Tag: Health

Tales of Recovering in College Pt. 1 – “Oh My Gosh, She’s Eating!”

This post was originally published on wakingupjess@wordpress.com on December 7, 2017. 

As you may or may not know, I committed to the process of mental and physical healing from my eating disorder and trauma the same week I began college. “Recovering” while simultaneously being a full-time college student has been the most difficult, rewarding, and eye-opening time of my life.

I’ve always been an observant girl, but recovery – and education gained from therapy – has granted me with such a unique perspective on the things that happen around me. In addition, recovery has provided me with some special opportunities for learning, growth, and outreach. I would love to share with you some random, personal stories from this season of my life.

  1. “Oh my gosh, she’s eating!”

Something I’ve grappled with and struggled through is watching how other college students and teachers treat food at school. When I started my first few months of school, I was quite sick, and it was crucial for me to stick to a meal plan of 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Now, at that point, it was a struggle for me to follow the meal plan, because I was not far in my recovery. Food felt like an obstacle for me to overcome every day. I was severely uncomfortable with my body and with the idea of eating around people. To make things more challenging, most of my classes were around lunch time.

In one of my classes – during my first year – I had a stern teacher who made it an actual rule that we couldn’t eat in her classroom. This was really bad for me and my sensitive blood sugar, and I often left her class feeling dizzy or faint. I don’t understand why she was so against the idea of eating, because her class was from 11:30-1:20.

In the classes where I was allowed to eat, it was almost equally challenging. In two other lunch time classes, I knew that I needed to eat my lunch. However, I can promise you that I was the only one who ever ate in those classes…It perplexes me. As a girl who was (at the time) fighting against personal urges to skip meals, it certainly didn’t help to feel like the odd one out. Yet, I chose to take care of myself. I’ll probably never forget the boy who sat next to me and made comments about my food choices every single day. He always drew attention to my lunch, making me feel like I was weird for eating.

(Pause: You’re probably thinking, “Jeez girl, just stop scheduling classes at lunch time.” But it’s not that simple. I had to take specific classes, and most often, the ones I needed were at that time.)

My therapist always encouraged me, saying, “I bet if you continue to eat in class, others will get the courage to do the same.” Yet, our hope never came to be.

I remember walking into a new class one day and seeing that we were going to sit in a circle instead of rows of desks. I knew that if I were to eat, people would certainly be able to watch me. Time went by, and again, nobody else ate in that class during the lunch time hours.

One day I had a sandwich and some veggies, and it was probably the most agonizing lunch I’ve had at school. The boy next to me commented on it, and I was sure the crunching of the sliced bell peppers could be heard by several people. So, I got creative and started making smoothies for that class. I felt like pulling a cup out of my backpack and drinking out of a straw would be less distracting to others, and would keep their eyes off of me.

But hold on! Why should I have to feel alienated? Why should I care or change because of what people might be thinking about my food choices and my decision to eat at school? Sure, crunching can be slightly distracting, but I don’t think it’ll ruin anyone’s day. It’s not like I’m chomping away during a test.

That was a turning point for me. By the end of my first year, I was really tired of feeling like I had to hide or feel like I was “wrong” for eating. It was really inhibiting me from being able to relax and focus on academics as much as I wanted to.

I decided that I didn’t want food to feel like an obstacle at school anymore. Year two rolled around, and I was ready for things to be different.

Of course, then, on the first day of Biology, my teacher said “You can’t eat in this class, because there could be chemicals in the lab. Only drinks are acceptable.” While I understood the safety hazard, I was not sure how I’d get through 12:30-3:20 without eating. (And I had a class that ended at 12:20, so eating lunch before that class wasn’t an option.) But, I care too much about my health to neglect to nourish my body anymore. So, even though I don’t prefer substituting lunch with a smoothie, I had to make lunch fit in a cup. But let me tell you: I have become the best darn smoothie maker there is; and I had fun finding creative ways to pack enough calories and density into my cup.

In that class, I would unashamedly pull out my clear smoothie cup, and others could see it. Sadly, most classmates were often dozing off, having difficulty focussing, complaining of hunger, and running on coffee for three hours. There were a few instances where my classmates would say, “I’m so hungry! This class is so long, and right during lunch time!” In response, I would always say, “Yeah, that’s why I bring big smoothies every day!” But none of them ever did the same. So, yet again, I was the only one who fueled myself each day. I’m guessing some people were able to eat before that class began; but judging on so many people’s comments and tiredness, I think many of them did not.

