Before we get started – this is not an invitation to be an asshole. Thank you in advance for either being respectful or being quiet.
Okay, so I think we have all heard of body dysmorphic disorder…you know, that thing that some people accuse skinny chicks of when they talk about being fat too much? A comment from one of my twitter friends about needing to lose baby weight got me started on a train of thought. Do you think it’s possible to have REVERSE BDD? Like, if people with BDD have an “excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features”, reverse BDDers would have no concern whatsoever about an actual defect of their physical features. Except, in this case, I’m talking about weight, so let’s not call it a defect (hells no). I’m replacing “defect” with “characteristic” since I’m talking as a matter of fact with no negative or positive connotations whatsoever.
What I’m trying to say (poorly) is that I think that part of the reason I have been carrying around 35-55 pounds of extra weight since 2006 is that, when I look in the mirror, I don’t see those 35-55 pounds. For the most part, I think I look pretty average, despite the fact that I AM overweight (5 out of 5 doctors agree). Every once in a while I will catch a glimpse in a mirror or see an especially unflattering picture and I am genuinely shocked by my appearance. I think it’s really easy for me to write it off as bad lighting or a weird angle and just delete the picture and move on. I carefully edit the image of myself in my head the same way I carefully select which pictures I will actually post on my blog or on Facebook.
I think some of the contributing factors to my reverse BDDism are:
1) I gained 60 pounds over the space of a year and a half, which is pretty darn quick (caused by change in activity and stress levels and lots of pizza, not some medical condition your father's brother’s nephew’s cousin's former roommate had).
2) I’m still a skinny chick in my head, just like I’m still only 28 years old.
3) At 5’8”, I can carry extra weight better than someone who is shorter.
4) I’ve never been one to be overly concerned about any aspect of my physical appearance, so why should weight be any different?
5) I’ve been pregnant twice since I gained the weight, and all pregnancy long people tell me how great I look (I lose weight when pregnant thanks to the 9 months of barfing).
The friend who got me thinking about this said something to the effect of “four years is probably long enough”. As we are entering 2012, it’s SIX years for me. Six years is a long time to have no urgency whatsoever to lose weight, especially when considering how much I would have to lose to get back to my starting place. It’s a long time to be in denial about the fact that my weight is causing my knees to hurt, my heart to race, my clothes to not fit right, etc. etc.
I have no interest in going on a diet – I love food and don’t think you need to completely deprive yourself of the things you love to be a healthier person. There is, however, lots of room to make better food-related decisions, so I am going to start taking (baby) steps in that direction.
I do have an interest in exercising, but not necessarily the motivation - you saw how quickly I jumped on an excuse to quit 30 day shred. I know for a fact that I feel significantly better when I work out regularly, so I’m not really sure why it is so hard to get the kick in the pants to just DO IT. I think I need to lose the reverse BDD, gain a realistic perspective of what my body looks like, and add the desire to LOOK better to the desire to FEEL better. That’s kind of backwards and screwy, isn’t it?
So, 2012. Eat less, exercise more = goal #1. HOW VERY ORIGINAL.