The Way I See Myself Has Changed

This post may be triggering for those who have struggled/are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating habits. Please honor yourself and be prudent in your decision to read on. ūüôā

It’s funny when I think about it:

Three years ago, I went to Florida for Christmas and I was eating whatever the heck I wanted. Sushi, ice cream, more sushi, lasagna, frozen yogurt, and even more sushi. I gained a lot of weight and I wasn’t exercising all that much, but I was on vacation and still doing okay.¬†I saw myself as a growing teenager with a blessed metabolism.

Two summers ago, I came to Florida for the Orlando Ballet Summer Intensive. I was not happy with how my body looked and I was looking at fitness/food blogs for the wrong kind of inspiration‚ÄĒ the “fitspiration” to lose weight and count calories while I was still a healthy, growing teenager. I saw myself as bottom-heavy and rounder than other people.¬†I ate less and less every day while I danced 6 hours a day.¬†I lost all the weight I gained during Christmas, plus a lot more.¬†

A little less than two years ago,¬†I went to Florida again for Christmas, and I was the lightest I had been in a very long time. I was pretty satisfied with how I looked though‚ÄĒ I had the slightest bit of a “thigh gap”¬†for the first time in my life (*rolling my eyes now*). I saw myself as a super healthy, skinny person finally.¬†This was when my dad tearfully commanded me to drop my disordered eating habits right then and there. It was a mental and emotional struggle for me to put on more weight, but I gained a few more pounds that Christmas.¬†

Last summer, I started this blog in Florida while recovering from my disordered eating habits. I had gained quite a bit more weight by then, but I was still careful about my eating and fitness and maintaining my weight overall. I saw myself as a fit, healthy person.

This summer,¬†I finally got my act together and basically told myself, “Screw the scale and whatever ideal body image I have in my head. I need to rest¬†and EAT.” Well, my body has responded SO well to the rest and extra food, and my long-time fears of blowing up like a puffer fish did not come true. My face is round like it always was before I started restricting my eating. I feel stronger, happier, and more energetic. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my life, but I could not care less, and I’m actually quite thrilled about it.¬†I now see myself as a a¬†truly¬†healthy, strong, and happy woman.

I’ve grown out of a few pairs of pants on this vacation, and I’m just looking forward to buying some new ones. Even looking back at past photos from when I¬†used to¬†think I was fluffier, I cannot see what I thought was so “big” now. It’s like my eyes have changed, but I know it’s just that my mentality has shifted away from looks and towards true health.

I did not post any pictures this time for two reasons: I’m at the train station and the connection is terrible, and I don’t necessarily want to show what I thought was “big”,”skinny”, etc. because everyone’s perceptions are different and changing.

So to finish off this more serious post (after weeks of talking about beaches and theme parks), I would like to say thank you all for your support and advice throughout my journey. I have allowed blogs to make me devalue myself in the past, but in the past year, I have allowed blogs to encourage me to find peace in myself and in God.