All of this has made me so curious, and I’ve been trying to broaden my perspective to figure it out. A friend and I were trying to solve this mystery of why people don’t eat in classes at our school, and she pointed out: “For a lot of people, I think eating is like sleeping. It’s a normal thing to do, but we prefer to only do it in front of people we’re comfortable with.” I think this is a good point. It seems like there’s a general stigma or discomfort about the idea of eating in classes. Though, I’m not sure where this discomfort is stemming from. While my personal discomfort stemmed from an eating disorder, I don’t suspect everyone else has the same issues I had. Why aren’t the average, healthy students bringing food to classes?

Possible reasons are that some people eat beforehand; others say they don’t have enough time to make food; and in some classes, engaging activities could prohibit one from eating. Now, I can’t get inside everyone’s heads, but it looks like a lot of people don’t feel comfortable eating in front of others; and some people do not prioritize it. This is something I’d love to see change.

You see, eating is a natural, survival instinct and action. I really think is should be treated as a normalized thing to do at school. I don’t want to feel alienated for being the only person eating lunch. I shouldn’t have to look forward to the days when I getto eat lunch at home, because I won’t feel people’s eyes glide over to me and silently judge (or envy) my food.

Food is necessary. Eating to fuel for success in school is necessary. Eating is normal. Let’s all treat it as normal. Let’s feel comfortable taking care of ourselves.

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Our Minds & Medication (Personal Stories)

This post was originally published on wakingupjess@wordpress.com on March 10, 2017. 

Luke 10:27: “love the Lord your God. . .with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Today I’m focussing on the idea of serving God and others with our whole mind. I wonder: How can we do this if we aren’t having positive thoughts? If we are depressed, anxious, and struggling to find peace, joy, or confidence?

Mental illness, clinical depression, anxiety, and other disorders and mental struggles are so common and running rampant among us. Because of this, for a lot of people, it can be very hard to think in a way that is pure and beneficial all the time.

This has been especially true for me in the past few weeks. After having gone an entire year without an anxiety attack, I was reminded (shortly after that one year mark) that my anxiety disorder is still very much a part of me. Sitting in church a few weeks ago, my mind was a mess. I was stressed with school, relationships, and worrying about literally like 6 other things, all at once. My mind spiraled so far out of control that I became restless. I got up from my seat, went out into the lobby, and broke into tears and short breathes. This panic attack reminded me of who I am, though. I am anxiety prone.

Following that experience, I started to realize that my anxiety and depression are becoming worse. For a while now, I haven’t been able to focus well, sleep good, or feel joy as easily. I feel like a little grey cloud is hovering over me, taking enjoyment and energy out of my life. It’s making me an irritable girl who snaps at her parents and can’t love her friends well. It’s making me feel tired and like I can’t even open my Bible. But that isn’t normal for me! After some prayer and advice, I decided to ask for an increased prescription of my medication. Some might argue that medication isn’t the way to solve the problem; but I think that there’s only so much self-care we can do for our minds until it’s okay to seek medicine.

How can I serve God with my mind if I don’t take care of my mind?

I’m not saying, “Hey everyone, go get some meds to solve your problems!” I’m reminding us all that it’s okay to think of them as a helpful option. More importantly, though, we should be aware of our mental state! We should try to realize when we aren’t thinking good thoughts; notice when we’re slipping into a darker place; and evaluate how our attitude might be impacting relationships.

Another instance that got me thinking about this is that my brother recently decided to get onto medication. (And he gave me permission to talk about it). He’s in a crazy season of life and has a lot of responsibilities: he’s a senior in college, an intern at a production studio, he has a girlfriend, he’s trying to figure out his future, and he’s currently directing a film at his school! He’s got a lot on his mind; and lately he’s been feeling the way I was describing my own self. I’m so glad that he decided to try medication to improve his mood and calm his anxious mind. He realized that in order to best serve all of the people around him and focus on God and his responsibilities, he needs to be in a better mental state. He evaluated where his mind was; and there is no shame in that.

So, I hope this encourages you to pay attention to your thoughts in each season of life. We are called to serve God and others with our whole minds, so it is important to be aware of them! For some of us, medication might be helpful. For others, simply being aware of the fact that we’re not thinking positive, healthy, or true thoughts can allow us to  fix them. Maybe for some, reading scripture more often will be enough to moderate our thinking patterns! Whatever you need to do, it’s always good to take care of your mind.

