like sam, i didn't realize that my body was undergoing natural changes as a part of reaching puberty, so i freaked out in high school when my body got bigger. and heavier. i responded with extremes like laxatives, dangerous diet pills, and starving myself which had the opposite effect i was hoping for. the inconsistencies in my diet and the substances messed with my metabolism and likely caused me to gain weight. instead of seeking help, i became obsessed with keeping the numbers on the scale down.
the issue quickly went from one of body image to self image. i was miserable - depressive, angry, and under the CRAZY impression that my self-worth was directly related to my weight. when i got to college, the situation got worse. the freshman fifteen hit me hard (hello, pizza and beer!), which caused a downward spiral into bulimia.
it was through friends who clearly loved me no matter what i weighed and a genuine desire to find happiness, that i decided i wanted to get better. i went to counseling, despite being mortified i "needed help," dealt with emotional issues underlying the eating disorder, and slowly, slowly learned what a healthy relationship to food and exercise meant.
fast-forward to today: yes, i still struggle from time-to-time with body image. yes, i get annoyed i have cellulite no matter how clean i eat. but i have found a happy balance through healthy eating and regular exercise. i really do feel my best when i'm treating my body well, which does in fact include indulging in sweets, drinking a glass of wine
getting the body you want takes HARD work. jillian michaels taught me that. but i've realized that the body i want means making MY body fit, not trying to look like some supermodel. i now view exercise as a way of taking care of myself. i feel healthy and strong and capable when i get through a tough workout.
so, there's my story, but let's be honest - it's probably not all that unique. i honestly don't know a single girl who hasn't struggled with body image. i just hope we can encourage each other to be healthy (not skinny).
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