Trigger warning: Nasty-ness coming right at ya

Sometimes, the best conversation is the an inner dialogue…
That doesnt quite go for this one…

Can you guys guess what this picture is?

Ventriloquist: I am my own dummy

A ventriloquist is someone who speaks through a dummy. In my case, the dummy is me. Want a zoom-out to see what I’m talking ’bout here?


So, honestly. Did you guess it right?

No, this isn’t a ‘recovery belly’.
No, this isn’t a bloated belly.
No, this isn’t a preggo-belly.
No, this isn’t me leaning forwards.
No, this isn’t me pushing my belly out.
Actually, this is me, sucking my belly in. 

This is what led me to cry for days straight (and my mum too, I must add). And then it’s what caused a complete breakdown in a Primark fittingroom (seriously, a Primark dressingroom will cause a breakdown for anyone, let alone if this greets you in the mirror). This is the reason I have been avoiding mirrors for weeks, or is it months?, already. 

This, my dear readers, is my belly. Or, bellies, if you will

And this is why I am now dreading six weeks of Cuba. Bikini’s? No fucking way. This is why I laugh when I see other recovery bloggers post pictures of their ‘huge’ belly/arms/legs/thighs. This is what makes me remenisce my year of Asia, where I basically lived in my bikini. 

Because that is what greets me in the mirror.
Or, it greets me without a mirror too.
It’s just there… All the friggin’ time. 

Do not think I ever forget, because when I almost do, I’ll accidentally bump my arm across it. Or I get up from a chair to feel my legs jiggle. Or I sit down to feel my muffintop bump into place. Or I’ll strut down the stairs to jump at the feeling of my thighs touching. Or I see my upperarms jazzing away when I do the dishes. 

My body does not let me forget about it for a second.
Helloooo, Sooz, us flabs will gladly remind you of our presence! 

So I cry. And cry. And cry some more. 

>> How did I ever let things get this far? << 

And my answer? Ofcourse! I binge.
You gotta love some eating disorder logic!  

And still, I cannot cut back. Not even a little. We all know where ‘cutting back’ leads to? The silly thing is, I CAN cut back a little, health-wise I mean. Or start exercising (ugh..). But I don’t. I want to, but I don’t. Because I am recovering from ANOREXIA, so I should eat. And eat. And eat some more. Yeah, that’ll teach ED..  

If this makes sense to ANYONE out there, explain it to me, puh-lease!  

As long as it doesn’t yet, yeah.. I just discuss it with myself. &My belly. As the ventriloquist and her dummy. Her dumb-belly. One day, we will be famous. Until then, I leave you with one of my collegues on Youtube >>Click here<< Me, myself and my belly have long conversations. 

We are.. inseperable.
Yup, belly is here to stay

It is funny how, along the way of recovery, I thought SO MANY TIMES; OMG, I am getting so fat. And then, a few months later, I realize how silly that was. What I’d give to go back to that body

If only…  

My hipbones? MIA for months. I didnt know how much I loved them until they were covered in endless laaaayers and laaayers of fat protection. My sorta concave-looking belly? Not eventhere when I lie down and suck it in. The gap between my legs? Gone with the wind. Cheekbones? Collarbones? Ribs? Na-ah

I reached the BMI20 (almost. Some days).
>> Go buy cake and celebrate <<  

I hope this post didn’t put anyone off from recovery.

You should know I don’t exercise. Not a bit. No walking, no running, no stretching, no ‘oh so healthy’ yoga etc. Nothing. Nor do I follow a mealplan (or have I ever). Nor do I ‘eat clean’ (which, to me, is really just a way of trading one disorder for another). I am really hoping that six weeks of Cuba will at least help me get over my eating-crazyness (as I will be with someone all.the.friggin.time… Poor girl. She has no idea what she’s getting herself into). And then after that.. Maybe… I can see if there’s any activity I like doing (apart from walking to the fridge and back..). I’ve never done sports. Ever. I hate things that involve competitiveness. And things that involve sweating. (Except for sunbathing. But then I first want my old body back to strut around the beach with..). 