More Than I Imagined

This post was originally published on wakingupjess@wordpress.com on January 7, 2017. 

“Lord, I am so tired of being afraid of the future. I know that I’m not walking in the truth, and my anxiety is holding me back from experiencing full joy and pursuit of my dreams. . .Please, I just need you to bring me security and then some joy and a little excitement in my life. . .I don’t know…I just want to feel more at peace and secure. Please help me, God. Amen.”

A prayer written by me,  January 2016

I found the above prayer in my prayer journal. Evidently, I was having a hard time and feeling devoid of security, joy, and peace. The month previous was when I was so terrified for my health that I got onto anxiety medication.

The beginning of 2016 was simply the middle of a difficult transition, and I was feeling a lack of direction for my life. I pictured another 12 months just as hard as 2015.

But, little did I know, I was about to have the most transformational and rewarding year ever! 2016 ended up being the year that I learned the most about myself and became determined to fight harder than ever!

Now, let me be clear that without my faith in him, I would have only sunk deeper into the pits of fear, disordered eating, insecurity, selfishness, apathy, and isolation. I know this because my belief in God was my main motivator in any and all efforts to get better.

My motivation is the fact that I believe He created me for a purpose and has greater plans for my future. And those plans do not include bondage to self-destructive behaviors and thoughts.

Through my consistent asking of God for help and a perfectly orchestrated set of events, God did more than I could have ever imagined.

He nudged me; He made me feel strong moments of conviction that broke me down when I needed to make a change; And He used specific people to say the exact words I needed to hear. And I believe that he even lead me to the scriptures that I needed to read, when I asked him to. There are some events that I give God all the credit for, because the timing was just too perfect. There is no way I could have planned each little (or big) moment of impact so divinely. It was purely the Lord’s doing.

Because of this, I’ve really been loving this scripture in Ephesians that says:

“How long and wide and deep and high is the love of Christ. . .Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be all the glory. . .for ever and ever! Amen.” – 3:20-21

Seriously, I’m blown away at his work in my life!

I compiled a list of positive events and significant changes that all happened within 2016:

  • I started this blog!
  • I went 10 whole moths without any major panic attacks. (WOO!)
  • I visited Biola University, and realized that I actually DO want to go to college!
  • I got accepted to Biola!
  • I shared my testimony with my entire highschool youth group (scary, but worth it!)
  • My anxiety gradually decreased, and I learned how to handle it better.
  • I reached two major clinical health goals!
  • I turned 18, graduated high school, and started my summer job all in the same month!
  • I worked as a middle school leader and went to summer camp with the youth group.
  • I shared the gospel with 3 people and helped lead 2 to Christ. (YAY)
  • My relationship with exercise turned healthy.
  • I started college.
  • I went on real dates with real boys 😉  (I don’t think I could have healthily done this last year.)
  • I found direction for life, felt new passions, and felt joyful.
  • I got asked to be a bridesmaid! AND
  • I made a scary but life-changing decision for my overall health that has been TOTALLY worth it! (I’ll share more about this one later).

It doesn’t hurt that I also made it to Disneyland twice, saw a couple celebrities, and made some friends 🙂

These blessings came at a price though. I had to fight hard. I had to wait patiently, keep going to church, seek the Lord for strength, cry, endure a lot of discomfort, ask people for help, and always ask God for direction. But now I can see that it was all worth it. I can see now that he did hear my prayer in January; and he had good things in store.

Yes, fighting was worth it; and God ended up doing “immeasurably more than I asked or imagined.” And this is my hope for 2017! I’m expecting Him to continually show up and to be on my team. He has never left my side, and He’s not going to now.

God can move mountains in your life as well! He will bless you in incredible ways if you  have an active relationship with Him, ask Him for help, and have a willing heart. Then wait expectantly with faith.

My Difficult Journey with Exercise

This post was originally published on wakingupjess@wordpress.com on December 3,  2016. 

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I praise the Lord each and every time I recognize an area of my life that’s he’s transformed. Recently I’ve been feeling grateful for the redemption of my relationship with exercise.

