I could give body image a good smack in the face.
Being a girl is so so tough. Especially with social media. The quote that goes…
“Comparison is the thief of joy”Theodore Roosevelt
Body image stole my happiness for years and years. It started in middle school, the body image insecurity. Specifically at a water park, looking down at my little 12-year-old tummy sticking out (thinking back now I want to scoop that girl up and hug her), and embarrassingly resting my crossed arms in front so no one could see. In high school, I was surrounded by girls that were naturally thin with the highest metabolisms, and I also had a mom that worked in the fitness industry, so I would constantly ask her, “Can I eat this?” “Is this okay for me to eat?”
- When I was in 8th grade, I remember not eating for a few days because I wanted to be thin
- When I was a freshman in high school I restricted myself from eating because I wanted to be thin
- Sophomore and junior year, I didn’t restrict, but wasn’t happy with the way I looked.
Picture on the left, taken in 2015, summer before my senior year of high school. I think I gained close to 20 pounds that summer. I gave up trying to lose weight. I hated, hated, hated my body, and ate my feelings. This picture was taken at a cabin my family rented and I vividly remember almost eating an entire giant bag of chocolate covered blueberries, you know the one that’s THIRTY-TWO OUNCES. YEAH. THAT ONE. I thought to myself, “I’m happy with my body. I don’t care anymore about trying to be skinny and losing weight.” Oooooh, but I cared. I was mentally exhausted of trying to lose and not seeing results. Moreover, the start of my senior year, my mom, dad, and I joined Slimgenics. Through this weight loss program I was able to lose 20 pounds with healthy eating.
Middle picture taken summer of 2018, vegan, restricted eating. My days went like this: woke up, ate an apple and peanut butter for breakfast around 6 a.m. and then didn’t eat until 4 or 5p.m. in the afternoon – that meal consisted of a veggie burger, spinach, chopped veggies, and salad dressing and that was all I ate. I was obsessed. I lost weight fast when I first went vegan, then along the way I figured out how to manipulate my food. I was able to gain control of my weight and I was the thin girl I always wanted to be. However, this resulted in loss of periods, exhaustion, worse body image, high anxiety, I thought about food 24/7, and constantly looked at my stomach in the mirror after I ate a meal to see if I looked bloated. If I looked bloated, I knew I ate too much and would be absolutely devastated – it would literally ruin my day. I weighed myself every morning, avoided dinner outings, and constantly counted calories in my head. I came out of this disordered eating around January – February, 2020 due to pure mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion and insane hunger. I also prayed. I prayed a lot for help.
Picture on the right, taken in mid-December of 2020. No longer vegan and I genuinely enjoy working out. Going to the gym isn’t a form of punishment anymore. It’s my place that I get to go see the progression I make lifting weights. It’s been a journey. An emotional, mentally draining, tough journey. I don’t want to say I am completely above all the body image insecurities because I will always have some insecurity, but I have certainly come a long way. I can eat meals guilt free again, I enjoy food again, I don’t weigh myself anymore, and I am content – happy even.
It’s a journey. And everyone is on their own journey. No one is alone. Everyone has their own thing they’re carrying and that’s ok. I am here to tell you that I am along for the ride, right along side you.
Your Friend Elle