Learning to Love My 'Recovery Body' in Anorexia Recovery

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.

I recently passed my year mark of getting admitted to treatment for the last time and accepting my new body is probably the hardest part about recovery. Because I had been in my eating disorder for a long time, I got stretch marks that seemed to appear overnight, cellulite I previously thought was something only older people got and fat in places that honestly made me cry. I struggled with with these new additions for quite a while and still do.

I still have good and bad days and when I need a pick me up, I listen to Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts” and Fergie’s “Fergalicious.” These songs inspire confidence and borrowing theirs even just for three minutes helps me remember why I chose recovery.

Although I would love to get rid of my cellulite, if it means relapsing into my eating disorder and risking my life, I would take my cellulite any day. I can walk and use the bathroom without someone watching or holding me. I didn’t just gain weight, I gained freedom and life. I am not ashamed that my body is beautiful and healthy now. My stretch marks are more beautiful than my sick body. Because of my round cheeks, my smile isn’t fake anymore and it’s a lot brighter too. My body’s natural fat is padding to my body so I can sit and lay down comfortably instead of being in pain while trying to relax. With every ounce I gained, I gained another day and another piece of me. I can now lift up my arms long enough to be called on by a teacher and because of this I am able to ask questions and speak my mind. When I hear the negative thoughts in my head and I start comparing myself to others, I remember others are doing the same to me. We live in a world where perfection is strived for yet it doesn’t exist. I have laughed, loved and lived more in this body than I ever had in my other one and I would never trade that to be “perfect.”

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

Some days I won’t accept my body and I will hide, but it doesn’t mean I will give up because I know I am beautiful even with all my “flaws.” My new body is a flag full of memories of me and I wouldn’t do anything to change that. I love my new body.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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