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Why Embracing Your New Body in Anorexia Recovery Can Be Challenging

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I am now six years into eating disorder recovery (anorexia) but some habits die very hard. I know some aspects of my eating disorder will always remain, but I keep on battling. Hating my body never made it any healthier nor boosted my confidence. Due to ongoing health issues, I’ve gained weight and find it triggering that I no longer fit into my old clothes. I kept beating myself up over it, expecting myself to eat my way back into clothing that just served — for me — as an unpleasant reminder that I’m not as small as I once was.

Then, it occurred to me. What if I just decide to embrace what I’ve got? “Crazy” notion, I know, but it really helped. I went shopping today and got figure flattering clothes for my new size and it drastically boosted my confidence. I also got myself some new makeup (Sephora is my go-to) and dolled myself up even though I originally felt frightened to go in public in my prior outfit. Society is constantly pushing this ideal body size, when in reality it isn’t relevant to true beauty. Cliche as it may sound, beauty extends from the inside outward. That’s not to say feeling confident on the outside isn’t important — it is — but loving the wonderful person you are makes loving your outer self much easier.

Today, I embraced my figure. I flaunted what I’ve got in some new cute, summery tops and even some shorts. Wearing clothes I didn’t feel like I was cramming myself into, plus getting out of the house, was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate and recover from the hardships of the last few months. I let my stretch marks show and I felt OK with it. I know there will be days where the sight of them will haunt me and make me want to hide still, but I am working toward more days like today where I feel attractive and like I accomplished something. Your body is the only one you’ve got, and though it’s hard to deal with wanting to fit into the mold, who wants to be an exact copy anyway? Love the “you” you are and if you’re trying to lose weight, trust me when I say it’s much easier done if you treat your body with care as opposed to hatred.

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 Irennapr.

Originally published: July 1, 2017
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