Body positivity isn’t just defined by what size you are or by the way you look. Body positivity deals with your mentality. As many of you already know I’ve struggled pretty hard with an eating disorder off and on since I was in eighth grade. Throughout this time, I’ve also been treated for anxiety and depression.
I long for freedom. I long to be as free as a wildflower blowing in the wind. There are so many moments and periods of time that I taste the sweetest glimpses of what it means to be free. To walk in freedom, unchained from all the pain and hardships we as human face. But for now, my prayer is that I would find contentment and freedom with where I am now and where I’m hoping to go. I know it’s unrealistic to wake up one morning and have everything be perfect. I’m doing my best to trust the process and the journey I’m on. I’m trying to remember to give grace to myself when I need it most.
I used to try so hard to control the way I looked and the way I experienced my emotions. This past summer, I ultimately gave up on being kind and loving to myself. I watched myself drop the weight, grow weaker, and in reality, wither away. I gave up on living as I continued not to feed or nourish myself or my body.
Today, I am stronger than I have been in a while. I can run upstairs and take hot showers without feeling like I’m going to faint. I’ve tried to cook more for myself recently so my mind isn't so consumed with voices of shame creeping in. I have been actively telling myself that it’s okay to have rough moments. I constantly have to give myself permission to eat, and sometimes I just have to force myself to eat even if ‘I don’t feel like it’.
There are still days I end up only eating one meal and days where I simply forget to take my medicine. I still have extremely hard moments where I have to calm myself down and talk myself out of a painful temptation. There are times where I have to go hang out with friends after I eat just to keep myself distracted and to avoid any temptation that could occur if I went to be alone.
I hold on to the hope that making a full recovery is possible, and I will attain it. Having this issue control your life is terrifying and embarrassing, and a part of you will tell yourself that you don’t even want recovery. Fight that voice. Fight the shame it brings you.
So far, this year has already been filled with so much more joy than the last year of my life. I smile more, I laugh more, and I’m focused on living more genuinely in every moment. I am trying to exude as much light as possible when I can feel it most within. And oh man, people notice. They notice when you are beaming with radiance. They notice when something seems different than it has been in a long time.
The people who love you want to see you healthy and happy. Let people rejoice with you and for you. Let people love you where you’re at. One step forward is still progress no matter how many steps you take back. Remember that.