My Ever-Changing Body
This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Megan Haskins. Megan has completed intensive programming at The Emily Program and is a wife and mommy to triplets.
I'm kind of upset by this truth. "MY EVER-CHANGING BODY." In fact, it actually makes me quite mad.
I remember being taught in grade school that our bodies were going to go through a dramatic change. It's called puberty. We were made aware that as girls our boobs would begin to grow, we would start something called a menstrual cycle, and boys would start to chase us, tease us, and want to kiss us because we were beginning to look like women. Whelp. This DID happen as they said it would but it happened to me way before anyone else in my grade. I felt screwed over because at an early age I had already strayed from the norm, my body didn't follow what was taught.
My body must not have been listening. My boobs began to grow, I started my period and had to carry around feminine products in elementary school. Boys didn't chase me. They didn't tease me. They didn't even want to kiss me. They, instead, ignored me completely. (Side note: in high school the boys in my grade were asking me if my younger sister was available. Ouch.)
So, herein lies the beginning of "MY EVER CHANGING BODY."
As I quickly discovered, MY BODY was not going to grow and go through puberty with my friends. The educators had lied to me, which made me feel different, odd, abnormal, and like the black sheep. Insecurities were heightened but I just told myself that I have to get through this awkward stage and then there won't be any more surprises with my body.
They failed to mention in 5th grade health class that once through puberty our bodies continue to change...throughout high school, our 20's, our 30's, and I'm assuming our 40's and 50's! This is what got me stuck.
Enter ED (my eating disorder).
I so badly wanted to keep a 15 year old body (not mine but other girls'). I didn't like my body because I went through that chunky, awkward stage. But I tried so hard to get my body like everyone else's and then, once achieved in college through ED symptoms and behaviors, I tried everything to keep it that way. Well, NEWS FLASH! Bodies change no matter how hard we try to control what size we are or what we look like. No one told me this! I thought that after having my babies (God bless my triplets!!) my body would, over time, bounce back to what it was like in my 20's. Well, another NEWS FLASH! It didn't and it won't! I am now 30 and I have the body of a 30 year old. This isn't a bad thing and it's not a good thing. It's a neutral thing, part of growing up and living. I wish someone would have taught us this in that 5th grade classroom. I left puberty with naivety and hope...hope for what wasn't truth.
A huge part of my journey through eating disorder treatment was coming to the realization that I can't have the body of a 15 year old anymore and that it's okay to look my age and look like a momma of three, eh hem, of triplets :) This seems like a DUH I'm sure for most people but it was one of my biggest revelations that allowed me to drop some chains. Our bodies never stop changing and in order to embrace life we have to embrace the current body we are in. It allows us to run, walk, jump, laugh, smile, and carry babies. Why damage our bodies just because it's doing what it's supposed to do? Change.