Last night my dance team performed, which was super awesome and fun.
However, before the dance performance, when I put on my black performance/competition pants, I had a body image freak out. Love handles and more were hanging over the top of my pants, pants that months ago almost needed a belt to keep them on my tiny waist. I actually like how much better my butt and legs fill out the pants now, but I’m still having difficulty embracing my new, fuller stomach. I immediately had impulses to empty that stomach…mostly by wanting to skip my pre-performance dinner and planning ways that I could restrict in the future. And, I probably did the imperfect-for-recovery thing of eating less than a full serving of dinner, even though it was one of those tasty Dream Dinners meals I mentioned in a blog entry weeks ago. Ben and I had made manicotti that smelled so good even our roommate wanted a taste. And, it was super easy to make because I had already prepared it at the Dream Dinners store; Ben and I popped it into the oven while we watched The Way Way Back, a movie that made me want to spend all summer at a water park.
I’m really trying to avoid thinking about how unappealing my stomach was to me in my black performance pants. The team had also picked out performance shirts that I had not yet seen or tried on and I was worried that the “rolls” of my stomach would be visible with whatever top they had chosen. I wanted to run out and by spanx as a temporary fix. But, I ended up looking amazing in the top (without spanx) and people watching my dance team performance would still probably label me as “slender” instead of the rolly polly mess I felt like earlier in the evening.
It makes me sad how quickly I can fall back into a pattern of judging my physical appearance and wanting to immediately fix it by restricting food or jumping to more exercise. This whole process of recovery is loooong! That said, when I got home and was still hungry, I enjoyed the last of the Mochi ice cream we had in the freezer, and I conquered a breakfast burrito for breakfast this morning. I’m still probably going to focus on some more ab work at the gym, which is going to take longer because I am not as motivated to exercise as I once used to be (which is awesome!), but I can eat full meals in the meantime. And so what if I have an imperfect stomach anyway, I keep trying to tell myself. I know I am the one judging it the harshest. As I learn more self-acceptance, self-love, and self-compassion, I may even be proud of having some love handles for how much better I feel overall than I did when I was too thin.