Proud2Bme | Post-Holiday Reflections

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Post-Holiday Reflections

Hello everyone! River Zain Ceballos here! Actor, print model, spokesperson and activist...but my most valuable title, human. I am honored to be back here, connecting with you all as I see Proud2BMe as a sort of hub or hangout when I am feeling down, need inspiration or feel like sharing some tips with you all as a bulimic in recovery.

            I hope you all had an amazing holiday season. I, myself, had a great one but as we all know, holidays mean lots of family and lots of food. If you're anything like myself, you can find yourself caught in a sticky situation. Thanksgiving in particular is the toughest holiday for me.  I am 3 years in recovery but like I’ve always said, recovery doesn't take a day off. That’s why I’m writing this article. I know what it's like to be doing so well and staying on a healthy path and then BAM! You're faced with a season where food and drinks seem somewhat mandatory.

            This Thanksgiving started out like any other. I was excited to be surrounded by family for the day as my family is large and we are all usually on different schedules and can't see each other as much as we'd like. But as we gathered around the table to say grace and everyone started to stack their plates, I received a sudden ugly feeling that I haven't felt in a long time. I had to remove myself from the table for a while to calm myself down and think about how far I’ve come. These feelings stuck with me for a couple days. I felt guilty that I was feeling this way. I mean, how can I go about telling people that recovery is possible and it's a beautiful thing when you discover just how strong you are...yet I’m sitting here not practicing what I preach? I thought ‘Is something wrong with me?’ and ‘Where did my confidence and my self-assurance go? Am I a hypocrite?’ but the answer is NO. I'm not a hypocrite, just a human being. Many of us know exactly what I’m talking about, as this is natural for people dealing with an eating disorder or in recovery. 

             I'd like to share with you what gets me through these phases that DO pass with time, I promise. First and foremost I thank my friends and family. My disease is no secret to my family and friends so they can automatically sense if my "I’m okay" is sincere or not. They are my support system, my safety net and the only reason I have them to catch me when I fall is because I learned it's okay to speak and not be ashamed of my eating disorder.

            This year, I made one friend in particular. His name is Greg and I met him on my first day of gymnastics class. I’ve always had a passion for the crazy, gnarly sports. I’m a self-taught gymnast and thought I’d perfect my skills through these classes. At first glance, I thought Greg and I had absolutely nothing in common. I mean, he represented everything I grew up to be afraid of. He's a handsome alpha male, lean, muscular and you could tell he dedicates a big portion of his life to health and nutrition. He just seemed so sure of himself...he exuded that confidence that I grew up lacking. A part of me instantly thought ‘Oh great. Here's this alpha male dude who is probably judging me as we speak’ because boys like him are the ones who would make fun of me in high school. 

            But the more I got to know Greg, I found out more about him and his background and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he had recently retired from the body building world and realized just how warped and crazy the industry can be. Greg is now working in the nutrition field and helps me out when I have questions, when I’m feeling insecure or down about myself. The great thing Greg taught me without really even trying to, was that taking care of your body isn't about the number on the scale or your jean’s about being healthy, comfortable with yourself and loving the skin you’re in.

            Always remember that there are people you can talk to and places you can go to seek help. When I’m feeling down about myself or that little voice in my head starts telling me that I’m not good enough, I write. I find it to be very therapeutic. Writing in my journal is a favorite of mine because when I get the urge to lock myself in the restroom...I look back at the entries I wrote when I was having a good day and I remember, ‘Oh yeah, this IS going to pass!"

            I also seek weekly treatment here in my hometown. Coming to that decision was very hard for me personally.  I can be a bit stubborn and have a tendency to be a pessimist. But I find it to be very crucial in maintaining my recovery. Some days I can't wait to step foot in the treatment center just so I can get all of my bottled up emotions out. I also surround myself with many great people, the positive people who understand what I’m going through and help me out simply by being a listening ear. I can't stress enough how much positive thinking can change your life and help you achieve recovery, and maintain it. Proud2BMe is also a place that I come for inspiration because I know there are other people like me out there, and that I’m never alone. We're human. We're not meant to achieve perfection. We're simply meant to thrive to be the best versions of ourselves. 

            In closing, I hope you have an amazing new year. 2015 will be YOUR year, the year you decide to stop letting an eating disorder or body image issue's completely control your life. The year that you realize that you're unique and beautiful, and that you have so much to offer. If I may ask a favor from you all, it'd be to be kind to one another and be kind to yourself. Go out in the world and make an impact, and never be bullied into silence because you never know who may be listening. So go out there and practice healthy behaviors, find your safety net, let out those negative feeling and emotions and make room for the positive. Go out there and find your Greg. I look forward to interacting with you all more in the near future! Remember, change starts with you and I believe in you all more than I can ever express.

Peace, Love, Empathy,

River Zain Ceballos

For more by River Zain: 

I Have a Voice and I Intend to Use It

Breaking the "Perfection" Mold

For other holiday inspiration, check out:

Stress Less This Holiday Season 

Attention: This is your Holiday Priority

Let the Holiday Negativity Melt Away

4 Ways to Embrace Freedom From ED this Holiday Season


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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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