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In time.

a first hand account of body dysmorphia

By Billie WhytePublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023
In time.
Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

I know that you're waiting for me like a dog, but have some patience for the part of me that's lost - David Kushner, Mr Forgettable.

It's intriguing to me that the identity challenge would crop up, during a period in which I'm struggling with mine.

As body dysmorphia kicks in, my once slim and athletic frame is hidden underneath rolls of shame, guilt and overwhelm.

I've been on a diet since I can remember, with my earliest recognition of body confidence issues and low self esteem being present at the young age of 9.

I had hit puberty and had fully developed by the time I was a pre-teen.

I went through school being ogled by the boys, and taunted by the girls for having boobs. I still hate them to this day, and attempt to flatten what some would deem a 'large' chest with overwhelmingly tight sports bras, in an attempt to hide in the shadows rather than draw attention to myself.

At 30 years old, I struggle and right now, perhaps more than ever.

I struggled with an eating disorder for a couple of years, where at my lowest I was 7 and a half stone at 5 foot 3. Mere pounds away from being underweight, and not a menstrual cycle in sight, I finally had the body I wanted.

The body I'd sought after since primary school.

I remember being really happy to be wearing childrens clothing, the joy of finally being able to experience shopping without fear of exposing the parts of me that I was told were wrong for so long.

I've been in recovery for 2 years.

Only I'm struggling now more than ever.

I've written another piece about seasonal depression, which likely contributes to how I feel at present but I feel like there's much more at play here.

Old habits creep in, and compared to where I was 3 years ago, I'm now struggling with obesity and being on the opposite end of the scale(s).

I currently stand at 5 foot 3, with a weight of 15 stone. I can only shop in places that are labelled as 'plus size' and on the off chance I can shop on the high streets, I'm struggling with being bullied by the mis-representation of the clothing sizes as I fight to find anything bigger than a UK size 14.

Big girls deserve to feel beautiful but society and the media has taught us that as people, and particularly as women, our body should be an object of desire but who could possible desire an obese woman?

For the identity challenge, I decided to look at my core beliefs.

Am I flawed? Or have I been programmed to believe so?

This challenge has inspired me in more ways that one, to really establish my identity beyond a mother, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter, and whatever other label I've found myself under the umbrella of because In amongst it all, I've lost me.

I've lost the core of who I am amongst the instagram models, the fitness fanatics and the put together mums that appear to really have their shit together; baking cinnamon toast cereal from scratch at 5am.

I can barely scrape a shower in every 4 days.

I guess my point here, and the point of this piece is really a first hand preview of what reality looks like for some of us.

The body dysmorphia, the underhanded judgement we impose on ourself for not brushing our hair one day to the next, and over time, slowly but surely, losing who we ever were.

With that being said, perhaps it's time.

Perhaps it's time to order those dreadlocks, time to wear that outfit, time to choose self care in the form of a good meal. Perhaps it's time to start choosing ourselves, and in doing so, making proactive steps towards learning to love and re-invent ourselves all over again, despite what life has thrown at us.

I may well have lost myself at a young age and perhaps it's too late for me to re-establish my identity, but go ahead and call me Dr Who, because perhaps... just perhaps, it is in fact time for me to regenerate instead.

In time.


About the Creator

Billie Whyte

Forever wingin' it.

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Comments (10)

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  • tarun bhatt3 months ago

    Great story. Thanks for being brave

  • Julygwynet3 months ago

    This is a great story. I enjoyed this story. If you want to read my story then visit this link

  • Global shows3 months ago

    Congratulation on the top story you're doing a great job keep it up I really like your article

  • Jollyoddbod Poetry3 months ago

    Brave, bold and beautiful - As you gaze into your mirror tonight, may this be what you see. Congratulations on the top story Billie, this is well deserved!

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    What a brave piece! Congratulations on having the courage to share it with us, and congratulations on Top Story. Don't let society tear you down. Regenerate and rejoice in your beauty.

  • Gerald Holmes3 months ago

    This a very well written and important piece of writing. Congrats on the Top Story and for the courage you have shown in writing it!

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Marvelous work! Keep it going—congrats!

  • Mother Combs3 months ago


  • Mason Darnielle3 months ago

    hope you win what a journey <3

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    Hi Billie! Just wanted to say that I understand and that I’m sorry that you are feeling this way. ❤️

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