what do you see in your mirror?

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caliwb's picture
what do you see in your mirror?

I think we've all heard of body image distortion, but i think this is the wierdest part of recovery for me. So I just wanted some of your thoughts!

Supposedly some people see themselves as being bigger than they actually are, as part of the mental part of this disease. How do you know if this is a problem for you? and how do you know when what you are seeing is actually what is there?

I've managed to make it thru 60 days or so of not b/p-ing and I've been exercising in moderation too. When I look in the mirror, I think my thighs (which were always a trigger!!) have gotten smaller. But then I go to put on my jeans, and they dont fit. Did I used to think my thighs looked like tree trunks while i was a full on bulimic, but now I see they arent THAT fat, so it looks smaller, but its actually gotten thicker cuz I've gained weight!? This is totally confusing...

writing about this, I feel pretty silly now, haha. but I really wonder, what is real about what we see in the mirror? and if we're not seeing what's real, how do overcome body image distortion? how do we know what's real???

misslynne's picture
I think it'll always be

I think it'll always be skewed—our self-perception—because we're unhappy with our bodies. I mean, why else would this be happening? As much as I try to convince myself that I am beautiful and fit and not overweight, I still see the pudgy teenager in the mirror, poking at her fat and indulging in bags of chips late at night, just because they taste good and there was no one to really impress, I suppose. sometimes, I wish I could go back to then and think about what I was doing... what the consequences would be 10 years later, with spending SO much of my time obsessing about something that's not important, and worse, how much I've hurt my health.

anyway, it's also difficult (and stupid!) to think "oh, am I thin/fat?" because in the mornings, you're naturally a little leaner than later. fitting into my clothes is always the most important, and I try to let that guide self-perception, rather than a mirror. I don't weigh myself. there aren't a lot of mirrors in this house. and most of them only go down to the waist. and when I brush my hair, I try to smile at myself. smiles are always gorgeous and they make me feel great.

Jayc_face's picture
I totally relate!

I totally relate! my thight have always been a triggar for me and it is a very confusing matter, im still in the thick of recovery, one minute il look in the mirror and be disgusted because iv put on about half a stone! and then other times il look andthink what the hell is your problem you look fine!, how do i know which is right?

I think standing in front of the mirror for too long is no good because you slowly grow in size in front of you and the longer you are there the more faults you pick with yourself.

But last time i tried to recover i went like 2 months without b/p and i started to feel much less worried about my size, i actualyl didn't feel THAT much bigger than when i was full on bulimic most of the time.....so just goes to show that whilst in the midst of bulimia i really think your image is distorted and you'll only know how distorted it was afterwoulds.

Its a tricky one, i think most can relate to.

i mean well freakin done for going soo long without b/ping its inspiring really is!, im amazed atm if i can make it through a day! haha!


All we are, is everything that's right!

caliwb's picture
thanks guys

I try not to weigh myself either, and for a while I tried just to "monitor" my weight by seeing how I fit into certain clothes. It didnt really work...But yes you're totally right that fat/thin shouldnt mean everything! I have so much trouble letting go and its exhausting, but then that fear of weight gain is still very strong. I know this is an issue I need to overcome, so I guess as long as I know its an issue, that is the most progress I can make so far.

I will definitely try and stay away from the mirror! its nice to know I'm not the only one with crazy mirrors :)

Irochka's picture
All I can see there are fat

All I can see there are fat and muscles. Too much fat and too much muscles.

"If you want it... so you should."

blondmi's picture
I can relate to what caliwb

I can relate to what caliwb is saying. My mother always used to tell me that what I see in the mirror and complain about, isn't actually true.
But in my mind, it is completely true! I figured she was telling me that to make me feel good, when in fact I just needed to excerise and diet in order to see what I WANTED to see in the mirror.
It isn't silly at all. My stomach is my trigger point. I can be completely good all day, then go home and see my stomach in the mirror, and spend the rest of the day eating and then getting rid of the food.
It isn't true - - but how do we see that? How do we see the REAL figure in the mirror? By just not looking, weighing, measuring ourselves?
I don't have the answer girl! Someday do you think we will figure this one out ???


caliwb's picture
distorted ideas in recovery

i have no idea, if or how we will figure this out. I can only say I hope so.

I totally understand about other people saying what you complain about isnt true. and any time I hear things like it, I always figure they are just saying that to make me feel ok. A friend of mine said to me recently that he thought my ideas of my body and recovery were distorted, and until that fixed itself I would never be really recovered. He is in no way a professional, or a recovered addict or doctor or anything like that, but that got me thinking...

