Proud2Bme | Knowing Healthy Mind Over Skinny Body

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Knowing Healthy Mind Over Skinny Body

By Stevi Ward--For years, I struggled with my weight, as many young girls do. I was the funny girl in every class and the girl who led the group, but I was never the girl who felt comfortable in her own skin. Looking back, though, I don’t think I knew that I had a problem with my appearance.

This is a personal story of recovery; it may contain content that could be triggering to some readers.

I knew I wasn’t happy with how I looked, but I figured that was normal. It seemed like lots of young girls in movies and TV shows had the same problem. You could tune in to a sitcom and see the daughter struggling with this concept. If these actors could be struggling with it, then it seemed okay for me to struggle with it.

High school came and my weight went up and down. I was always healthy but never quite happy about my stomach, which couldn’t ever seem to be flat. Homecoming arrived and I was crowned a princess. Everything was working out; I was living the high school dream. Yet I spent many nights looking in the mirror hoping something would change.

I started college and along came a course of bad choices. I had moved out and wasn’t really taking care of myself. I was eating mindlessly and not staying active. I got so down on myself about my weight that every time I gained a few pounds, I would give up on myself and gain even more. The number grew and grew along with my depression. I would come home from a long night of working at a bakery, carrying piles of cinnamon rolls, donuts and muffins. I would eat everything I came home with, and whatever else I had lying in the pantry of my kitchen.

Six months went by and I had realized how deep in this hole I really was. I packed my bags and moved back home. I sat down with my mother and voiced how trapped I felt.

I lost most of the weight I had gained by the end of the year. I was proud that I had stopped bingeing, and I felt like I was getting healthier—but all I could think about was how to lose more weight. I looked at the decreasing numbers on the scale as internal, personal progress, a journey to a happier self. When the numbers stopped dropping, I didn’t know what to do. 

It was never really about the numbers on my bathroom scale. It was always supposed to be about feeling healthy and beautiful, but I got stuck on the numbers—when I thought they were too high, I punished myself; when I saw them dropping, I thought they weren’t dropping quickly enough. When I really took a step back and looked at myself—the real me, without the numbers—I was happy with myself.  Sure, my abs weren’t perfect, but perfect doesn’t really exist. I am beautiful, I am healthy, and I feel comfortable in my own skin—and that’s what counts.

For recovery resources and treatment options, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237.

About the blogger: Stevi Ward is a 21-year-old CSUN student living in southern California.

For more on recovery, check out:

How to Cope with School When Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Self-Care is the Greatest Gift

5 Ways to Make Your Campus a Safe Space for Recovery: A Countdown

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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.

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