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The Dreaded Swimsuit January 3, 2014

Filed under: Body Image,Exercise — gohopchick @ 11:55 am

Over my holidays I’ve been devouring blogs written by bariatric patients. It’s been massively inspiring to read their stories of transformation.

Yesterday I was reading this one

And o boy did I ever find it challenging! Like the author of the blog, I have knee issues, due to my weight. The doctor says that swimming and water aerobics would be the best for me.


That means a swimsuit, right?

In my Eating Disorder program, as part of our body image therapy we were challenged to do things we avoid doing due to our negative feelings about our bodies.

“You could go swimming in a swimsuit in a public pool,” Michelle, my psychologist encouraged us.

“I don’t even own a swimsuit!” I replied.

“Well then it’s time you bought one.” she countered.

So I bought one. I’m a proud owner of a swimsuit. It sits oh so happily in my top drawer with my other articles of clothing that will never see the light of day.

But after reading Holly’s blog, maybe I can summon the courage to dig it out.



Mirror Mirror on the Wall October 9, 2010

Filed under: Body Image — gohopchick @ 12:57 pm

Here’s a skit I wrote for a body image workshop…

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

(2 women face each other, one holding a picture frame in front of her.  The other is wearing black)

Girl:               Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

Mirror:             Why, Drew Barrymore, of course!  Especially since she lost those last ten pounds for the Cover Girl ads.  She’d certainly been packing that load around quite long enough!  But, she made it happen, and now look at her!  Who knew that the little cutie with pigtails from ET would grow up to be such a looker?

Girl:                 Sorry I asked.  So, how are things looking today? (poses in front of mirror)

Mirror:             Look honey, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you.  I’m not going to lie to you like that rearview mirror in your car that you use, you know, the one where you position your face low enough to hide those chipmunk cheeks, and think about how skinny your temples are?  Nice eyes!  You think men are looking at your eyes when they talk to you? (snort) Not bloody likely!

Oh, waitaminit!  You put dressing right on your salad last night, didn’t you?  Instead of dipping your fork in it before each bite, like they told you on the Dr. Oz show.  You’re lumpier.  Definitely lumpier, in fact, I see a whole new roll developing, and baby, I’m not talking about photography here!  How many times do I have to tell you?  Dip, don’t pour!  A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Now, spin around, and give me the side profile. (woman turn)  Oh, ouch!  Let’s not and say we did. I don’t know where you inherited that backside from, maybe Tim Hortons was a distant relative.  You’ve definitely got lots of junk in the trunk – well, forget trunk, you’ve got a whole Chevy Cavalier goin’ on back there!

All right, face me again.  Let’s have another look at you.  Well, I’m sorry to say, honey, that gravity has gotten the better of you.  You are definitely in need of a little more support!  But we’ve got a little quandary here.  Not sure if we want to lift and separate – you might knock somebody out with those babies.  Maybe we should just strap you down with a good minimizing sports bra.

Now chin up, sweetheart. (reaches out to lift chin, but mirror frame begins to tip)  Here, hold this (woman holds up one side of the frame while mirror examines her face, slowly turning it from side to side).  We only want to see one of them, chins I mean.   Let’s see.  Yup.  Jowly.  You’re definitely getting jowly.  You know, like those wrinkly bull dogs, but without the cute and fuzzy factor.  Can you suck in those cheeks a bit?  Good thing you’ve got decent hair – you’ve got to have something going for you. (mirror holds on to frame with both hands again)

All I can say is, thank God you’re wearing black!  Could you imagine if you were wearing a floral print?  You’d look like a couch!  Black is the way to go – it’s very slimming, you know, and believe you me, you need all the help you can get!  There you go.  The whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Honesty is the best policy, in my opinion!

Woman:        (sighs).  Thanks, I guess.  (and dejectedly walks away)


PGH July 30, 2010

Filed under: Body Image,Physical Recovery — gohopchick @ 11:45 am

I had the perfect program.

Really perfect.  I mean really.  Fine tuned.  Tweaked and adjusted.

I knew how to combine carbs, proteins and fats for maximum benefit and minimum weight impact.  If I didn’t get the results I wanted, I adjusted, and then adjusted some more, micromanaging each bite.

I had the perfect exercise plan – weight lifting three times a week, cardio five times a week, yoga whenever I could fit it in.  I was on a first name basis with all the staff at the gym.  The fitness club was my sanctuary, and I revelled in it a couple hours every day.

I was the perfect size- finally.  Well almost perfect.  Maybe if I lost just another five pounds it would be perfect.

I knew how much I weighed.   At different times of day.  I knew how much you weighed, or could give it a pretty good guess, just by looking.  I would have made a killing as a weight guesser at a carnival.  Size six, right?  One hundred thirty six or therabouts?

I knew where all the mirrors were at home, work, on the way to work, out shopping, so I could look at myself, make sure I still looked perfect, marvel at the changes, congradulate myself, compare how I looked, size wise, with everyone else.

Perfect program, perfect size, perfect health.

And I had no idea how I was going to maintain it.  It felt like trying to hold a beachball under the water – everything was okay so long as I applied consistent pressure, but the minute I let go – BOOOOF!

I found myself wondering if this is what happy, joyous and free was supposed to feel like.  Maybe not.

And then God spoke to me on the radio.  Well actually, some health professional spoke, but God just used his voice.

“We’re obsessed in our culture with perfect diet and perfect health.  What on earth is the matter with pretty good health?”

Pretty good health – PGH, eh?  Instead of perfect?  I don’t have to the the thinnest, the fittest, the shining example of health and recovery?   What a concept!

Maybe I’ll put that concept into practice.  Perfectly, of course.


Ok, I feel thinner already July 29, 2010

Filed under: Body Image — gohopchick @ 11:45 am

I woke up feeling thinner.


Body dysmorphia is one of the more bizarre facets of my illness.  I can look in the mirror one minute and feel like a million bucks – slim and svelte and all that.  Then in a blink my arms get weighted and flabby, my butt billows, and my jowls sprout.  I’m the incredible morphing woman.

Losing one hundred pounds can be very disorienting. I still have no idea what size I am.  And clothing sizes are no help either.  I was doing backflips when I fit into a size THREE at Reitmans, only to find out about vanity sizing, and struggling to fit into a ten at H&M.  Can’t fit into either of those now, as I’m in my, um, more relaxed fit clothes.

But it’s amazing how a day of clean abstinence can skinnify me in my minds eye.  Surely I’ve lost a pound – or maybe even ten!  Thank God I ditched the scale a ways back, so that particular type of insanity is unavailable to me at present.  All I have is me, my clothes, and my mirror.

In my teen years and in the height of my disease, I used to stand in front of my reflection and spew the most hateful thoughts in my direction.  Fat cow!  Slob!  Disgusting!  I used to fantasize about taking knives and hacking off the droopy bits.

My mirror and I, and my body and I, are on somewhat better terms these days.  This morning I checked myself out in my new and totally adorable nightie I bought for my cottage trip (lucky, lucky husband!).  Sexy and sweet!

Then I stripped, stood naked in front of my reflection (not gonna show you a pic of that one!), looked into my eyes, and said, “You are beautiful, strong, and beloved, and you are OK.”

I think that’s the crux of it all.  I want desperately to be OK, whatever that is, and I have no idea how to define it.  Is OK fitting into my size ten H&M pants again?  Is OK getting through the day without binging?  Or am I always OK, no matter what?

Hmm, food for thought.  Just for today, I am OK, no matter what.


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