If we stop obsessing about what we look like, will the "distorted" views and ideas go away? It's hard to know, cuz no one can point out how my vision is distorted...

lsalter's picture
i was thinking the same thing today..

My bf tells me all the time that when i look in the mirror he wishes I saw what he sees. He tells me that my perception of myself is totally distorted. My stomach is one of my worst triggers and I try as hard as i can to avoid the mirror to avoid a b/p. I don't know... I wish I could see my stomach for what it really is... If my image is distorted... It's taking it's toll on my relationship bad! If my bf touches it I freak out and that's now a trigger too. I feel so ashamed when he touches it coz it's hideous!I'm just new to recovery and hating my body is something I can't ever see changing. Not right now anyway!When people make nice comments about my body I get mad and full of rage coz I think they are lying! I can't stand people complimenting on my body....

a_suckerpunch's picture
Mirror Happy-

90% of the time i have no probs with what i see in the mirror at all, i mean, everyone wants to loose a few but its not as if i'm disgusted- I purge because i'm scared to death of hating my figure and GETTING fat and worry about what eveyone else thinks of me also.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

backslide_cyanide's picture
body dysmorphic disorder

body dysmorphic disorder. its a real thing. uma thurman and michael jackson had it. when you fixate on something and actually percieve it as looking different from how it really is.

nads's picture

I fear of gaining weight, because the weight that I am now is like my comfort place...it's terrible to think like this...to look in the mirror and just see a walking, bony skeleton! Why is it by seeing my rib bones and just feeling and seeing bones stick-out, make me feel "in control"! It's disgusting...and NOT who the REAL Nads is!
No more punishment or guilt for me!!! I've had enough and there's no reason or excuse for being like this. We all have choices, and it's about time we start thinking clearly/normally and making the right choices!
Life is not all about how we look...REALLY!

I'm sorry...just pouring out my heart here :)
Sure you all know exactly how I feel.

samsung1's picture
so true

I totally agree, life is not at all about what we look like. We have to realise that it's the person we are on the inside that counts. Our bodies are the vessels that carry us from place to place and allow us to live. So we should appreciate the bodies that we have, whatever they look like, and live full and happy lives.

I think we've all gotten ourselves too deeply into our addictions and have forgotten our basic human instincts to eat food for fuel instead of using it as a fix for something.

Obviously I know that it's much easier said than done but I'm just over 5 weeks b/p free and with each day that passes everything becomes clearer and clearer.

Keep strong xx

we are all unique and all deserve to love and be loved

lissamia4's picture
just disgusting

Somedays i look in the mirror and i think i look ok but i can look better. Other days i want to cry cause i feel like i look like a pig. Just oneday i want to look in the mirror and be happy with what i see. I feel like that day will never come though.

AKay's picture
Body embarrassment...

I am SO embarrassed by my body right now PRE recovery... I have become nothing but a lifeless limp bony thing, I feel. I have lost all my healthy muscle mass, I have zero ass at all, breasts shrunk immensely, my jeans don't fit right... UGH! I miss feeling fit and full of energy SOO much - I go out to a bar and get teased for being small and looking young, although I'm 23 - I already have a small frame but I' 5'5" which isn't THAT short, but honestly!

Also, my skin has dried out so much and I've lost color - I always have big bags under my eyes and have lost long-term focus. I feel like I look so sickly... don't want people to notice or take concern, at work especially because I don't want to have something like this tax my ability to perform or maintain my position, because I love it. :*(

I don't want to be large, or even more 'filled-out' than I am, but I just wish I could look more feminine and less like a pre-pubescent teen - so gross. I don't want people to notice or comment and just want to be happy and healthy SO badly.

Also, I know this because 95% of my friends are male - Men don't want to date girls, they want to date women!! ;) Healthy curves are good looking, I just can't bring myself to look in the mirror and believe that I have to work to that on myself???? What a long way to go...

"All is full of love" ~ Bjork

lara_87's picture
I am obsessed with checking

I am obsessed with checking out my stomach in the mirror... And I always feel it is huge and getting huger! It scares the hell out of me!


I am beginning to realise I do not judge other people by there appearance as much as I do myself. Actually, pretty and skinny people aren't even usually the nicest people to be around! I like REAL people and so the time has come to be the REAL me!

