This week our Healthy Living Transformation is brought to us by our fan Hana!
I was in 1st grade sitting in my grandparents’ kitchen about to grab some ice cream with my best friend when I was suddenly aware of her small frame. She wasn’t in the mood for ice cream, and that’s when I heard the first disordered thought in my head. It said, “I shouldn’t like ice cream so I can be as skinny as [my best friend].” From that moment until early 2014, I never touched ice cream. Little did I know that that seemingly harmless decision was just one of many destructive thoughts that I would experience throughout my life.
I’ve always been a fairly petite girl, but I think that’s what drove the need to be “perfect” and small all the time even more. Becoming smaller than I naturally am was just that much more attainable and tempting. But I learned eating disorders go beyond on just having distordered body image. It stems from a web of different events that happen in your life and the accumulation of emotions. For me, it started out as a way to control my body, but then my parents’ messy divorce in 6th grade really catapulted me into developing a full blown eating disorder because I was trying to cope with my feelings.
I didn’t realize it at the time since I was in 6th grade, and didn’t even know the words “eating disorder.” However, my actions certainly exemplified traits. I was skipping breakfast and lunch because this other voice in my head was commanding me to. This continued on and off depending on how happy I was at the time in my life. When I was in synchronized swimming and journalism in high school, that’s when I noticed my eating habits became more normalized. But when that all ended and I entered college, I restricted heavily while exercising until I reached my lowest weight.
By this time, I crossed off so many foods I wouldn’t allow myself to have that I could count the foods I could have on only one hand. One of the foods I cut out, but one of my favorite foods, was peanut butter. I became terrified of the calorie-dense food and wouldn’t go near it. When I started recovering though and was seeing a therapist as well as a nutritionist, I started to introduce it back into my diet. I fell in love with it again and shockingly became curious to try all sorts of flavors and types. One of my favorite brands though is Nuts N’ More. Finding them through Instagram motivated me even more to get better and accept myself because I saw all these inspiring, confident, self-loving people enjoying the brand. It really opened me up to a whole new community where I found even more support.
Now, I’m 30 lbs up at a healthy weight for my body, enjoying my most “forbidden food” every day. I still am reminded with every bite of how far I’ve come. I am so grateful to be alive, and for all the experiences and knowledge I’ve gained since recovery.
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