>Public Pools = Disaster for Anorexics

>Maybe it’s just me, but I find public pools to be one of the many breeding grounds for an eating disorder. On my vacation visiting my grandparents in Montana, my Omi took me to their new city pool. It had been redone with a lazy river and water slides and a little kid area with fountains and things to splash other people with. This was a disaster. One of the ingredients being I had forgotten my own bathing suit at home, so I had to borrow my cousin’s old one-piece rainbow stripped Speedo that she wore when she was about 8. It just barely fit me and made my legs look super fat. Not to mention my ass. So while I was feeling fat, we come to ingredient number 2: My omi loves to bake and cook, so all my meals were considerably larger than what I have back home. So I probably already gained a few pounds, contributing to feeling fat. Ingredient number 3 would be those at the pool. I saw little girls in teeny-weeny bikinis with their perfectly skinny stomachs and teens my age and younger who appeared to be looking at me and scrutinizing my appearance. That was probably just paranoia, but come on, I’m anorexic and senstive!
Looking around I realized that just one glance at virtually anybody (and any body) there could drop self-esteem and begin ED behavior. If I saw a skinny person, I wished I could look like them; a fat person and I had a mini-panic attack; I do NOT want to look like them EVER. It made me swim laps instead of twirl and act like a mermaid the way I did back when I was a little girl; before my anorexia.
I do not believe there is any solution to this, though. I could have not gone, but there is still a part of me that really enjoys swimming and I could not help it. Maybe it was the Speedo that made me have a horrible time. Maybe it was that and a mix of sleep deprivation, a case of homesickness, and one or two new pounds on my body. Still, I did not exactly enjoy my time. I think I just need to get my self-esteem back up. I remember being okay with my body. I was not born hating it, I learned to. So why did I learn to hate it? The public pool where people end up, consiously or not, displaying their bodies, is probably one of the reasons.

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