For the rest I see myself in the mirror... Someone who is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!!!

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday!

my day-to-day - living with - recovering from -battle against - BULIMIA

emi21's picture
I at first whe I was deeply

I at first whe I was deeply in my disorder picked myself apart and never appreciated anything about myself, no matter if anyone around me told me I was beautiful, I thought I was ugly. I also never liked being my own nationality. I always wanted to be someone else. But then I started seeing myself for who I really am during recovery. I opened up alot and let myself just be and so far its being an amazing journey. I still don't like many things about my physical appearance but thats part of life, I try to realize I am who I am, I was created with blonde hair, and blue eyes, and my hour glass figure and thats who I had to accept.

-Emi- love life, and be strong

wormyeyelid's picture

Surely you of all people (being a disordered eater) know that body size is no reflection on personality.

There's no good in preaching the importance of accepting body diversity if you're not going to respect thinner people too.

And can we please stop saying 'Men prefer curves anyway', because was it not body insecurities that contributed to our development of this deadly disease?

I'd never date a guy who only cared about my 'curves'. Beauty is skin-deep, I'm only attracted to people who can appreciate that.

chelsi323's picture

i agree with your comment about the "men prefer curves". it's not always true, but it hits me pretty hard.
i personally have very small breasts, but i guess medium sized hips and a round butt.
my bf loves that i have small breasts, but he complains that my butt is smaller than it used to be.
but he has always loved me for who i am, even when my weight shifts by 20 pounds.
i have just come to accept my body for what it is. i love my body whether i have a diminishing butt or not lol.

chelsi323's picture
i love it :)

surprisingly, during this last relapse, i didn't hate my body intensely like i did in the past. it was definately more of an emotional/mood type issue. the only time i really have an issue with the mirror is when i am bloated, which currently i am not, thank heavens! but i love what i see, and if i dont love certain parts, i have come to accept them as part of my Chelsiness. i take care of my body now, and i think my body shape and tone reflects that, and i am happy :)

claire_quest's picture
"accept them as part of my

"accept them as part of my chelsiness" *lol* i love that :)

chelsi323's picture
thanks! made it up myself :)

thanks! made it up myself :)

stellaluna's picture
all i see is fat fat fat, to

all i see is fat fat fat, to be bluntly honest. i can't stand to look at myself, it makes me get upset and cry.

faeriejayne's picture
I hate my reflection

I see a very big person in there and I want to break open myself and fly out somehow but I know I can't. Sometimes I become nauseated looking in the mirror. It has got to the point lately where I avoid the mirror altogether. It's really difficult when you cannot see yourself how others see you. I can't wait until the day when I will accept myself for who I am.

laceylane88's picture
what i see...

a pooch in my tummy. it never seems to go away. Fat arms. boobs that are too big... Its funny, because of my weight loss, i have lost several cup sizes but obviously, like weight, it just doesnt seems like enough. I see love handles. I think my tummy makes me feel fatter than anything else.

Angie Vldz
Angie Vldz's picture
i see big hips! i think of my

i see big hips! i think of my grandmother everytime i see them. ugh!!!! then i see a big belly, sometimes i like my boobs n sometimes i thnk they r just too small... i see wrinkles n im only 23 yrs old ha! i thought i was ok before my ed now i see someone else...


smile_smile_smile's picture
I see enormous thighs.

My thighs are huge, but no one else can see that. It makes me so angry when people tell me how "skinny" I am because I can't see it and it is really hard. I honestly don't know who to trust. My friends or the mirror. I usually end up trusting the mirror.

gomes2's picture
i c a...

girl who is ready 4 full recovery and is going 2 stop giving a fudgecicle if she gets a bit thicker during her first weeks of recovery...i know its just water retention (not cool, but i rather live through a few weeks of not being able to fit properly into my jeans than a lifetime of hell with my bulimic bitch)...just trying 2 b optimistic here! =)

emmalouise's picture
i don't like to look.

i don't like to look.


*Hope*'s picture
thunder thighs!

why cant i see curves as beauty!! and heathly! and normal!!!

XooXooX Peace XooXooX

xoxmandeex3's picture
huge thighs! bloated face.

huge thighs! bloated face. "if you can just lose 5 more pounds you'll be hot" is what i say everytime i look in the mirror. rediculous?

she_wolf's picture
if that's you in your display

if that's you in your display picture (which I'm assuming it is) you're gorgeous! And have a kickass tan :) xx

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