When I was in the midst of my eating disorder and insecurity, I thought my issues were only about food. I’ve never been an exercise “addict,” and I didn’t think exercise was a problem area for me. Yet, I also don’t think I’ve ever had a completely healthy relationship with it. Going to the gym from probably ages 14-18 were torture…The reason being that I was doing it for the wrong reasons.

I would drag myself to the gym and force myself to perform harder than I should, because I wanted to change my body. Working out wasn’t a celebration of the body God gave me. It was an effort to change it. So I’d keep pushing myself in order to maximize my time at the gym.

I have a sad memory from a little over a year ago: It was a busy week, and I was undoubtedly tired. I knew I should study for the S.A.T, but the enemy made me feel like burning calories was more important. When I was on the treadmill, I distinctly remember thinking, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to exercise for the right reasons. This is torture.” After that day, it was a repeated thought pattern each time I’d work out. I would zone out and wonder if I could ever love my body enough to just exercise because it’s something I enjoy.

Then one day I got so anxious while running on the treadmill that my heart rate became really scary, and I had to stop. I went home and cried, feeling simultaneously scared, guilty, and sorrowful. I yearned for the day that I’d be able to exercise normally and healthily.

Fast forward to 10 weeks ago: School started, and I just couldn’t fit the gym into my schedule. That was scary for me, because I was super active in the summer. For the first time in a long time, I went 10 days without any form of forced activity; and it cured me. Somehow, having a break from it was exactly what I needed. I gained so much perspective, and I was able to let go of dependence on it. I think a large part of it was also that I was solely focussed on thriving in school, church, and relationships. There was a shift from where I was receiving my identity.

Now I can go weeks at a time without exercise and feel okay about it. The day that I was at the gym and realized, “wait…I’m not doing this because I hate my body. I’m doing it because it feels amazing, and I love it…” That was a great day.

Now, I know how to limit myself. I don’t go when I’m exhausted, I try new things when i’m there, and I don’t get anxious about it. I love it. But I don’t depend on it anymore. The Lord has been showing me constantly what it looks like to take care of myself, heal, rest, and appreciate the genetics he gave me. And I have discovered that I truly love to use the legs that he gave me to RUN. 🙂 (and release some endorphins)

I hope that you all find your identity from where it matters most and move your body because you want to care for it.”Healthy” looks different for all of us. And it’s never too late to treat yourself well.  img_0622

365 Days of Transformation

This post was originally published on wakingupjess@wordpress.com on May 27, 2016. It was my last day of high school, and I reflected on the changes over the past year.

I’m all about dates. My mind works like a calendar. I like to know exactly what happened to me one year ago and how I’ve changed. Charting progress is really enjoyable to me. I especially love looking at old photos and remembering the accompanying memories. When I look at pictures I often also think about what I was like at the time – mentally, spiritually, physically, and relationally. Because I’m at the very end of my senior year of high school and I’ve just become an adult, right now I’m especially reflecting on change. I’m astounded at how much God has brought me through and at the utter transformation of my heart and mind.

A few days ago I was driving to my job in the morning. I was sleepy and getting ready for a full day of my least favorite position to work. But at the same time, I felt okay about it. I was determined to get through the day, and I was able to smile at my co-workers when I got there.

Why does this matter? Well, the next day I remembered something crazy: Last summer, I worked at the same place, but my anxiety was worsening. And something I haven’t told many people is that I would often have panic attacks on my way to work. Yes, while I was driving on the freeway. Sometimes several days in a row…I was anticipating the worst every morning. I lived with an unsettled feeling of danger, and I didn’t think I could handle the day’s challenges. But now, I have confidence in my self.

An even bigger milestone though, is what happened to me one year ago from tomorrow. With fear, pride, and hesitation, I walked into the office of a nutritionist who changed my life. We identified that day that I was on the brink of an eating disorder and that I needed to gain weight.

I remember leaving her office with a huge poster of different food groups and the number of each that I was required to eat every day. It felt like an impossible task to me…But at the same time, I knew I had a deeper issue in my heart that needed to be fixed, and that being healthy was what I wanted deep down. I looked at myself  in the mirror for a long long time. I looked at my thigh gap and said goodbye.

One year later, and I have finally reached the physical health requirements we set that day.  (: I’ve found my worth elsewhere, and I am okay with the changes I see in the mirror because they reflect the change in my heart. (And  I laugh at the unrealistic thigh gap expectation.)

