendar/

One of my friends said that while a year was a great goal, it may be more important/realistic to just gauge my feelings (instead of a time limit) to determine when I was ready. If I say that I don’t want to try anything romantic for an entire year, I may miss out on something special. Conversely, I may not even be ready by the year’s end, and it’s possible I may throw myself into dating when I shouldn’t.

This really made me think about my goal, and I think my perspective of it has changed. I’m going to stay with the general concept of a guyatus; but instead, I’m going to check in with myself regularly and determine when I feel ready. I’m going to try not to put a time limit on my life, I’d prefer it to be more organic.

After going to rehab for my eating disorder, I realized I wasn’t “fixed” the moment I actively stopped going to therapy. It has been a process and it would have been unfair to myself if I had the expectation that I would be okay after a few months or a year. To be honest, I actually don’t remember the specific period of time when I actually felt okay with myself. A year after rehab, I felt much better; two years after I felt even better.

So if it takes me five months or a year or three years to feel okay with dating again, that’s what it will be.