Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Readers questions: Dealing with comments on appearance

Hey izzy, i was just wondering about how to deal with other's comments?

I had a hospital admission for anorexia when i was 14 (and a few other for depression), I'm 18 now and my consultant is thinking about changing my diagnosis of anorexia to borderline personality disorder. That's just a bit of background.. anyway, i am hoping to apply for jobs soon as a healthcare worker, but my psychologist keeps saying that it's obvious from the way I look that I'm underweight and that the employers could assume things. But she also says that I'm always going to be a relatively low weight. Everything regarding eating is pretty much fine now - i don't ever restrict, do any behaviours and barely care about what i'm eating.. i just eat well to look after my body (i.e. my hair, skin etc) - with treats of course! Anyway, some of my friends and family say i look healthy/slim because i'm like 5'10 so naturally lanky. But today I went for a meeting at college and the woman i was speaking to (who didn't know i used to have an ed) was talking about a psychology uni course i'm interested in, and said "one of the modules is about eating disorders, but that may hit a bit too close to home for you maybe". Now i was quite shocked/confused. I also had a couple of people on a night out comment that i'm quite slim. I don't really see it/care about being slim, i just now feel mega self-conscious and worried that people think im still struggling with an ed. I just wanna get away from this ed... its not fair being well internally and people assuming otherwise! and i don't want this to impact my job. I don't really know what to do... because every time I gain weight, my body just wants to remain at the weight I am, and for once in my life I'm happy where I am/have been for a while now. Who do I listen to? Or do i just ignore everyone and go by my own instinct? 


Thanks so much. I read your blog all the time, i especially love the ones you put about the thoughts you have. I know it may be difficult to be honest on your blog about them but they definitely make me feel less alone!


First off, its great to hear that you are doing better and seem to have found balance with food. Personally i find it very rude for those people to have commented about your appearance, especially if they dont know you. As i see it, the only comments which you should really "listen to" when it comes to being "too skinny" or "overweight" is family or doctor or true friends/partner... because everyone else, they dont really know you or your background. I mean it is just as rude to tell someone to "eat a cheeseburger" as it is to tell someone "that they are too big and should go for a run". If you know that you are healthy and your family and doctor know that you are healthy as well as blood tests and such being ok, then it shouldnt matter so much what others say or think. The important thing is that YOU are happy and healthy in your body. People often think that being skinny is the best but those who are very skinny can still get alot of negative comments and told that they are too skinny and can feel just as insecure in their bodies as someone who is overweight, but most people dont realise that. If you know yourself that you are healthy and happy then dont let other peoples comments bother you... unfortunatly there will always be people who comment on appearance. If you are happy within yourself and feel confident then it is easier to not let those comments get to you as much. And regarding jobs, legally they arent allowed to discriminate and not give you a job based on your appearance... if you have all the qualifications and are right for the job then you should get the job, and hopefully they realise that as well... though unfortunatly people can make up excuses as to why a person isnt qualified when in reality it is just discrimination based on appearance. But in all honesty, you are appearance shouldnt affect your chance of getting a job aslong as you have all the right qualifications and traits for the job.


If you feel confident and happy then that will show as well. If you are already very skinny and then also very shy/held back/not so confident then that can show and that can affect things like applying for jobs negatively... usually personality and showing your personality will leave a longer and better impression.

I know it's tough to deal with comments especially when they are negative ones. But first off, if you get ones from strangers when you are out then realise that 1) They dont know you, 2) They might be drunk 3) what should their opinion matter?
And if anyone else comments on your appearance - and it is not in a helpful matter or caring matter - then ask yourself 1) Was their comment necessary 2) Does their opinion matter? 3) Why should i let that comment get to me or bring me down? It is your body and you should know best and once again, those closest to you are the ones you should listen to. And if you ever find that a comment is too much, then just plain ask the person "whether their comment was necessary or helpful?" that can often shock them! But of course sometimes when it is comments with implied meaning then it can feel worse because they arent saying something right out, they are instead implying it... but instead if that ever happens again say that you are healthy and fine.

I know this might not be the best answer, but i would listen to yourself. If you feel the need to gain more weight, go for it, it definitely wouldnt be negative. But if you feel fine and are healthy with the way your body is right now, then feel confident and work on self esteem so that other peoples comments dont bother you!

If anyone else has any advice on this comment below :)






3 comments:

  1. I was interested in this reader's question, and in the answer. Thank you both.
    I don't have the same thing, but there are parts of it that speak to me too --
    the thing about comments, feeling misperceived, people misunderstanding one's history of mental illness etc ... I think nowadays I tend to think things are so complicated that it is unrealistic to expect people to understand, often I don't even fully understand myself! People are often quite crude about things in mental health areas; one just has to sit lightly to it and, as Izzy says, be confident in who you are and what matters.
    As for the question about whether there really is a problem with weight or not: I don't know. I don't know why your consultant said she thought you would always be at a low weight - it is quite common for consultants to think that people who've recovered will always be at a low weight, but it isn't always grounded in anything terribly reliable. I also don't know what exactly it means when you say your body wants to stay where it is when you try to put on weight -- bodies are funny things and they can learn to be comfortable at different weights, not always because it is where they would ideally choose to be, but because they've grown accustomed to the kinds of strain you put on them and they are trying to do what is best in anticipation of fresh strain.
    Thank you, both to the reader and to Izzy. And good luck with your work - I think it is great that you have a sense of direction in what you want to do, and it will help the people you work with too if you work through the social challenges that come with a history of mental illness.

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  2. Hi, thank you both Izzy and the person that commented! You're both right, i think it's a case of ignoring them and going by my own gut feeling. But i guess it's just frustrating when you're just trying to get away from your history/ think you look better and people say otherwise.. but its understandable in the contexts you put it in. I don't really want to listen to what my therapist is predicting about my body; its not hers and i won't even be seeing her for ages. Maybe she thinks im worried about gaining weight, I don't know, but I think i'll steer the conversation from that subject because it doesn't really fit in with whats going on for me anymore. As for the weight thing, i.e. every time I gain say 3-5kg by consciously trying to eat more (thinking more about what I should eat to gain) and then don't put so much attention on it, a couple of months later i'll be back to where i was before, but without restricting at all! its really odd. Thank you for commenting by the way, I love the last bit you said. I really hope getting through the social challenges will help with working with others (it'll make it all worth it eh!!) I feel a lot better about it now.. thanks both of you :-)

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    Replies
    1. and thank you for the thanks :-)
      good luck X

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