One of my life verses is, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

It’s been a journey, and throughout my senior year and the last 365 days, I have experienced a slow transformation in my mind. I truly feel like the truth of God’s word has  changed me and healed me in some monumental ways. (And I have so much evidence to prove it!) God’s will for my life has proven to be so life-giving, while the things I was experiencing were, by nature, self-destructive.

God is able to transform us all. It doesn’t have to take a whole year either! This gives me so so much hope for everyone around me.

So today while I celebrate my last day of high school, I’ll also be celebrating everything else God has done in my life in the past year.

Why Eating Disorder Recovery is Worth it

Between Instagram and real life,  I have befriended and followed hundreds of girls who
have eating disorders (EDs). If you don’t have an ED, you might be surprised to hear about this; but there are thousands of “recovery accounts” on Instagram, where people fullsizeoutput_11b4document their journeys and support one-another.  It’s a beautiful “recovery community” that has supported me in significant ways. At this point in my recovery process, I’m probably giving support more than I’m receiving it; and that’s just where I’m at right now! Recently, though, my heart has been breaking for some of my friends who are struggling to recover.

In the past month, I’ve watched as a lot of sweet girls have been admitting that they want to give up: Their hope is lost. Eating seems impossible. Food creates instant anxiety. Social fears and body image are crippling. Laxatives are being abused. Purging and exercising addictions are keeping them trapped. Insomnia or extreme fatigue are taking over. Joy is lost…My dear sisters are sacrificing almost anything, in order to maintain this perceived control. When it comes down to it, nothing seems more appealing and desirable than being thin and in control. I’m not passing judgement, because I used to be entrenched in that lifestyle, too. I understand how we get to that point.

Now that I’m in a stable recovery, seeing my friends struggle in their EDs makes my heart ache. I know the pain. But, I have discovered that it can get better, and recovery is possible. I’m going to share with you why I believe recovery is worth more than an ideal body and having a feeling of constant control. I hope that sharing about the freedom I feel encourages my recovery sisters to keep walking towards the light at the end of the dark tunnel. If you don’t have an eating disorder, I hope this brings awareness to the experience of this mental disorder.

  1. Meals & Hard Choices 

I used to wake up, lay in bed for a long time, and contemplate whether or not I was going to have breakfast that day. Questions would go through my mind, like: Was I “too bloated” that morning? “What did I eat yesterday, and am I allowed to eat breakfast now?” “If I do eat breakfast, what’s my calorie limit?”

These thoughts didn’t stop after breakfast, though. Similar thoughts would cycle through my brain all day and before other meals and snacks. It was truly exhausting and no fun! I thought that my strict rules and self-regulations would achieve ultimate satisfaction, because they would somehow get me to the body that I wanted. In reality, these thoughts and choices left little room for me to think about more important matters in my life. They also made food a scary thing that I felt the need to control and watch out for.

Now, meals are non-negotiable for me. I rarely ruminate on food thoughts, and I have way more brain space for my other priorities! It feels so good to just eat, move on, and focus on relationships, school, work, fun, hobbies, and my faith in God!

2.  Anxiety Level

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve found out that my anxiety disorder was largely linked to my eating disorder. I can speak for everyone by saying that eating disorders create anxiety. One reason for this is that our nervous system becomes negativly affected and less effective when we’re constantly worrying about food, planning workouts, and obsessing over calories and changes in our bodies. Also, when our bodies are depleted of nourishment, they send us signals to tell us something is wrong. Those signals feel a lot like anxiety!

Once we feed our body and brain, though, they begin to trust us, heal, improve the nervous system, and even lighten our moods! My panic attacks have almost entirely disappeared since being healthy and in a stable phase of recovery. Little moments of food and body related anxiety have also stopped hindering me in large ways. It feels so much nicer to be able to finally relax and rest! I save my worries for school stress. 😉

3. Guilt & Shame

I’m gonna enter some uncomfortable territory for a second. I think that deep down inside of everyone, whether we have a set of religious morals or not, there is a feeling of guilt created by our disordered behaviors and thoughts. Even when we have convinced ourselves that maybe we need these behaviors, we’re trapped by them, they’re safe, nobody will find out, there’s nothing wrong, or that they’re just part of  our life now…No matter what we tell ourselves, I believe that deep down we all know and feel there’s something wrong about our mindset and rebellious behaviors. We tiptoe around our families and make up all kinds of excuses to our friends. We feel unsettled. We feel the barriers that our Eating Disorder sets up between us and other things.

