Then And Now: An Eating Disorder Transformation

Then And Now: An Eating Disorder Transformation

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There is a common misbelief that having an eating disorder is choice. People think that those who have an eating disorder “just decide” to binge, not eat, throw-up, or over-exercise. This is NOT the case. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that drive girls and boys to there very last breath. The severities of these illnesses are no joke and people need to start becoming more aware of the danger that resides within our culture and the way we reward starvation. In high school, I developed a terrible body image that led me to a very dangerous point in my life. I’m beyond happy to say that part of my life is over and I have found peace and serenity within myself. The thoughts, actions, and emotions that fled through my body then, versus the ones that do now, are unbelievably different.

Written during recovery:

The torture and the pain and every microsecond of a bad feeling can be encased into a hidden expression on a face, and it's scary. People don’t know what’s going on and they don’t ask…you’re smiling. And I think that’s the problem. Too often we hide behind the things we don’t like to see, hear, confront, or uphold. Too often we run away to be alone with thoughts, dangerous thoughts to say the least. A smile only holds true value when it’s a real smile, and the even scarier part is you start to think that it is. You tell yourself that you’re happy; you say it one hundred times over and over again until it’s physically exhausting. You say it with every ounce of true happiness left in you, and once the real happiness is gone…the magical, astonishing, miraculous kind of happiness disappears, you exist. That’s it, nothing more, and there’s no part enjoyable about it. Each step and breath and blink and beat of your heart aches. The desire to live is gone, vanished. I isolated myself from all of my friends and family to be alone with me, myself and my thoughts. I believed, and I mean truly, genuinely, believed, everything was right in the world as I watched it crumble beneath my very own two feet.

Written now, post recovery:

Yes, I am recovered, but no, it was not easy. In fact, easy is the absolute last word I would EVER use to describe my recovery. Words I would use? Frustrating, depressing, mortifying, violent, chaotic, and gruesome. And those are the words I thought of off the top of my head. When I say I went to hell and back, that doesn’t even cover half of it. Each day was spent in tears, and each night consisted of violent episodes, the details are not necessary. What is necessary to know is that, at the end of the day, here I am. Speaking with you, alive, upbeat, appreciative, and most importantly, happy. I'm grateful for what I went through. Which may be the most messed up conclusion I've come to…but also the most honest. I've learned through my own experiences, how to judge others based on the inside rather than the outside, because that’s essentially what matters. I’ve learned to love myself, in every way shape and form possible. I've become sympathetic and understanding of people that are going through problems in their own lives. I’ve learned that you must do things for yourself like listen to music, take bubble baths, enjoy nature, go on long walks, and drive around for hours and sing. Light candles, read a good book, write a journal, and study something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Catch up with old friends, draw, and take naps. Ultimately, do what you love and do what makes you happy. That is something no one will ever be able to take away from you. You are the only person who decides and controls your happiness. Don’t you dare ever give that power to someone else.

Although my experience was unique, the occurrence of eating disorders is far too common to be ignored. Even though you may be a single individual, do something about it. You can make all the difference.

Cover Image Credit: Eastern Kentucky University

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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