Proud2Bme | I Was Into Thinspiration...Now I Blog About Recovery

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I Was Into Thinspiration...Now I Blog About Recovery

By Kate L.--I like to believe that all things in life have more than one dimension: two sides to every story, blessings within a curse, a benefit from a failure, something good on the other end of something bad…

On my road to recovery from an eating disorder for the past two years, this belief has been reinforced time and time again for me. I don’t often let something in my life pass by without really thinking about what it has meant to me and whether it is worth holding onto; my eating disorder certainly has not made the cut. What I can say about it, though, is that it has opened my eyes to what a community of people can do when they have the right perspective. Above all, it changed my view entirely about what I originally thought was nothing more than a dangerous fuel for my eating disorder: the internet.

Like thousands of other young girls today, I grew up in an environment that was constantly putting emphasis on the illusion that thinness was everything, that I would be much happier if only I could focus on losing weight. Technology’s influence multiplied this pressure ten-fold, and I found myself spending more and more hours on social media websites like Tumblr and Pinterest, scrolling through “thinspiration” images and “pro-ana” blogs, which encourage young girls to pursue disordered eating behaviors. I became oblivious to any other way of living, and within months found myself deep in an eating disorder that was constantly being reinforced by support on the Internet.

I remember the day I came across the online recovery community. Somehow, I came across a quote that was on Pinterest: above the image of a clearly distressed girl were the words “If you had a friend that spoke to you in the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you be friends with that person?”

For one important moment, the words made me pause and think. I clicked on the photo’s link and found myself on a young girl’s blog. She was recovering from anorexia, and running a “pro-recovery” blog dedicated to reminding herself and others why recovery was worth it. I began finding blog after blog in a close-knit online community of girls who communicated through Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and blogging platforms to support each other in living a healthy life loving themselves for exactly who they are. I was overwhelmed with a hope I never thought that I would feel. Living without an eating disorder is possible, and these girls are proof.

I cannot imagine where I would be today without the support of the friends that I made through these blogs and websites. I have a loving family and a therapist who helped me move forward in my recovery, but there are certain parts of living with an eating disorder that are difficult to explain or understand unless one has actually experienced them. These girls in recovery provided me with the understanding, support, and encouragement I needed to truly believe that I am not alone and I am capable of beating an eating disorder. I will forever be grateful to each one of them for showing me how much better life can be.

When I felt I had enough strength, I decided to begin a blog of my own. Almost on a whim one day I started up a website and just began typing. At first, I felt a bit vulnerable to be sharing so much of my personal life with the world, but then I thought to myself “this is how stigmas are broken and people are helped. This is how I was saved in the first place.” My blog became like a journal for me, a place where I wrote about past experiences with my eating disorder and reminded myself why it was something I never want to return to. I made lists about things that my eating disorder stole from me, ways I was helped through difficult times, and obstacles I have overcome. I thought to myself that if even one person could read my experiences and think “wow, I am not alone, and things can change from here,” then I would feel that my blog had made a difference. Sure enough, I have met even more incredible people in recovery through my blog, who continue to support me as I support them. I have found that the simple realization of not being alone in a struggle is enough to initiate conversations that can save lives and change how people view their bodies. I never felt anything but hate when I was looking at pro-ana websites. With the recovery community, there was love, optimism, and above all, hope.

I am so excited to see the new design of Proud2BeMe.org, as websites like that were also on my lists of pro-confidence websites. I wish I could meet every person in this amazing community, or at least that they know there are people out there who hold the truth to society’s myth that appearance has any value in a person’s self-worth. For now, I will continue blogging and following up on this fight against eating disorders, always keeping a hand out for someone in recovery to find and, hopefully, grab on to. Together, I believe we can use the Internet to start a revolution against body shaming. The right resources are out there, and I refuse to let mine ever get buried beneath “thinspiration” again.

Kate’s blog can be found at www.pbisbetterthaned.com

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.