It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that this is a side effect that I am dealing with. So here I am putting it out there. BIG and BOLD.
I am suffering from body dysmorphic disorder.
According to WebMD "Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see."
To be honest- I have probably struggled with this for the majority of my high school/ college years. But it has been hitting me this week that when I look in the mirror- I don't recognize who I am. It also has occurred to me that when I look at pictures of myself from before my surgery I don't recognize that woman either.
My doctor warned me that I might not have an idea of how I look for a while. I can relate to that. If you follow me on instagram or read last weeks blog- you know that I have been battling with the fact that when I walk into a room I instantly analyze it to see if I am the biggest woman in the room. Its almost like I am checking to see what the competition looks like. But the reality is there is... no competition. There are no competitors. These women are beautiful in every way- I shouldn't look at them this way. This whole thing I have no control over. I don't know how to make it stop. Its an obsessive ritual.
Looking in the past...
I can't really put into words the way it feels to look back on my wedding photos and not recognize the woman that is standing next to my husband. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the love. I remember being surrounded by every person in our lives that was important to us.
I remember laughing and crying hysterically at my best friends Maid of Honor speech. But my reality is that I don't recognize myself. Because of this new warped vision that I can't escape- my heart is shattered that I can't relive that moment through my pictures.
However- I know that I do love my husband. Its been crazy growing through this experience with him but I couldn't imagine doing this without him.
Same time last year....
This exact same time last year I took my little cousin to see Charlie Pouth. I won tickets through work. It was her 2nd concert ever and we had so much fun even though we didn't know much about him.
Fast forward to this year... I win tickets through work again while she is here and I take her to see Sam Smith. We took this picture a couple of days ago on Friday.
When I look back on last year I have a hard time even recognizing myself. Same venue. Same little cousin (might as well be my little sister). Different concert. Different Me.
These are just a couple of examples that I have been struggling with. The main thing that I struggle with is wanting to strive for perfection. I am a little vain now. I understand that. I desire definition in my muscles in a way that I never thought I ever would. Since I still am in the beginning stages of my journey- I still cannot see any of the things that i desire. I have sagging skin. and lots of it. I am embarrassed of my arms. I am embarrassed of my mid section. I am embarrassed of my legs. I often will stand in front of the mirror and analyze myself before I take a shower. It has gotten to the point to where Andy will just remind me to stop picking myself apart. He knows I could stay in front of the mirror for hours. Staring. Analyzing. Picking every detail of my new body apart.
Trying this whole Self Love thing...
A couple of weeks ago I took my first spin class. I was terrified. I didn't stand out as a rock star in the class. I was around what felt like 10000 other people who were way more fit than I was. Anytime you try something new you never know how it is going to turn out. I honestly felt like a fool. Honestly after my first class I couldn't walk for an entire week. I walked out not knowing if I would ever clip into a bike again.
Then- I met Cody.
Honestly Cody has one of the most amazing souls I think I have ever encountered. During this class he preached self love, kindness to others and to yourself, and more importantly confidence. Little did I know that I would soon be regularly attending. Cody's love for spin and the people that he interacts with on a daily basis is infectious. His personality and love radiates from the podium to the rest of the riders in his class. He knows almost each person by name and will give everyone shout outs of encouragement through the class. There are two parts of Cody's class that are my all time favorites. Every class Cody does a self ride. This is a ride that is just you vs. you. The lights are out. The music is up, and the focus is real. My favorite thing that Cody says during this time is bring yourself back to your why. Why are you taking his class. What are your goals? Why are you working so hard?
The second thing I love is at the end of class when we are stretching - he has everyone put their arms up and leave room for a "big fat I love you" in between.
I know I have only been taking Cody's class for a month now. I have been trying to practice this whole self love thing that Cody preaches every class. I have been regularly going 2 times a week since my first class. Its infectious. I can't stop going. I have become obsessed with riding on Trap Queen Tuesdays and Saturday mornings. Cody's weekly affirmations and self love hype have helped me gain confidence in myself. It honestly is helping me get over this weird warped perception of myself.
To Cody- Thank you for your light, love, kindness, and friendship. I am so thankful for you and your soul- you will never know how grateful I am that our path's crossed. Here's to being Juiceland Trap Queens for eva.
To everyone in my real life or that follows my blog- thank you for being patient with me and following along with my journey. Please continue to be patient-Even though I'm struggling through this image issue but I hope you can see I am so full of joy. My heart is so full because of each of you.