Content Warning: eating disorder, body dysmorphia, anxiety, depression
My journey to a positive body image has been a long and difficult one. I have had a lot of shame and guilt around eating starting at 14 when I fell into anorexic tendencies. I was fortunate enough to get professional help before the issue accelerated. However, it was the 4 years that was the real struggle. I developed a dysmorphic image of my body, leading to severe anxiety and depression.
After I finally decided to make a change, it took an additional 2 years of meditative practices, therapy, mindfulness practices and journaling to heal from the years before. Through this process, I learned how to acknowledge myself, how to love my body, and accept the talents that I have.
It is a blessing to finally accept myself for who I am, but I still look back and feel shame for what I put myself through. I am currently in the process of healing the younger version of myself, and allowing myself to process the feeling that led me to feel like I needed to be smaller or quieter. So, I am writing this letter to my younger-self in regard to body image acceptance. I would like to tell my younger-self that healing and wisdom takes time, have patience and faith in yourself;
The image in the mirror will never stay the same, no matter how many times you stand in front of it to suck in your abdomen. Your composition won’t change, your fat is good, and your pimples are temporary. The changes you will go through aren’t bad, they don’t make you ugly or less than. It’s okay and necessary for your body to change. Take this time of uncertainty to build up your kindness, patience and talents, for there is so much more beauty and love from inside you.