Proud2Bme | I Am Stronger Than My Critics

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I Am Stronger Than My Critics

By Katrin Alyss--In my sophomore year of high school, my birth mother told me that an outfit I wanted to wear was off-limits. Her exact words were, “You look like a bag lady in that outfit. This outfit is meant for skinny girls.” It was a one-piece, pinstriped jumper with ties around the waist. I felt good in it, but she insisted that I change my outfit.

Trigger warning: Descriptions of eating disordered behavior and emotional abuse. 

It really hurt me that the woman who was supposed to love me and encourage me said this to me. It made me feel that if I wasn’t stick thin, then I wasn’t valued as a daughter. The outfit that she had me change into hid my figure. The message I received that day was that if I wasn’t very thin, I wasn’t worthy of wearing cute clothes.

Another time, when I was around 14, I was in the fitting room. My birth mother was stating that the girls from a fictional TV show were a perfect size, and they were older than I was. She was comparing me to imaginary people in a fictional series and wanted me to look like them. It was an unfair comparison! I felt like saying, “if you like them so much then why don’t you adopt them and give me up so I can find someone who loves me and appreciates me?”

She once showed me a photo of me taken at a friend’s lake home.  She said, “Look how fat you are there. You should be ashamed of yourself looking like that in that bathing suit!”

When I was getting my wedding veil fitted, I wore a loose summer dress; even though she was sick then, she told me that I was fat. She said, “You need to lose the weight before your wedding!” Again, it made me feel that I had to be very thin in order to be seen as worthy and attractive.

In November 2014, when I reached a very small size, I could hear that voice in my head saying, “You reached that size, now let’s go for a smaller size so you can look good for society’s standards!” Luckily, I knew that size would be a no-no with my therapist, so I had to adjust my goals.

Even this past November at a hotel, wearing a bikini, I heard the critical voice. This time, I tossed it aside for the voice telling me that I was at a stable weight. Now, when I think I hear the voice of ED, I look at a notecard I keep in my wallet, reminding me that I don’t want to lose more weight because that could easily send me to the hospital.

At the bottom of the card, I also have what my therapist would say to me so that I can focus on that voice of assurance and kindness, rather than the critical, negative voice. I hope that one day I won’t need this card, but it is there as long as I do!

For recovery resources and treatment options, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237.

About the blogger: Katrin lives in Roseville MI, with her best friend and life partner. She loves to go to Cedar Point during the summer, where she can ride the biggest coasters. At home she takes care of her two kitties, Nefi and Horatio. Katrin loves to help others fight this battle called the eating disorder and hopes to inspire others through her writing and truthfulness. Her hobbies include writing, painting T-shirts, dancing and spending time with her husband and friends.

Also by Katrin:

A Winding Road to Recovery

Recovery is More Important Than a Fitness Tracker

Shattering ED’s Carnival Mirror

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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