Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perception vs. Reality

For you long time readers, you know this is something I struggle with constantly. Usually because I panic about everything (and I mean everything) blowing it out of proportion. I put such enormous pressure on myself that my concept of reality gets skewed and I end up in a state of anxiety for a week, walking on eggshells. So it shouldn't be surprising that this skewed perception transfers to other aspects of my life. Like oh say, weight and body image. As I've said before I've been blessed with athleticism and good genetics and have never been overweight a day in my life, nor have I ever had terrible eating habits. Well, terrible as in all I ate was junk food.  I definitely have had terrible eating (or lack thereof) habits in the past.

(welcome to my college life)

 So how does this happen? I wish I knew. But I can honestly tell you, when I look in the mirror at home what I see, does not match reality. How do I know this? When I look in the mirror at home, I see someone who is out of shape, flabby and needs to lose probably 20lbs. It's such a strange feeling because I know that what I'm seeing isn't right but it's still there. Like a hallucination. It's frustrating to someone who takes pride in being rational and logical, that no matter how much I tell myself I am in shape and don't need to (can't even afford to!) lose 20lbs I just don't see it.  However, every once and a while, I will be out somewhere: the mall, on a run, out at the bars, and I will catch a glimpse of my reflection and think...omg I'm skinny! At that moment what I'm seeing IS reality. I see the girl who ran a 20K this summer, goes to the gym 4-5 days a week and eats a balanced diet (daily!).  I see myself and that is what I hold onto and remember everyday. I don't spend time in front of mirrors, I don't own a scale and I don't allow myself to compare myself to others. It's a slippery slope for me.

My friend and co-worker has worked so hard to get healthy and in shape and lost over 30lbs since January. She shared her weight with me a couple weeks ago and it was the same as mine. She is 3 inches taller than me. My brains immediate response was: You need to lose 10lbs. Because I'm shorter I should weigh less. I mentally slapped myself in the face after that.


 I'm far better off than I was in high school and college. I live a happy and healthy life now. But to say that it's not a daily struggle would be a lie. It is not a big struggle now, but it's always there in the back of my mind and sometimes just the right thing can trigger those thoughts. Luckily I'm surrounded by people that love me for exactly who I am, and most importantly I love exactly who I am.

Body dismorphic disorder and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) do not get discussed or publicized as much as anorexia and bulimia, but they are very real and just as harmful. If you have ever felt like this, please talk to someone and seek help. And if you know someone like this, talk to them and help them.

Happy and Healthy Cheers


*this is the 3rd rendition that I've done of this post. I've never had the guts to post until now. 


  1. Wow that scale picture is so touching. I love it.

  2. Thumbs up for posting this anyway. I'm not one to talk about sports and bodyweight because I weigh too much myself and I CBA to go to the gym for it, but I think it's good you recognize certain thoughts and acknowledge them as unhealthy. I think that's exactly what prevents people from getting mentally ill (anorexia, boulimia). Don't let those bad thoughts get the better of you, but from the reads of it you're not :)

  3. Good post! Good to know that you are surrounded with
    people who love for who you are.
    Cheer up, darling!

  4. It is very inspiring that you just shared that. It sounds so hard to feel like that, but it seems like you have taken control of yourself and your life, which is a very strong thing to do.

  5. i do the same thing when i look in the mirror. and have to also slap myself a bit. i think as long as you recognize that you're doing it, then at least that's a positive step. it influences the good thoughts.

  6. Always good to have supportive & lovely people around us~ hope we continue to get wiser as we get older! Cheers to health!

  7. Thank you so much for finally having the courage to post this! We should all have that saying on our scales!

    Again Thank You!

    Chat Soon!

    Ava Roxanne @MySkinConcierge

  8. blargh! these issues are so hard to deal with! but i am glad you wrote about it!

    i have a different issue. lol. i think i look pretty good for being such a porker. blah! i think a lot of people of varying sizes struggle with the reality of their look/weight, the ideal that we see posted everywhere, etc. it is tricky. and it is such a waste of time! the goal should be happiness & healthiness and not crazy obsessions and unrealistic goals. that being said, i could sure try harder to be happier and healthier!

  9. Very good, sincere post.

    I actually just saw a picture of myself in high school, and I was surprised at how small I actually looked. I definitely didn't see that when I was in high school.

  10. :) thanks for sharing marisa. i can't imagine how difficult it must be to have to deal with that kind of issue. my weight is all over the place, but luckily i've been able to stay calm about it. it is pretty crazy though when i look back at old photos.. i always think WOW. i was in great shape.. but at the time i alllways thought i needed to lose weight. i just never did more than think about it :)

    anyways, so long as you feeeel healthy- that's what counts and yeah if you can run a 20k i'd say you are fiiiiine!

  11. if you can run a 20k, i have no doubt you have the body to prove it. i think i may have the opposite problem... i never realize how chubby i am getting until i loose weight.. then i cringe to think how i had let myself go.

    the important thing is to feel loved and feel proud of who you are. i hope you have people around you to remind you of the fact that you are kind of a badass. :)

  12. I struggle with perception v. reality, too. And it is hard to not compare yourself to others, espeically when we live in a culture that is obsessed with body image. But you are healthy and beautiful - just remember that!

    I used to be very hard on myself and I am not perfect in terms of body image, but training for races has really helped because I am amazed now at what my body can do, and I respect it and am more in awe of it, and I am way way way less hard on myself.

    And I don't own a scale. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

  13. Marisa I think you are Kick ASS!!!!!
    I love your style :)


Your comments make my day sparkle :)


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