What exactly is body dysmphea? According to the Mayo Clinic website:Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful that you don't want to be seen by anyone. Body dysmorphic disorder has sometimes been called "imagined ugliness."
It goes on to say that "When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaws, but never will be satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity." I can assure you that I haven't had any cosmetic procedures but I do tend to be obsessed with body image - and when you have OCD and BDD, it becomes almost debilitating on some days.
As I began to pull pictures for this post, I realized with great sadness, that I had done a really good job of erasing me from my past. There were absolutely no pictures of me during college (my heavy years), very few pictures of me and my children together, and with the exception of wedding pictures (a skinny year), one could question my existence altogether! Imagine, no pictures of me with the family on vacations, or even disney world. Sad.
|High school graduation|
|The summer of realization|
|the last family photo I took before the realization|
|Running helps me handle the BBD noises|
|being active helps me deal|
I have changed how I look at other women around me, and I am constantly working on not judging them based on their appearance. Instead, I want to know who they are and why – not what they look like. However, I am always up for a good “where’d you buy that” conversation. I have finally accepted that my husband loves me through thick and thin, (however, I’m hoping the thick years are gone forever) and no longer question him about it. This has been the biggest reward for both of us. I feel free to share with him when I feel inadequate and I am able to accept his help more freely as well. I finally enjoy dressing up and going out and am on the verge of becoming “high maintenance” in the beauty department.
|I not only enjoy time on vacation now, I enjoy family pics!|