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Pursuit of Wellness – Eating Disorders

Dimension: Intellectual

Date: February 28th

Today I attended the bonus opportunity, in which I stopped by the Eating Disorders informational booth in the Memorial Union to learn about some facts on eating disorders. I personally am very happy with my body and LOVE eating food, so even though attending this booth was of no use to myself it was actually very informational because I have a friend with an eating disorder. It was really nice to read about the signs of how to recognize one. Hopefully with the new information I learned by attending this booth that I can maybe help her to recognize it herself.

“Revere the body and care for it, for it is a temple.” ~ Swami Muktananda

From a place of…

Let me ask you a couple of serious questions:

When you look in the mirror, what do you think? What do you tell yourself?

When I was 300 pounds, I would look in the mirror and tell myself that I was ugly, huge, and blobby. I had red stretch marks that mirrored a woman’s pregnant belly. My legs sported varicose veins much like my parents. (Need I remind you I was 16 years old?)

As I lost weight, my loose skin started to appear and sag. And sag. And sag. Stretch marks faded, but were still an obviously visible  nuisance to me. My bones started to protrude more, and I could pick out specific areas to beat myself up over. My new body was supposed to bring me instant happiness. Instead it left me frustrated and self-conscious.

There are so many media influences out there trying to tell us how we should look if we want to “feel good” about ourselves.

Wait, who are THEY to tell us anything? And… who are THEY, anyway?

If you are starting to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle, can I ask you to make a pledge to yourself that you do it for the right reasons? Exercising and eating right helps you to feel better inside and out. But if you are going to do it from a place of self-hatred, you will NEVER feel content. No matter what size you are.

Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my “trophies” from weight loss: my varicose veins stick out more, but it’s because my legs are skinnier. I have loose skin on my stomach that I can sometimes get into a ponytail. I call it my bread dough. I have “bye-bye” arms, too. They keep moving long after my arm does. Oh, and I can stretch the skin out. I actually encourage people to give it a shot if they’re curious.

I’ve been told countless times that I should lift weights to help with the skin. (I’ll tell you more about that later.) I’ve also read that certain factors, including losing over 100 pounds and losing a lot of weight quickly (I did it in 2 years) will make it harder for the skin to “go back.” I’ve even looked into one of those skin removal surgeries out of pure frustration, but the danger of the surgery far outweighs some droopy skin and raised lines.

Do I love my body every day? … No. But if I’m upset about something on my body, I try to find something else that I’m happy with or proud of. After all, if you don’t even love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?

God doesn’t make mistakes. And I truly believe that everything happens for some reason in our lives. He’s not trying to torture us with a serious of challenging trials; He’s helping us grow into the person that we’re destined to be.

So as you begin or continue your healthy lifestyle, make a conscious effort to do it because you love yourself and you want a better quantity or quality of life. You will probably never look like another person (unless you have an identical twin, undergo a lot of surgery, and buy some inSANE makeup), but isn’t that a good thing? Kind of a relief to accept that truth remove the extra pressure!

I challenge you to switch out negative self-thoughts with positive ones. Cheers to you for making better decisions about how you live. Love yourself for that. You are a lovable person.

There was a rockin’ video I stumbled upon a few weeks ago, and I’ve been itching to share it with all of you. Enjoy!

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