In the summer between grades 9 and 10 I got boobs, and let me tell you, I loved them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as crazy about the hips & thighs that came along with them. At some point between dance classes, soccer practices, hanging out with friends and navigating life as a teenager I very innocently decided to start eating “healthier” in hopes that my hips would disappear. What I couldn’t have predicted when I skipped that first meal was that less than a year later my 5’11” frame would weigh only 89lbs, my internal organs would be shutting down and worst of all my poor parents and sisters would be scared for my life.
I’m not exactly sure when my “healthier” diet took a turn for the worse but I know I never expected it to get so out of hand. Slowly over time my weight dropped and my mind became increasingly consumed by food, calories and a stringent list of what I could and could not eat. Once I reached a certain weight my mind was no longer functioning properly and the eating disorder began to take a much stronger hold over my life. I cut out red meat, couldn’t fathom eating fats, ate minimal carbs and my mind was a running tally of calories that I couldn’t turn off. It was exhausting. I had successfully lost my hips but in the process I had completely lost myself and I was miserable.
Unlike many people who struggle from an eating disorder I didn’t see myself as being fat. I knew I was sick and desperately wanted to escape the person I had become but at the same time I felt intense anxiety surrounding food. It was so strong that I just couldn’t bring myself to eat as much as my body required me to.
After a few unsuccessful months in an outpatient program at BC’s Women’s Hospital I entered their inpatient program. My recovery took time and was one of the scariest things I have gone through but it also took me through a long process of self-discovery that has made me a more empathetic, caring and open person today. People often say that you never recover from an eating disorder. I agree but not in the sense that you are forever bound by counting calories and a number on the scale. You never go back to being the person you once were. You come out more self-aware, with more tools to help you manage the ups and downs of life and with a greater understanding of what is important to you.
Despite the strides I’ve made, sometimes today’s world can make it tough for a girl to really love herself. Modern day technology allows society to create images of women who aren’t even real through photo editing and enhancements. Social media platforms allow us to put forth our best side to the world, which is fine until we all start comparing ourselves to the perceived perfection we see on Facebook. Naturally we compare ourselves to these false realities, feel less about ourselves and then proceed to spend billions of dollars a year collectively on materialistic items in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. I know first hand that trying to find confidence and happiness through external beauty is a surefire way to end up very very unhappy.
From my experience the most beautiful people in life are the ones who are authentic, raw and exposed. I started this website to help women feel more confident in their beauty so that we can move on with our lives and start using our brilliant minds and caring hearts for more important things.