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A Win Against Orthorexia

I went to the beach today. The sun was shining, people were laughing and playing in the water. No big deal, right? Wrong. Today was a day of firsts since my battle with orthorexia began three years ago.

Today I wore a bikini.

Today I went to the beach alone.

Today I didn’t body check.

Today I didn’t go to the gym for hours before I went.

Today I took a picture of myself in said bikini.

Today I wasn’t ashamed.

Today I fought my anxiety and won.

Three years ago, despite how “fit” I was, despite endless hospital treatments, endless hours at the gym, countless days of counting calories I would have never gone to the beach let alone gone wearing a bathing suit.

Today was a victory.

Today I had hope.

Today I put those negative thoughts at bay.

Today I was happy.

Today was a big deal.

For those who are struggling, know that every little victory should be celebrated. It doesn’t matter how “fit” you are, what you eat, how tan you are, how much makeup you wear. You are deserving of happiness and to rock that bikini no matter what stage of recovery you are in. I am now learning that my body loves me and maybe after today I can start loving it back. Today I went to the beach and I can’t wait to go again.

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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Thinkstock photo via shevtsovy