I went to a dress fitting the other day and it’s kind of, ever so slightly… diminished my confidence. I mean, what little confidence I had built up from making big improvements in shoving my Eating Disorder out of the forefront of my mind. I’m aware that someone I know and love very much might read this , as she’s directly involved, and I hope she won’t take offence. This is a blog about Eating Disorders and body image, and I have to write about this particular problem a) I’ve got to get it off my chest and b) I’m sure I’m not alone.
I went for a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, and me and a pregnant woman swapped dresses – I’m not even kidding. The depressing thing is most of my weight isn’t even on my stomach. Truth be told my dress was too big up top, so we swapped and it fit in some areas but has to be altered on my thighs. I was stood in the shop, people walking around, in a strapless dress, showing my upper arms in front of people I’ve never met – something I have never done because my arms are horrendously fat – and I felt like the ugliest duckling in a room full of swans.
To make it worse, when me and one of the bridesmaid’s swapped dresses, in order to save time the seamstress took 2 of us in the changing room and whipped both of our dresses off. She, the pregnant woman, had leggings on (why the fuck didn’t I think of that?!) but I didn’t. I stood in my underwear, waiting for a dress to be put over my head and shimmied down.
We both laughed at the situation – she has no idea of my Eating Disorder or body image issues – and I jokingly tried to cover up as much of myself as I possibly could. At the time the only thing I could have done is laugh, and it lightened the mood, but inside I was panicking.
“Enough. Too much. I am done with this.” I wanted to run out of the shop, into a newsagent, grab some grade a binge food and get as far away from reality as possible. I couldn’t be happy for the bride or the other bridesmaid and I lost sight of the what we were there for. My friend, who is wonderful, is getting married to the guy she loves and it’s lovely. I’m so happy for her, I want her day to be perfect and I want to shut my mouth, shut off my thoughts, and enjoy the process of being a bridesmaid. I want to ensure that my friend gets everything she’s worked so hard for, and most importantly, witness a beautiful day where she marries the person she’s going to be with for the rest of her life.
I want to be ‘relaxed’ like Annie from Bridesmaids.
I wish more than anything, more than being slim for the wedding (!!) that I could stop worrying about my body and do this. Unfortunately, I can’t shut off my thoughts. I can, however, work hard to lose just a bit of weight before the wedding, especially on my arms which might possibly (oh my god, the thought makes me cringe with shame) be on show. I can get a fake tan, get a mani/pedi and get eyelash extensions… in other words, I can try to make myself feel as beautiful as possible… despite my horrific body.
I know this isn’t just an Eating Disorder thing: how severe is your negative body image?