Life Is Beautiful
It all started when I was 8 years old and developed an autoimmune condition wherein large white spots appeared all over my skin making me look like a cow. This made me very self-conscious and I always felt like I didn’t fit in with the other kids. I remember sitting down on the bench at recess in 6th grade watching everyone else play and thinking, “If my skin isn’t perfect, my body has to be.” 11 years of eating disorders followed as I tried to “fit in” and look like all the models I saw on the cover of the magazines to prove to others that I was worthy of their attention. It started out with Anorexia as I attempted to lose a couple pounds. Little did I know that I would also lose my friends, period, hair, sleep, muscles, mental sanity, and health.
At this time, I started getting very fixated on nutrition because if I was going to eat it had to be the most “perfect” and “clean” food out there. As I got older and Instagram and Facebook grew bigger, I found myself even more entranced with having the “perfect” body and the “perfect” diet. I had many relapses due to Instagram Influencers that I would follow who shared the “benefits” of all the radical detoxes, classes, and juice fasts that they did. Little did I know then how dangerous these things are and how dangerous it is to follow health advice from a random, unqualified, person on the internet. In short, I believe I got an eating disorder due to societal pressures to look a certain way, a lack of self-worth/self-esteem in myself, a desire to fit in, and a culture that promotes obsession with “clean” eating.
The key factor to my recovery was surrounding myself around other strong women who felt confident in their body and ate normally. My sister specifically was the biggest support to me as she was such a great example of what it meant to love food and respect the needs of your body. My sister was the person who I could share everything with which I think is vital in recovery. She knew everything and yet she did not judge which allowed me to trust her and the advice she gave me.
Despite the hard times I have been through life is beautiful and I want more of it to live. I used to have anxiety attacks about whether I would be able to survive my eating disorder because I was terrified that I wouldn’t get to experience the many things life has to offer me. I now realize that life is not what was bad; my eating disorder was what brought me sorrow and pain.
What has been the key to your recovery? What can you do now that you couldn’t do with your eating disorder?
-I am a 25-year-old, French American female and sister.