I heard it was National Eating Disorder Awareness week (#neda) so I thought I’d take a min to share my story. The first picture is me now, fat and happy, with a smudge on my mirror. The next few pictures are from me in 8th and 9th grade (ft. 9th grade Whitney) which was the height of my eating disorder, my unhappiness, and my self hatred. As you can probably tell, every picture I took was angled to make me look thinner. I would often wear hoodies over my clothes to try and hide my stomach, which is still something I’m learning to love even today. The difference between then and now, is now I’m content with myself inside and out... I have my good and bad days like everyone else but overall I am content and I am in love with myself. Back then, I was so full of self hatred that it was detrimental to my education, social life, mental & physical health, etc. I developed anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphia (unfortunately body dysmorphia has stayed with me.) I counted my calories endlessly, worked out like mad, starved myself, forced myself to throw up, got as low as 111 lbs... and as skinny as I got, as sickly as I started to look, it wasn’t enough. My stomach still stuck out too much, I didn’t have a thigh gap, my collarbones weren’t prominent enough. I didn’t even want a big round butt or large boobs I just wanted to be skin and bone and i was willing to seriously hurt myself to get there. Through a lot of therapy and a lot of support, I was able to recover from these horrible disorders. Nowadays I eat when & how I want, rarely worrying about my measurements or the number on the scale. I let myself rest between work outs. I wear whatever I want, I show off my curves in all their amazing glory. I had a lot of help getting here but if I’m being totally honest, nobody got me here but ME. I made the choice to start loving and accepting myself. I made the choice to strengthen myself, and grow. I opened my mind up and allowed people and therapy to help me and give me coping skills. It does get better. One day you will love yourself. One day you will feel free. One day you’ll be able to eat whatever you want and not feel the slightest bit guilty. It starts with YOU.