Content warning: Article discusses eating disorders.
I'm going to be really honest here for a second, so buckle up and get ready for some harsh truth. In my heart of hearts, I strongly believe that it's possible to be part of the body positivity movement and still struggle with distorted thinking about your own body.
Why do I believe that?
Because I fit into that category. It wasn't until I had a harsh wake-up call about my negative beliefs about my own body that I realized I needed to seek some professional help for those views.
A couple of months ago, I had started a new dieting program thinking that this would be a great way for me to drop some extra weight that I didn't want hanging around on my body. (I was starting to have health problems because of this extra weight, so that was a contributing factor, as well.)
I did lose some of the weight that I had wanted to, but in turn, I began to develop symptoms of anorexia. I weigh myself more than what some people would consider "normal," and for the past few months, I've only eaten about 1,000 calories a day. To put that into perspective — normal dietary guidelines suggest that the necessary caloric intake for an average adult is around 2,000 calories a day.
I'm at the point now where even thinking about eating 2,000 calories a day terrifies me.
I hit my breaking point a few days ago when a plate of chicken nuggets and french fries was put in front of me. I almost burst into tears because I couldn't physically make myself eat the food. I sat for about 10 minutes trying to will myself to just pick up the food and eat it.
That was the moment that I realized I needed to get help for my problems with food — that kind of behavior is problematic at best and dangerous at worst.
Quite honestly, all of this is still sinking in. Even as I'm sitting here writing this article, it still doesn't quite feel real. I've been struggling with the decision of whether or not to even share my own struggles with an eating disorder because I felt like that would make me out to be a fraud, with respect to speaking up about how all bodies are absolutely freaking amazing.
It's hard to feel authentic about cheering on the body positivity movement when you struggle so deeply with loving yourself.
I've come to realize that being a part of the body positivity movement is not all sunshine and roses — I'm slowly starting to become OK with that. I spoke with my doctor and she recommended I see someone who specializes in eating disorders and distorted thinking around food. I have an appointment set up to see someone soon.
I'm really hopeful that I can one day come to a place of accepting and loving my body the same way that I'm able to accept and positively view other people's bodies.
Nobody is perfect — not even the person who cheers for everyone else.