And also, honestly, some days, with proper clothing and covering and a happy face and good fun and not too much water retention from bingeing etc. I don’t look all that bad. And I get compliments. And I have a bum again (one that does not leave two dimples on my parents’ leather sofa where my bum-bones had rested when I ‘sat’ there). And even boobs. Thats the only wigglejiggle I like, they make me feel…. Adult-like. They’re still tiny compared to anyone else’s but at least there’s SOMETHING there, like, there’s something for a push-up to actually push úp, if that makes any sense. And my legs can fill out trousers again instead of them being snug around the waist yet slugging around the rest of my legs/thighs (not that I wear trousers, but hey, I could if I had some). And when my insomnia isn’t all that bad, I can sleep. Without night pain, without bruises from my bed, without my head planning meals and worrying about get-togethers. I can run to get my dog when she’s out on the loose again without feeling like the world will disappear beneath my feet. I can have a drink, or.. a few, without my face instanty dehydrated into some skeletal version of me with firehouse-red cheeks and getting drunk after a sip. I’m not cold 24/7 anymore, and when I am, it’s not the ‘inner-cold’, that one deep deep from within your body. I get stares on the streets for the good reasons instead of the disgust or sympathetic stares. I don’t discover random bruises on random body parts on daily basis anymore whereof I have no clue how they got there. When I go out with my friends and embaress them, it’s because of something I do or say (as WILL happen, it’s a gift) and not just from ‘being there’. My baby cousins will hug the crap out of me again, instead of staying at a safe distance. I can go traveling again, because my body will be able to get me around again, my mind can cope with the thought again and because my parents feel like they can let me again. I have my own place again, instead of being forced to move back into my parents place. I finished my year of Uni with pretty alright marks, instead of having to quit by both external and internal forces. 

My point of this post?
Yes, there is more to recovery than belly-fat.
A lot more, actually.
(There’s also leg-fat, cellulite, arm-fat…. )

There’s more life here. And less silly stress. And more opportunities. There’s so much more here

Yes, there’s still tears and frustration on a daily basis.
But I can put it into perspective differently. 

Because there is so much more I gained than just weight.


24 thoughts on “Ventriloquist

  1. To me you look like a normal woman. Most people have rolls. My tummy has generally been ok, but my pre-ED legs? That’s another story. I carry my weight in my legs, they’re like tree trunks carrying a boys torso. I had boobs, but never enough for me to need a bra. I saw my legs were close to touching when I saw myself in a full length mirror and I just wanted to cry…

    I do miss my anorexic belly, so flat… Mine is more rounded. I saw the old pictures of me from November and I missed my old body, without the rolls. However I also remember that back then I was mad, like totally mad! I could barely function, I was miserable, lonely. Most of my memories from that time are of spending hours in supermarkets, or standing outside bakeries, or reading menus, looking at all the delicious food I couldn’t have. I desperately wanted to stop, but I couldn’t.

    Sometimes I long for my old body, but I’ve realised there’s no way to have both the body I want and keep my mind. It’s either or.

    Great post.

    • Yeah.. the browsing around the ‘naughty isles’ in the supermarket, the recipes, the cooking and baking….. I am so glad I’ve put that way behind me too. And I still cringe at the thought of the things I did and said back then..

      &Thats a very awesome realization Agnes. I forget about that every now and then. ‘Either or’ it is indeed…

      • What keeps me going. I used to have this fantasy that I could have both, my ED and a normal life. I’ve always functioned, and symptom managed, but it’s only recently I realised how much it compromised my life. I had to make a choice. The flab free body and sense of control, or life (and most importantly my mind.)

        I am still incredibly embarrassed over my ED behaviour… Endless excuses why I couldn’t eat (and getting aggressive/ abusive when someone wouldn’t take no for an answer!) All the obsessive baking (I would bake cakes for people I barely knew ffs!) Running into the supermarket on a binge day and throwing junk food into my trolley with abandon (and then buying birthday candles and balloons so the cashier would think that I was buying the food for a party and not for myself.) Having a tantrum in public because the line wasn’t moving fast enough and I need to binge! Now! The things EDs do to us…

      • I love the realization that functioning and symptom-management is not the same as actually living. That’s a pretty big BHAMM in your face but definately a push in the right direction at the same time

