For the past four years I have struggled with eating disorders. It started with me being overweight. Once I realized that I had gained a substantial amount of weight I started to panic. I was franticly trying to figure out ways to shed the pounds. I cut my portions. I started eating healthier. I even started becoming more active. But then I became obsessed. Obsessed with having the perfect body.
I liked the control over my life that I was feeling. If I ate a certain amount or worked out for a few hours a day I could achieve what I thought was perfection. I soon came to realize that I could never have the perfect body. That I would never be exactly where I wanted to be. There would always be something about my looks that I wanted to change.
Over time I wasn’t the only one that saw the weight loss. Everyone began to notice. It was empowering. Until it wasn’t. Eventually I wasn’t getting compliments. I was getting criticized for how thin I was. I could not see it. I thought that I was still over weight. Every time I looked in the mirror I saw that chubby girl that needed to change. I honestly just thought that they were jealous.
The healthier choices that I had started making turned into very unhealthy choices. I was no longer cutting portions, I was skipping meals. I was working out multiple times a day for multiple hours of the day. I would refuse to eat anything that wasn’t a “healthy food”. I would even get to the point that I couldn’t see straight. I was so hungry!!! But I absolutely refused to eat. Unless it was necessary (what I thought was necessary).
Eventually this turned into me binge eating. I would starve myself for so long I couldn’t handle it anymore. I remember eating whole pizzas! Like, large pizzas! This would then lead to panic and guilt. I started to make myself throw up whatever I had eaten. That way I would hopefully not gain any weight from all the food I had just devoured. This was the lowest point in my life. These disorders were affecting not only me, but everyone around me. It affected all of the decisions I made, everywhere I went, and everything I did.
I finally had a breakthrough thanks to an amazing friend. I moved in with her for a while and she saw that I was struggling. She kindly FORCED me to eat. Made sure that I was getting something in my system. She showed me that it was okay to enjoy myself. That I could indulge in some “unhealthy” foods. That life was more than just being skinny or perfect. It’s about being healthy and HAPPY!!!! This began my journey to loving my body (body positivity).
So, what is body positivity??
It is having a positive outlook on your appearance and accepting yourself as you are. For all of your flaws. It is being okay with the acne on your chest or the stretch marks on your thighs. Accepting that you do not have a flat stomach, and loving yourself anyway.
Why its important..
We grow up watching flawless actors and actresses on TV. We envy their perfect looks. We are taught that stretch marks, acne, and love handles are not attractive. If you have any of these things as a young adult you are often times bullied. You are made to feel like you are not good enough. This simply isn’t true. Our worth is measured by more than our physical appearances. What makes up our heart and souls is what’s truly important.
Body Positivity is so important because it helps us realize that we can be happy just the way we are. We do not need to have movie star looks to have a good life. You do not need to be Instagram ready all the time. You can actually relax! Enjoy a bowl of pasta. Go run errands without any make up on. The only person you need to impress at the end of the day is yourself. Nobody else really matters. As long as you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and feel proud. Who cares what others think?