National Eating Disorders Association

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Stretch Marks

I have gained a lot of weight in recovery, and my body dysphoria is so bad I can't tell how I look. Today I noticed some stretch marks on my thighs. I am so disappointed in myself. I want my fall sport to be done so bad so I can go back to my familiar behaviors and not have to worry about letting my team down. I just started school, and the comparison to other people is so bad. My BMI is not overweight, but I look around and just feel so disgusting and horrible.

It sounds like the body

It sounds like the body dysmorphia is feeling really strong right now. It’s good that you’re able to name that the distortion is ED related. Are you seeing a therapist about this? Sometimes just having that outside perspective can be so helpful.
And you know that starving yourself and giving into the ED urges won’t help, even if you aren’t in your sport. I’m glad that you have that to hold you accountable for now, but you deserve nourishment and care no matter what. Every single day. How do you plan on protecting your recovery after? Do you have a team who’s been helping you so far?
Weight restoration can be so hard and so terrifying. But your life is beyond worth it. Your freedom is worth it. You’re allowed to feed your body what it needs AND what it wants. All the time. Bodies change. And that’s okay. That’s normal. You are healing. Allow yourself to just be. You don’t have to love your body to respect it and give it the care it needs. Maybe if you just focus on that, over time, you’ll start to develop compassion for yourself and the amazing body you inhabit. We hear all too often in society about how we have to “love ourselves” and our bodies, but that is not a prerequisite for care. Sometimes it works the other way around. And even if it is hard right now, you still deserve that care. You still deserve that nourishment.

It's strange, because I weigh

It's strange, because I weigh more now than I have in many MANY years, and yet I feel so good. I have felt the best I've felt in a long time. I actually don't feel like i'm going to pass out all the time. Sometimes I feel like I look small, and other times I feel the opposite. I think it's time to start loving my body. Life is just too short for this sometimes. Today I spent hours agonizing over whether I was going to eat a certain food as a side with my dinner. It was back and forth, and I would go from, "I can eat this, I have permission." To, "You will never be pretty...etc.."
Yeah life can be pretty hard sometimes, and I still feel so far away from just being... normal with food

Me too-what a coincidence?

Gee, I bet you aren't the only girl out there in the world who feels like this. I even got stretch marks when I had lost a bit of weight. Keep recovering, and try to focus on how you might feel in clothes that are gentle fitting. Try not to even look in the mirror if it makes you feel upset. You mentioned a school sport. What sport do you participate in. I was a swimmer and a gymnast and both types of apparel for both types of sports made me self conscious too.

Take care and be healthy.

I do soccer. Its been really

I do soccer. Its been really hard wearing the uniform because it really clings to my stomach and ever since recovery i've been pretty bloated. I always try to think that every 1/10 people have an ED, so there are others on my team that are also struggling. Man, and when we have away games, its just so hard to eat. I have to eat on the bus and everyone else is eating, but I just feel so watched and the person next to me is seeing everything I eat. Someday I hope I can just go places and not worry about food. Like just go on a lake trip with friends and not worry about eating the whole time.

The longer you keep at it and

The longer you keep at it and keep nourishing yourself, the easier it’ll become. I know it’s so difficult to see right now, and it seems so far away. But recovery is possible. And you are worth it. You are so incredibly and strong for eating despite these fears. EDs really warp our thoughts, but the more we practice “opposite action” and don’t give in, the quieter those thoughts become. I do believe some day you won’t be so worried about food and you’ll be able to enjoy snacks and meals just like many of your friends and teammates. Just keep working. You’ll get there. You can do this