I was a teenager growing up in a world that told me that the only way to become beautiful was to become skinner. The skinner the better. Whether it be from people that I was close to or from celebrity fashion magazines, I was plagued with the idea that I was too fat and thin was the only option in order for me to become "pretty." So, I spent my time binging and purging until I reached a low weight, but then, once I started eating normally, my weight would blow back up. I wouldn't workout for the life of me and the vicious cycle continued. Ain't that a sad way to live?
Eventually, I pulled my head out of my ass and won the battle for my life.
Does it still affect me today? Hell yeah. Once you have become victim to an eating disorder, it will haunt you for the rest of your life, making it that much more susceptible for you to regress back into your old ways. For years, I had to wake up and tell myself that I was enough. That it was okay to eat. That I did not have to throw my food up to be healthy. Nothing about eating disorders are healthy.
Recovery is a long process, but essential to moving on and starting a true, healthy life.
Here are 5 ways that helped me to heal after winning my bulimic battle:
1. Shut the media out.
Seriously, if those fashion magazines are making you feel worthless or fat, stop fucking reading them. Just stop it! Instead, use positive media and find yourself a healthy role model that you can help guide you. My personal role model was always Jamie Eason. Not because she is sweet, beautiful, and has a kick ass body, but of her attitude towards life. You could tell that this woman truly covered her bases to take care of herself. I wanted to care for myself like that so I once upon a time, I made my computer background a photo of hers and aspired to improve myself each and everyday-inside and out. She also helped to take my focus from "size 00 skinny model with thigh gaps and protruding collarbones" to a size whatever strong fitness model with muscles. Media can be so evil guys, I know this-it is where I work everyday. Choose the good stuff.
2. Accept yourself for the way that you are now.
I am not saying that you have to love the way you look right now. We all have something we would like to improve or work on, but just go take a look in the mirror and tell yourself that yes, you are enough. When you accept yourself right where you are from the beginning, just think of all the things you will be capable of in the future. You will set yourself up for success right there, right then. A wise man once said, "Change your thoughts and you can change your world." ~ Norman Vincent Pace
3. Rebuild the damages done to your body
. Eating disorders are serious, regardless if you stop eating altogether, throw up everything, or just binge until there's no end. They all have one thing in common: they will kill you if untreated. Why? It throws off your bodys chemical balance and shuts down your organs very slowly. To begin healing, focus on rebuilding your digestive system by introducing plenty of fiber. Adding a probiotic supplement is a great idea as well because, chances are, your gut is lacking the appropriate amount of good bacteria that it needs for digestion. Another tip is eating fermented foods. Fermented foods can be the easiest and most cost-effective way of rebuilding your digestive enzymes. Some examples of fermented foods include yogurt, lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and keifer. As always, stick to a healthy and clean diet packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
4. Begin a new hobby.
Hobbies are for fun, relaxation, and recreation. I personally began doing photography and fell in love with every second of it. It relieved my stresses after work and helped me to float away into my own little "happy place." I also began a new hobby-working out-which lead me to the life that I live now. But, as a recovering disordered eater, beware that an addiction can easily develop from working out. There is a difference between a healthy amount of exercise and an addiction fitness. Find your perfect balance.
5. Let go of toxic family and friends.
This was a big one that I had to do. All of those people who pick on your weight or make you feel unworthy, in general, need to go. Boom! Out the door! If they don't support you, you do not need them in your life. Choose positive friends who have a positive mindsets that are only going to raise and lift you up higher! Negativity is very hard on someone who is overcoming an addiction and it can even lead to regression. You cannot choose who you encounter, but you can choose who you interact with.
If you yourself have ever suffered from an eating disorder of any kind, I hope this helps you to move forward. The past can be so painful, but you have the control of your future to an extent.
Choose to be happy.
Choose to love yourself.
Choose to be happy.
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