  2. YES there is SO MUCH MORE that you gained. You have gained your LIFE, a life you otherwise wouldn’t even have – you would be dead. Or dying.
    That belly isn’t even fat or huge, Sooz, and it makes me sad that you see it as that. My belly looks like that if I sit in the right way or even stand in the right way. There is more skinfold there than fat – and we all have fat. There is also muscle.
    I do miss my anorexic belly too, and I’m still underweight. We aren’t meant to have concave or even flattened bellies. WE have organs! Those organs have to go somewhere! And we carry fat primarily to protect those organs.
    I’m feeling all this too, and I’m not even ‘there’ yet, Sooz, so I don’t have a clue how you feel but I can guess it and I’m terrified of it. I thank you for being real and honest. You aren’t putting me off at all – you are telling me something truthful – it’s hard – but also giving me a hopeful message too – LIFE IS WORTH IT. And that’s what I need to hear and probably others in this position too. Hang on hey? I’ve been told (and friends who are recovered say it’s true) that it takes at least a year stable and healthy (no disordered habits at all) at above BMI 20 – before that something clicks and we start seeing ourselves as we truly are. These friends now look at themselves and often even think they are too thin! So hang on. The hardest thing is sticking it out that long, but I’m sure that’s worth it too. *hugs* xxPS I admire you SO MUCH for having the courage to hang in there – to get there in the first place, and for having the guts to put your guts on your blog, literally ;) xxx (couldn’t resist that!) xx

    • You put it better than I ever could.

      I keep telling myself that fat is good! It keeps us warm, we need ‘reserves’ for when we are ill. My tummy now folds when I sit, which is hard to deal with, but I am so much better off in other ways!

    • It’s definately not skin and muscles haha. Nor am I sitting or standing ‘a certain way’. This is it babes. And this is the not-push-out-swollen-up variety. Because that version turns it into a big ‘ol preggo-buddha belly. Gotta love variety….

      Thanks for not letting it get to you. I was rather worried some of you would take offense. Like… let the ED thoughts judge the picture.

      I’ll keep your friends words in mind. A year to stabilize at least… Let’s see where that year takes me. Where it takes US!

      • Oh gosh, the possibilities are endless! So much can happen in a year!
        There’s nothing wrong with your body – you just have to get to being able to see that yourself and I know, it’s hard hey?
        My ED only judges me really.. I think. I don’t have a problem at all with anything you have posted *hugs* xxxx

  3. Hahaha guts for putting your guts on the blog! Brilliant Fiona.

    I’ve already told you (and shown you) Sooz, but you’re normal. I bet if you took a photo standing up instead of sitting down (where skin is bound to fold) then it looks different.

    Normal to us feels unnatural, it’s alien, it’s uncomfortable – but it’s because we know what it’s like to be UNnatural. Normal bodies have skin, fat, folds, all the stuff we were without for so long (except skin, dunno about you but I’ve always had skin!)

    Even though it gets you (us) down and makes you (us) upset, you can still see the brighter side of things. There is more to Sooz than a stomach, you know this. If I showed you my legs it would make you spew so I’ll save you that, I think you have seen more than enough of moi!

    I’ll leave you with one word Sooz. Battygash.

  4. I’ve been reading your blog quietly for a while now but felt the need to comment on this post. I just wanted to say Thank you. I’ve been struggling with my ED for over three years now and while my current road to recovery has involved several massive, gross binges (even binged on high fiber cereal? Good googly moogly! Farts for daaaays!) and tons of self loathing, it brings me comfort to read that someone else is going through the same things.

    I too am dealing with my old friend/foe, the dreaded belly. Something to keep in mind is that what we see as gross is actually totally normal. The other day, my boyfriend actually spent a good few minutes just rubbing my belly and talking to it! Saying how much he missed it, that he likes it when I like to eat. For a moment I freaked out and planned on skipping the rest of my meals for the day, but then I realized that instead of looking at me with fear and sadness like when I was underweight, he saw me as healthy. I don’t look ready to break anymore.

    You don’t have to wear a bikini. Hell, wear a glittery ball gown to the beach. Just remember that your health is more important.

    • Hi Opp!

