It occurred to me today that if you read all of my articles, you probably think I am the most screwed up, sickly person alive. I’m really not, but I do have a number of things “wrong” with me. One of them is that I think I’m fat and ugly, and no one can convince me otherwise. This is caused by a form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Why Do I Think I’m Ugly?
Growing up, I was an unattractive, gangly, skinny kid with wild hair. I was made fun of a lot, even by my own siblings. My sisters were beautiful, my brother was handsome, and I grew up believing I was ugly. When I look in a mirror or see pictures of myself, all I can see are the flaws.
My Bout With Anorexia
I was 21 when I had my first son. I was so afraid of gaining weight during pregnancy that I actually lost body fat. I weighed 5 pounds less after giving birth than I did when I got pregnant. Immediately after he was born, I decided that I was fat, and almost killed myself trying to be thinner. One day, I collapsed and was hospitalized. At the time, I weighed 97 pounds on a 5-feet-5-inch frame. The minimum ideal weight for my size and frame was 114 pounds. I recovered from trying to starve myself, but did not get above 110 pounds until I was in my 30s.
Fighting the Urge to Starve
Up until I was in my 50s, I never let myself get over a size 8. If my clothes got a little tight, I would stop eating for awhile until I lost the weight. I’m not sure exactly what triggered my massive weight gain, but at some point, I just quit caring how I looked. I stopped exercising, started eating a lot of junk food and gained until I was at 160 pounds. By now I had shrunk to 5-feet-4-inches in height, so my top ideal weight was 140.
Depression and Lupus Compound the Problem
Depression set in, and already thinking I was fat and ugly, I stopped trying to make myself look decent. I stopped wearing makeup, coloring my hair and shopping for clothes. As my physical problems restricted my activity more and more, it became almost impossible to lose weight so I gave up. Because I am ashamed of how I look, I have nearly become a recluse.
I am over 60 now, and with my thyroid problems and lupus, losing weight and getting in shape will be an uphill battle. I still intend to try, but I will go slowly and concentrate on health, not weight or clothing sizes. The hardest part is knowing that no matter how thin I get or how small my clothes are, I will always see someone fat and ugly in the mirror.
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