I’m so grateful to be a part of Healthy is the New Skinny ‘s #StopBodyShame campaign!
I grew up wondering what was so wrong with me and why I didn’t fit in or have any friends. “Chicken Pox!” was my name at school thanks to my terrible acne. I was a talented tennis player and horseback rider, but soon other comments poured in. “Your calves are bigger than guys!” “You’re ugly!” I had very low self-esteem and I was convinced that I had to change myself dramatically to make up for some unknown terrible flaw, so that I could have friends and be happy. I suffered in silence and I tried my best to numb out the madness in my head.
I developed an eating disorder. At the time it did help me cope and it took my focus away from what hurt me, so I briefly felt better. But what really happened was the most hurtful thing I could have done: I body shamed and ridiculed myself as I turned my hate inward. But at least this way I felt in control – I got to shame myself first before anyone else could get to me. A constant voice in my head tore me to shreds 24/7 and reinforced that I was worthless. I thought this was keeping me safe, but instead it led me to battle for my life with anorexia, binge eating disorder and bulimia before finally recovering and finding balance.
It was in my healing that I realized it was never my body that was the problem at all. In fact, it was never me that was a problem either. Once I realized that I had the power to change my thoughts, to forgive myself, to love myself, and to be me – exactly as I am – is when I became free and stopped hating myself.
So often we think of body shaming as coming from others, but we forget that the cruelest source can come from ourselves. You have something unique to offer in this world and you should never try to change yourself for the wrong reasons. ~Britt
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