      Love it when silent readers come out of the closet!! I just put up a follow-by-mail thingy upon request too :)

      Ohhh yes the high-fiber cereal binges. Love it when the pack says how healthy it is in super bold styles too. Makes the binge even more awesome… And the farting! Gosh, that just reminds us how much ED really STINKS. Seriously, I think ‘early-recoverers’ should wear warningsigns when they go on public transport. It’s not good for general public health!! (oh and poor housemates……) I’m just glad I live in a rural area so I can blame it on the cows (or get a dog to blame it on, that always works!)

      Isnt it funny how others can love our bodies more than we can? I love it your boyfriend is not afraid to show how much he is loving the newly improving healthy you. Maybe through his love, you can slowly start to find your own too. Your love for you.

      I did a post about my binges at some point. I think I’ll have to do a follow-up when I get back from my holidays, but maybe you can check it out: . And I’m always open for comments and feedback and questions and rambling! So please don’t just be a silent reader!

      &Gittery ballgown in backpack? Check! Don’t be surprised if I make the Cuban headlines then…. “6ft tall, blonde, white human spotten on beach in pink glittery ballgown. Caution is advised”

  5. Your bmi is scraping 20? That’s barely healthy for a recovery weight and you know it. Which is probably why you can’t cut back. And also why you probably shouldn’t just yet.

    Your belly is fine. I can make my belly do that when I suck in too. Generally I don’t though so it’s more like one big round buddha belly. It’s fine though. It’s hard to adjust but it’s fine. And like, you’re no where near big. It’s honestly on the small side of normal. Just saying.

    I like the positivity at the end of this post very much though. It’s not all about bodies, it’s about actual life.

    I honeslty think you could wear a bikini.


    • My belly is my belly all the time. Not just when I suck it in, push it out, have it empty, have it full, sit a certain way, lean a certain way etc. This is just it. This, or the preggo-buddha-belly style one. Thats all the variety there is to it….

      And yes, it is about gaining life too. I think I finished my Binge-Monster-post with a few sentences about what we will gain when we gain. And it is true. It just sucks a bit(lot) sometimes(often)…

      • yes, it was TOTALLY not about the pictures — really. It looks like a tummy. It’s there. It comes, it goes…whatever. It was the WORDS…the describing of the feelings..
        … I get up from a chair to feel my legs jiggle. Or I sit down to feel my muffintop bump into place. Or I’ll strut down the stairs to jump at the feeling of my thighs touching….

        Because for me the weight gain thing is so INTENSELY visceral. I liken it to a schizophrentic hallucintaion.
        Like…oh gosh see? here I go again.

        Any — I needed to give you a hug for sharing but it was not too much it was just striking my freak nerve is all. (0:

      • Build some fat around that freaknerve, that way it is less easily srike-able ;)
        (You know thats just a joke!!)

        Hun, those words are what goes on in my head. It is what I feel, or at least, what I think I feel. Just like I thought I felt it when I was a BMI10. Thats the thing with an ED (and yes I know you know this); it makes us see/feel/experience things in a way that might not be reality.

        And there’s no need to freeze up. Im all for wordvomits. Let it sink and shout it out.

  6. Your belly doesn’t look big hun, but I know how uncomfortable it is both physically and mentally when gaining that necessary weight.
    Are you aware that when people recover from anorexia or any other period of starvation most of the weight gain goes to the abdomen and face? This is something our very wise bodies do to protect our major organs which have been stressed.
    I can’t fit into pants and skirts I wore during later recovery, they fall off me, even though I weigh more now — and I’m not one of those gym buffs where you can explain away things with bulging muscles! It boggles the mind and I’m not sure I would have believed it while recovering. Weigh more, feel better? WTF?!
    Seriously though, the weight will redistribute and you will feel better. Try to trust your body and the process.

    • Well hi Sam!

      Thanks for your kind words. I think I’ve past the ‘recovery belly/body’phase already. This is just me settling (and not toning up. Obvs haha). I don’t know. I can see your point thought. This is better in so many ways than what I was/had before.

      How long did it take you to get where you are? Curious to hear more.

      (Ill be off to Cuba for the next six weeks so Im sorry if my replies will be slow!)

      Love, Sooz

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