I am the voice in your head that tells you you aren’t hungry, even as your stomach growls.
I am the voice in your head that promises you that if you cut back just another hundred calories, you can reach the weight you want to achieve.
I am the voice at a girls night out that calculates the calories/points and has you focusing on what you will have to do to rid your body of these calories instead focusing on the time with your friends.
I am the voice in your head that allows you to compare yourself to others, always reassuring you that you are not as beautiful or worthy as a thinner person is.
I am the voice in your head that tells you that once you are thin, you will be so much happier.
I am the voice that tells you you shouldn’t have a baby because you will gain too much weight and then you’ll have to lose it all over again.
I am the voice that lies to you and says he will leave you if you gain any more weight.
I am the voice that says she doesn’t want to be your friend because you are fat.
I am the voice that tells you other Moms are better than you are because they are thinner.
I am the voice that tells you other husbands are luckier than yours because their wives aren’t as big as you are.
I am the voice that makes you put up with relationships that are harmful because I make you believe that if you were thinner no one would treat you poorly.
I am the voice of deceit.
I am the voice of an eating disorder.
I used to believe these lies.
These lies have ruined relationships, the most important one being the relationship with myself.
I hated myself for a very long time.
I allowed these lies to become truths in my mind.
Until one day, I stood up and said enough is ENOUGH.
I felt weak, I felt broken, I felt helpless… but I had a fire in the pit of my stomach and that is how I can tell you that no matter how you feel about your body today, it is possible to accept it one day.
It will take work.
It will take surrender of your old life.
It will take determination and strength that you have maybe never had before… but it will be worth it.
This week is the National Eating Disorder Association Awareness Week and the theme this year is Come as You Are: Hindsight is 20/20.
There couldn’t be a truer statement of my journey… hindsight is 20/20. That’s why I’m sharing this with you today.
I had no idea the damage I was causing myself by allowing these thoughts to become “truths” I believed. These thoughts led me down destructive paths that I am thankful are in the past, but there were years of turmoil, shame and struggle.
I didn’t understand how disordered my thoughts and behaviors were until I focused more on healing and less on weight.
And now I see it so clearly.
As a woman who felt this way for many years, I would be lying if I told you these thoughts never enter my mind any longer… they do. Just not nearly as often as they used to.
And today, the difference is I know when that inner voice is talking and the lies she’s telling me.
I don’t let that voice control me anymore.
I acknowledge it and do the work that it takes to shut it down.
I don’t allow myself to dwell there anymore. That’s the difference.
I’ve learned to embrace this body.
The one that has given me children.
The one that has carried me through 37 years on Earth and is doing amazing things for me.
I have made peace with my body and for the first time I am honestly caring for it better than I ever have.
I want to take care of my body because even though I mistreated it, hated it, made fun of it, despised it… it’s never given up on me.
I’m still here because God still has a purpose for me.
And some days I think that purpose is to be sitting here behind my computer reminding the woman who is reading this that HER body is worthy of love and acceptance… just as it is.
Forgive yourself and be willing to acknowledge your true feelings.
Forgive your past and take the lessons with you.
Move forward with anticipation of healing, because healing IS possible.
I know it won’t be easy, I know you will feel like giving up.
Because one day you will be on the other side of the mountain you are climbing, and it has a view that I promise you is worth the climb.
Visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org to find help.
Video Courtesy of NEDA.