Ditch the scale: I purposely do not own a scale. I’m not saying it’s bad to own one, but if it’s a focus every day to let a number (which fluctuates day to day anyway—especially for women) indicate my level of successfulness, my happiness or my worth, then I don’t want the temptation. I’d rather go by how I FEEL. It’s been so freeing to operate that way.
Stop comparing: Looking back, comparison fueled my dive deeper into this disordered relationship with my body and food. Comparison really is the thief of joy as they say—especially when you compare apples to oranges—a.k.a. any human comparing their body to anyone else’s. Our DNA is always going to be different and we will always find something that’s “better” or “worse” than someone else. In my twenties I also wish I would have known that comparing my body to anyone in their 30s (or a different age) was also just a recipe for disaster. Our bodies are going to look different from decade to decade, and from person to person.
Zoom out and be kind: Instead of micro-focusing on certain parts of my body, I constantly remind myself to zoom out and look at my body as a whole, recognizing it’s function as much as its miraculous beauty. I try to acknowledge all the amazing things my body has done and continues to do—grow and nourish four healthy little humans, allow me to move, play, and be productive in my pursuits, and so much more. I have learned to speak to and about my body with more grace and kindness.
Curate consumption: One of my therapists over the years told me that the more we see something, the more we like it. Therefore, we have to actively seek out and follow a variety of people with a variety of body types in order to become accustomed to more than just one look as “beautiful” or healthy.
Fat is actually good: Fat is evidence that your body is good at keeping you alive. It's stored energy. Without enough of it, hormonal balance suffers as do your reproductive and other systems (see parts 2-4 of my story). In a fat-phobic society let’s not forget that fat has a very important purpose and is not a sign of weakness.
Be the friend: People with eating disorders are really good at hiding their illness. They might even receive praise (as I did) about how lean and cut they look, how healthy they must feel. I hid my disorder well and even denied it myself. But I had two friends who knew me deeply and called me out in love. It may have taken a while for me to take the uncomfortable step toward change, but having friends who loved me enough to encourage that was a huge blessing.
Thanks for reading friends…I hope this gives someone hope, and inspires bravery. There’s freedom—it’s possible, I promise. Reach out if you ever want to talk.