Guest Post: Body Image after ED's

Hi everyone! We are in Illinois! We got in REALLY late last night! We are sad to be no longer be Okies…but excited to begin a new chapter of life. I realized as our home was packed and moving to a new place, home is where the heart is. As much as I loved our home in Tulsa, it wasn’t the same with all of our valuables and special touches removed. 🙁 Enough sappiness…off to enjoy family time!

Today, Dana of Happiness Is Within will be talking about body image. Dana’s blog is so honest and raw — she makes me “get” eating disorders which have always been difficult for me to understand, even as a nutrition professional. You will appreciate Dana’s candid writing and super sweetness! 🙂

Take it away, Dana! 😀

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Hi everyone, I’m the writer behind Happiness is Within. I started the blog on a whim as a way to get and give support during my recovery from my Eating Disorder. It has turned into a great treasury of recovery tools for me and I couldn’t be more thankful!

I talk about body image a lot on my blog. I struggle with accepting my body on a daily basis. Everyday is a new challenge on learning to love my body the way it is. It was suggested to me at some point that I start a movement. This is when the ‘Love Your Body’ posts began!

These post have helped me more then I can put into words. Each post is from a guest writer, they tell their story and how they have come to love their own body.

I’ve realized through hearing from so many different women of different shapes and sizes that its not really about our size. You can hate your body at a size 0 or you can hate it at a size 14. In the end it’s the same, you still hate your body.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with size. We think the smaller our size, the healthier we are. Somehow weight loss became partners with health. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. What should matter is that we are eating a balanced diet and our body is in good health.

At my smaller sizes I was nothing but unhealthy. I was exhausted, cold, and my body stopped working properly. I couldn’t think straight and I felt nothing but hatred towards my body. I originally started recovery for my eating disorder to gain weight and health. At some point though, I decided I had enough of hating my body.

Learning to love your body is something that happens within. It doesn’t happen when you can fit into a smaller pant size or when you finally tone up your stomach. It happens when you decide your worth it and your beautiful just the way you are.

Loving your body happens when your sick of everyone telling you how you should look and you realize that we are all different, that’s what makes us beautiful.

Do you know how many women in their 40’s have told me they wish they recognized how great of a body they had when they were younger? Numerous women have told me they spent 20+ years wishing their body was different only to look back half a decade later and realize how beautiful they truly were. They wished they could have seen it they and didn’t spend so much time criticizing it because now its gone for them.

I encourage you to not be one of those people. Don’t waste your life hating your body. Don’t be one of those people who look back years from now and wish they would have appreciated their body more. Decide to make the change now to love the way your look and love your body for everything it enables you to do.

Imagine how much happier your life could be.

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Question: What helps you keep positive body image? What is something you could work on to improve your body image?

Columbus-bound,

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20 Comments

  1. July 28, 2010 / 6:55 am

    Great post! I’ve heard that women in their 30s and 40s are so much more satisfied with their bodies on average than twentysomethings are. It’s sad we don’t come into body confidence and appreciation earlier. The way my husband treats me and the nice things he says about me help my body image immensely. He’s taken away a lot of insecurities.

  2. July 28, 2010 / 7:31 am

    You are so right when you say that weight loss isn’t the answer to loving your body. Looking back, I realize I was actually content with my body BEFORE I lost weight. I was probably the most dissatisfied at my lowest weight. It is definitely an internal thing!

    I think I personally need to practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, with finding the good instead of focusing on what feels ‘bad.’ (even though there really is nothing bad about a body) Thanks for sharing this, Dana!

  3. July 28, 2010 / 7:46 am

    I loved this guest post! I have never had an ED, but I read many blogs from women who do. Sadly, I had the opposite – even though the bigger I got, I still thought I looked good!

    My husband is my biggest cheerleader – he loves me no matter what which is wonderful!

    Hugs Dana!

  4. July 28, 2010 / 8:14 am

    Thanks Nicole for letting me do this post..

    Wow, it seems like getting married does wonders for your body image 🙂 haha

    Dana xo

  5. July 28, 2010 / 8:18 am

    Great post, Dana. You’re right that people can struggle with body image no matter what size they are. Even when I was basically just skin and bones, I still hated my body… which just basically tells me that it wasn’t about weight at all, but something deeper routed. I started recovering to gain back my health as well, but eventually I got sick of feeling unhappy in my skin, and I started putting a lot more effort into loving myself. One thing that works for me is doing something nice for myself when I’m feeling bad. Either doing my hair, doing my makeup, putting on some nice smelling cream, doing my nails… just treating myself nice. Because… I really don’t want to end up looking back in 20 years and wishing I had loved myself more…

  6. July 28, 2010 / 8:25 am

    This is beautiful 🙂 I think surrounding myself with loved ones and people that I care about/care about me makes me feel confident and just happy.

  7. July 28, 2010 / 8:48 am

    Yay for Illinois! 🙂

  8. July 28, 2010 / 9:27 am

    When I was studying in college… I was experimenting on ED and I did something really wrong to my health and body. I am glad I have a family who support me and a husband who appreciate me so I now learn to love myself!
    Thanks Dana for a great post!

  9. July 28, 2010 / 9:54 am

    Love you Dana and your post pretty girl!!

  10. July 28, 2010 / 4:19 pm

    This is a really eye-opening guest post!

    Nicole, I’m glad you’re moved safe and sound! Enjoy your time with your fam! 🙂

  11. July 28, 2010 / 6:59 pm

    I completely agree that is time to be grateful for who we are and doing what is healthy for us.

  12. July 28, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    This is such a great post and so true! When I was thinner in college I was so unhappy and always sick b/c I was OBSESSED with my weight. At the time, I still wasn’t happy with how I looked. It’s exhausting and such a waste of time.
    What keeps me having a positive body image? My almost 4 year old daughter. I never want her to hate her body and worry about every “flaw” I keep things positive and show her how to be healthy. She especially likes to do yoga with me : ) it’s very rewarding.

    • July 29, 2010 / 8:23 am

      awe, thats so sweet your daughter does yoga with you! I think that is amazing that you are showing such a good example for her!!! 🙂

  13. July 29, 2010 / 8:48 am

    Just wanted to clear things up if anyone is wondering..I do not in any way consider myself recovered from my ED…I would rather have titled this body image through the eyes of someone WITH an ED.

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