It is quite hard to want to be back in shape when you’ve been away from it for so long. My phobias and shame got in my way. But this is my journey back to being me.
Poor Unfortunate Soul
Keeping an entry online of what I do to get back on track is challenging and intimidating. Today was my first day to slowly get back on track. You see, a while ago, I hurt my knee by falling directly on it the kneecap. Weeks went by, and I fell on it again. From shame to maybe I can one day at a time telling you my progress but first, let’s go back to the beginning.
That wound remained for a long while. However, I didn’t let it dictate my way of life. I actually went for long walks, which is what I love the most.
I could walk for hours! I used to walk thirty-forty minutes before breakfast with my dog, Carey, and one of the same lengths after dinner. Every Saturday, it would be those two walks plus a two-hour-long one with my husband and dog.
It was magical, and all the weight I had accumulated over the years, not knowing I had IBS, was just melting off of me. But the pain from the wound slowly settled in, and walks got shorter. I barely ate back then, I was lucky to meet a thousand calories, which was why I melted so fast, but I was okay and felt so healthy.
No One Knows How Far I’ll Go
The truth about me is that I get in my head fast. I often tell myself how lazy I am, but I guess it’s easier than acknowledging how terrified I became. I was shamed all my life about my appearance, even back when I was healthy and quite slim as a child to my teens.
I was compared with others, which had me do the same at three years old. Yes, I remember the first time like it was yesterday. It stuck with me. I wore clothing to hide. When my grandpa passed away, I developed multiple mental disorders that were there but sleeping.
Those mental disorders are too many to innumerate, but long story short, I have a fear of eating, cibophobia, and a fear of being seen, known as scopophobia. Raised with the shame of one’s appearance can do that to someone. Because of my IBS, I was afraid to be sick anywhere I would go if I ate. Because of my shame, I don’t want to be anywhere in public.
The laziness, I guess, is just a pretext not to say aloud that I have phobias that are paralyzing.
Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?
With scopophobia, it’s hard to take walks without someone seeing me. In 2016-2017, I was in the best shape of my life, and I enjoyed being in nature and walking with my dog. We live in a rural town, neighbors far in between, and pure fresh air in the woods.
I was happy with my body. Though I wished to go down another fifteen pounds. That was despite being way below my healthy weight. According to my family doctor, I’m 5’5”, and my healthy weight is 150 lbs as I was born with big bones. I was 32 years old at the time.
My husband had to make sure I ate, and that’s when he realized I had body dysmorphia. I would buy clothes that were way over my size. I was an XS, extra-small, but I would order L or XL, large or extra-large. I wanted to weigh 120 lbs. I was 132 lbs.
It’s hard to build a snowman when you’re afraid to step outside where people can shame you and judge you.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
You might find it easy to believe that mirrors are scarce in my house. My office is a black room, ceiling and doors included. I have blackout curtains too. My office was painted that way for two reasons: I have photosensitive eyes, which makes me prone to migraines and causes me to have insomnia. The other reason is that I don’t want to see myself in any way possible while working on my art or novels.
When my knee caused me more pain, I could not adjust my hunger accordingly and gained weight. However, I was capable of maintaining my weight for my wedding on October 14th, 2017. It was a year after my wedding that my mental and physical health took a nosedive.
I developed depression as my OCD took over. But this time, instead of pushing me toward health, it created an abyss. Phobias took over my life, and those aren’t phobias that one can turn on and off. That button, if it existed, all of us would shut it off.
The mirror on the wall never said I was the most beautiful of them all. Instead, the voice in my head would say, “You are the ugliest of them all…you are an abomination. Why are you even alive?”
Beware The Frozen Heart
At a point in my life, I hated myself so much I wanted to hurt myself inside and out. What I did was something no one with IBS should do. I ate what was “forbidden” and more. See, I don’t have IBS alone. It never comes alone! IBS is often a sign of someone having OCD, but also it creates intolerances.
I have gluten and lactose intolerances. I didn’t listen to my body and kept pushing. I cried enough to surely drown myself a few times over. The mood I was in was not just due to my mental disorders but my diet.
Food helps your body for a reason. It’s not just physical but mental too. I was heading for the mother of all iceberg, and I didn’t want to change course.
A personal matter had me plunged even deeper. I became suicidal, and my cutting tendencies surfaced. It was something that didn’t come to mind in a bit more than a decade. I was lost, and my heart turned to ice. I had no more emotions toward me or the world, only my dog. I lost myself at work and didn’t move much anymore. I was a ghost inhabiting a limited body.
It didn’t matter how many times I split that ice apart. My heart remained frozen.
Into The Open Air
Finally, I found a ray of hope. It was through the strangest thing ever, Disney+ and watching all the Disney Princesses movies. I kid you not, and no, this website is not sponsored by Disney in any way, shape, or form!
The happiest time in my life was before I turned eleven. Since I was born in January of 1985, it was Disney’s second wind and best work. I was born in an artistic family and went to acting and ballet school. I also studied 2D Animation, Sequential Art, Storyboard, Anatomy, Inking, Digital, and more. Disney was my everything.
I started watching the movies I knew and then those that I let pass me by. I watched Frozen for the first time in 2019, along with Moana. I never wanted to watch the live-action adaptation movies, but I caved. I watched both Maleficent movies, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast caught up on Pixar as well. We even watched all seven seasons of Once Upon A Time.
Brave remained my favorite, and re-watching it makes me want to be free to walk into the open air.
Once Upon A Dream
You can say it was nostalgia or a form of psychological defense mechanism. I don’t care. Disney works for me. It brings me back to a safe space when I was happy and wished I was a mermaid. I would be more than happy, even today, to exchange my legs for a tail.
Since it’s impossible to find a witch to turn me into a mermaid, I chose the next best thing. I turned into a Disney Princess collector, creating my own Disney Princess Journey / Diet. My personal way to grow out of my shame and find a way. I want to make it possible for me to look into a mirror again.
I bought myself some clothes, a step machine. I turn on Disney+ and walk. I have my Frozen fitness watch on and just do it. It is strange and weird, and even then, I’m scared people watch me. I know I’m alone, but phobias are irrational. That’s why they are phobias.
I have a long road ahead of me, but I have made it already. I know because I saw it once upon a dream.