Hey everyone! Obviously just recently I’ve been posting a lot about fitness, self love etc. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I, as well as many others, struggle to love what they see in the mirror and who they are as people. It’s something that almost everyone has struggled with in their life at least once. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about insecurity and hating your body. I was unsure if I wanted to cover this topic as it is a sensitive topic. Some things that are good for some people are not good for other people. So many have different opinions and such on this topic.
I was hesitant to do this post but someone I care about that is an eating disorder survivor urged me to do it. She explained that some people might need to hear these things. I felt that she could help me write this post because she has gone through a lot and I feel that her story should be told.
WARNING: THIS POST MAY BE SENSITIVE FOR THOSE WHO ARE DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, BODY IMAGE AND MORE. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IF ANYONE NEEDS HELP THERE ARE TOLL FREE HELPLINE NUMBERS PROVIDED BELOW IN BOLD.
With that being said I’m setting some ground rules for this post:
– What is said might not apply to you or you may reject the advice. Please have respect for the post and understand that this isn’t a OSFM topic. This topic is complex and it isn’t going to cover every little thing or aspect. It also isn’t going to solve everything either. This post is mainly for those who feel these things might help them.
– It won’t help everyone. Like I said before this is a complex topic and with that being said, it won’t help everyone that has these struggles. We are just hoping that these few ways Jane learned through her experience can help even a handful of people through the experiences from someone who has an eating disorder.
– Not everyone is the same and no eating disorder is the same. This is just the perspective of one person that battled this mental illness, but she does not represent everyone that has an eating disorder. Please just respect her story and try to understand that her advice is only to try and talk about her experiences but also shed some light on body image in her experience. She is not spokesperson for her mental illness but wants to share her thoughts to help.
– I am keeping my friend anonymous as she had requested. So, for the sake of a name she wants to be called “Jane” as in Jane Doe. Please respect her advice and story.
– If you feel you have an eating disorder or other mental illness please contact a doctor or call this toll free number for the Mental Health Hotline: 1-800-950-6264. If you want to talk to someone about a possible eating disorder call your doctor or this toll free number for the National Eating Disorders Helpline: 1-800-931-2237. If you feel you have suicidal thoughts or depression please contact your doctor or call this toll free number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. I got these numbers off of Google and they are easy to search if you ever need them, please reach out to these numbers or your doctor or a friend/family member/ classmate/ teacher etc. if you need help.
I asked Jane what her earliest memory was when she realized she was battling an eating disorder.
“In all honesty I realized my eating disorder around the age of 12. I remember skipping meals because I didn’t think I was pretty enough or skinny like other girls in my school.”
I then asked her how long she battled this eating disorder before getting help.
“I battled this eating disorder for about 5 years before I got help. I reached out to a close friend and she helped me through a lot.”
I asked Jane what the hardest thing she experienced in having this eating disorder.
“The honest to god, worst part of it all is that you never feel like you’re good enough. No matter how much weight you lose, it’s never enough. I was as low as 95 pounds and still, it wasn’t enough. The problem is that although I am a survivor, I am constantly in recovery. It doesn’t just go away but talking about it and working at loving yourself everyday helps.”
I then asked Jane what advice she can give to not only those with eating disorders but those who struggle with their body image.
“Everyone is different so my advice might not help everyone but for those who have eating disorders it’s important for them to know they are not alone. They should try to reach out to someone they trust and talk through it or seek help. They need to know they are stronger than their eating disorder and that they are more than their “flaws”. For those women who struggle with their body image need to look in the mirror and choose what they love about themselves. I do this every morning and it is the hardest thing to get through. When you want to scream and cry because you seriously feel that there is nothing you love about yourself– get to a mirror and look. Even if you have to seriously look for hours. Pick something you love about your body and focus on that one thing and then every day or week try and choose something new. Go even deeper and find things you love about your personality and your life. Filling your mind with positive thoughts will help you with loving yourself. You might not always be happy with what you see in the mirror but that’s no reason to hate your body when you have so many more beautiful aspects aside from the “flaws” you focus on.”
I asked Jane what her advice is for those who want to change the way they look– in a healthy way but just can’t seem to do it.
“It’s a mind game. It took me a long time to be healthy and do things the right way, even though my mind was demanding something different. I suggest working up to it. In my humble opinion, I feel you can’t heal the outside without healing what’s within. Work on strengthening your mind and your body will follow.”
I then asked Jane what her thoughts were on those who have done it all in terms of the advice you’ve given but they are still struggling with their disorder or body image.
“I would look into forums and Facebook groups where they can find people with similar struggles. Someone may have the answer that will help them. I also know there is a stigma against therapists but they will actually work to help them. There isn’t something seriously wrong with getting a professional opinion. It’s helped me and many other people I know a ton. Helplines are also a great way to find help. Reaching out is scary but once you do, you will thank yourself in the long run.”
I hope this post was helpful to you or someone you know. If it wasn’t helpful please keep searching for ways and reaching out for help. No one is the same, so this advice may not help but this is more towards the experience that Jane went through and how she can tell her story with the intention of possibly helping others.
AGAIN IF YOU NEED TO REACH OUT FOR HELP THE HELPLINES ARE LISTED ABOVE IN BOLD.
– Sincerely, Jane
and Stephanie Russell