Body Image: Relationships through Eating Disorders

Editor's Note: We will be following Trinity on her journey through eating disorder recovery as she learns to accept herself and her body.  It's our hope to shed light on what this disorder looks like from the inside, as well as to provide support for Trinity through her progress.  You'll find Trinity's posts once a month.

Words by Trinity Murray

Relationships are a beautiful thing. They are a contagious laugh that fills a room, a shoulder to cry on when things get tough, and a hand to hold through thick and thin. But what happens in a relationship when thick and thin have a completely different meaning?

Body image is a serious mind game that not only affects the individual with the issue, but also the people closest to them. My roommate and I, as I have mentioned before, have been together for four years. He is the sweetest guy I have ever met, and he puts up with so much more than he should have to from me sometimes. He is the kind of person that thinks hugs can solve everything, kissing is almost as necessary as breathing, and love can conquer all. That being said, I am at the point in my recovery where I can’t hug a person without focusing on the area that they are touching on my body being too pudgy or not toned enough. When I think of kissing I think of lips, and when I think of lips I think of the food that touches them. Love is powerful, but some days I'm not sure if it can conquer an eating disorder.

I remember one instance just a few months back where neither of us could decide what to do for dinner. There are only so many choices on a college campus as it is, but to make it even more of a challenge we are vegan which really narrows it down. Most days I am not hungry for anything, but I know that food is fuel and without that I can’t keep up with all of the work that comes with being a full time student. That night, I had gotten so frustrated and worked up about us not picking something to eat that I had just laid on the floor of our dorm room and completely broke down. My guy, as amazing as he is, sat down next to me and tried his best to reassure me things were okay. We did not end up having dinner that night, but I do recall starting the next morning off right with my usual breakfast and we carried on. This semester, as assignments pile up and life gets a little more crazy for me, he reminds me when it’s time to take a snack break before I exhaust myself further especially when I’m overworking myself because I get kind of hangry. He carries me through.

Love is powerful, but some days I’m not sure if it can conquer an eating disorder.

I’m not comfortable with my stomach, thighs, hips, rump, or calves. As you probably know, these play a pretty significant role when it comes to intimacy considering that’s basically all of me. If I could do everything in absolute darkness all day I would just so I wouldn’t have to see my jiggly parts. Of course, when I say this I am aware that my weight is still quite below where it should be so saying “jiggle” is blowing it out of proportion.

I am sure my boyfriend is alright with me speaking of this, so I’m just going to say it. We have not yet made love, and it’s not the end of the world. Our love is based off of more than just sex and good looks. Thank goodness for that, because when I look in the mirror it seems as though he drew the short straw getting stuck with this hot mess! Intimate occasions are a big deal to me, as I am allowing someone to see parts of myself that I even like and am trusting that they don’t think the same as me. We are slowly working on that intimate connection, but for now we are working on our education so that we are able to live long and happy lives together when we graduate and have plenty of time for each other. For the attention and love that I receive, and for the caring and understanding nature of his being I owe my other half a million hugs that I hope one day I will be able to deliver with only positive thoughts and the belief that love can conquer all.

Read more from Trinity here.

Trinity is a small town girl studying Fashion Design at Kent State University holding onto the hope of becoming a fashion journalist. Though her passion is for fashion, she enjoys good conversation, great books, and lots of coffee.