First, in case you don’t know what “body checking” is, there’s a great description at Eating Disorder Hope:
The truth is, everyone checks their body on occasion; perhaps it’s taking note of how clothes fit or grabbing a quick peek at the reflection in a store window. However, those with eating disorders repeatedly check their bodies in ways that are unusual. In fact, for these people, body and weight checking becomes second nature. Often individuals with eating disorders don’t even realize they’re doing it. Typically, they check to feel for fatness, bones and any physical change in their body. And the problem is, this checking rarely results in anything positive. These are not people who glance in the mirror and think, “I really look good today.” On the contrary, due to low self-esteem and negative body issues, they will undoubtedly say to themselves, “I am fat,” or “This sweater makes me look huge.”
For me (and a lot of other girls that I know), a kind of body checking that I do is to try on clothing over and over (and over and over) again…. every morning. Seriously, getting dressed in the morning can take an hour — just to choose clothing! Nothing seems to fit right, or look right, or coordinate how I want it to, etc etc. It’s frustrating.
Something that I have “challenged” myself to in the past is choosing my clothing the night before. This works pretty well for me — get up, put on said clothing, and move on with my life.
There are several advantages to this:
- Sleeping in an additional 45 minutes (yes, 45!).
- Not tearing my closet apart (saves me 20 minutes in the afternoon, putting it back together).
- Not driving my dogs crazy as they sit there patiently, begging to go outside to go to the bathroom.
- Maybe slightly better body image… just because I can’t try on every pair of jeans and decide that two of them are soooooo much tighter than they were yesterday (and I know this for sure, since I a) tried on every pair of jeans yesterday and b) am so objective).
As with everything, there are disadvantages:
- Previously unaccounted-for changes in weather (don’t even get me started on the inaccuracy of weather forecasting…).
- Having to be organized / motivated the previous night (often unlikely).
- The risk of still trying everything in my closet on… just doing it at night, rather than in the morning (fortunately, I’m usually tired at night and don’t care as much).
- Hating what I picked out.
- Making poor clothing decisions the previous night (“wait, did I really just pair khaki pants with boots?”)
- Feeling uncomfortable in my clothing (and therefore skin) all day
Anyway, I have now come up with a new level to this challenge — getting dressed in the DARK.
My husband and I are staying at my parents’ house for the holidays, and I get up hours before him (thanks to having a puppy who is soooooo excited to see everyone at 7am). I’m an over-packer, so my suitcase is really heavy and awkward, and there is no way I am dragging it across the hall to the bathroom to go through every item of clothing and choose my outfit. So, I’ve been getting dressed in the dark…. which has proved to be… interesting. Luckily mismatched socks are in right now, huh? As frustrating as this is every morning, it has saved me from re-re-re-re-re-revaluating what to wear.
Way to find the silver lining in an inconvenient situation… right?