I always felt so conflicted about my Eating Disorder. I wanted to engage in it; yet it went against so much of what I believed. It put barriers between me and other people, my health, life experiences, my spiritual life, my academic success, my energy, and so much more. Since letting go of so many of the behaviors and doing the hard work of therapy, I can tell you that it feels awesome to no longer carry the weight of guilt on my shoulders!

4. Digestive Problems 

I remember when I was in the beginning steps of recovery and the re-feeding process. It’s brutal…Introducing so much food to the body again wreaks havoc on the G.I. system. So much stomach pain…Bloat for days…Constipation…It’s very unpleasant; and to make matters worse, it creates anxiety. But our bodies need time to adjust to the changes. My friend once told me, “it’s one of the necessary evils of recovery,” and she was right.

If you fight through that stage, though, it can get so much better! I know it’s difficult and requires patience, but you just have to trust the process. Our bodies were born with this complex digestive system, and they know what to do with food. Eventually, you might not suffer with all of those symptoms I listed above. Which, in turn, creates less anxiety and bloat! Yay!

    5. Passion, Interests, Hobbies, & Potential 

With an Eating Disorder, I think we lose sight of what matters most in life. I think we become so focused on achieving this one goal within ourself that we actually forget about everything else we enjoy about life. Even our dreams from childhood – of who we wanted to become and what we wanted to accomplish– disappear.

I had once convinced myself that I “liked to run,” and  I was “interested in nutrition.”  In reality, those things aren’t my calling in life or what I enjoy most. I spent time pursuing my disorder, partially because it felt like the only thing I was good at.

I also convinced myself that “I didn’t want to go to college,” “I was not talented or passionate about anything,” “People were annoying to spend time with,” and so many other things like this. The general theme here is that my eating disorder distracted me from so much goodness; and it convinced me that I was worth nothing if I didn’t have the ideal body.

Through recovery, I’ve discovered so many things that I like more than my disorder! I have healthy, real goals and hope for the future. I try new things,  enjoy having fun with people, and care more about things that matter to me.

   6. Exercise & Movement 

I think that when we’re in an eating disorder, its’s basically impossible to exercise with a 100% healthy mindset. I tried it for a long time, but I always felt wrong about it. I felt the rebellious side of me mistreating my body and ignoring my intuition and energy level. So, one of my favorite things about recovering is being able to finally move my body in a respectful and fun way!

When I do go to the gym, I try really hard to tune out other people and focus on me. I stay mindful of the clock and don’t make myself stay longer than I should. I fuel up before and after, so that I know I’m taking care of myself. I do the kind of workouts that I like, instead of what I think I “should” do. I also listen to podcasts and music that make me happy; and I’ll even watch Netflix on my phone while doing cardio. It has become a time for me to stop thinking about school and focus my mind on other things. It’s way more fun to move my body now that my conscious is clear and I respect myself!

7. Social Life

Before recovery, my social life was different. It’s hard to explain, but I always felt like I had to hide certain things about myself. I felt like sharing my hard personal issues with people was not okay, and that sharing good things would make me seem like a faker. As a result, I had a hard time being authentic with people. I was insecure about the words that would come out of my mouth and about the body and life I was portraying to people. I had little confidence or dignity.

Now, I’m still working on embracing my identity and the good parts of my personality. I’m working on recognizing the potential that I have to positively impact others when I walk into a room. So far, it feels so much better to be around people! I feel like I’ve let some walls down that never needed to be up in the first place. Relating to people is such a wonderful thing, and it enables me to have more genuine fun and laughter! My friendships and family relationships also feel healthier.

 8. Story 

Recovering has given me a story to tell. It’s a powerful story of enduring through hard times and transforming in ways that I never believed were possible. It’s a story that I’ll proudly be able to share with others for the rest of my life. Just like all good stories, it has a conflict that took a lot of time and overcoming obstacles to resolve. But I know it has a happy ending. And it makes me who I am.

***

I won’t lie and say that I don’t miss my old body sometimes. But I never really miss the lifestyle. There are several more reasons why recovery is worth it, but these are the ones that came to mind today. My prayer for you is that no matter what hard thing you’re dealing with today, you’ll find the strength to get through it. Be persistent, and believe that freedom is possible for you. Life after an eating disorder looks and feels beautiful.fullsizeoutput_11a8