In Honor Of Eating Disorder Awareness Week

In Honor Of Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Love yourself, and please don’t ever give up.
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This past week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week. It was implemented to spread awareness of eating disorders in people around the United States and the world, and to show that there are things like recovery programs out there.

I’ve always been very open about my mental health. I've never been afraid to share my story and how I deal with my mental state every day. Eating Disorder Awareness Week is just an outlet that I can use to tell my story.

My struggle with my eating disorder has been a rollercoaster, filled with ups and downs. There are times where I feel I’m on top of the world, beautiful and in love with my body. Then there are the lows, where I don’t even want to leave my dorm because I feel too insecure about my body.

What I hope that someone can gain from this is self-love. Loving yourself is a journey, a journey that I have yet to complete. Still, I feel that I have the right to promote self love.

Allowing yourself to be taken over by a mental disorder is terrible, and no one asks for it to happen. It’s so easy to fall back into old habits, and I understand that. What I ask of you is that if you feel like you’re getting bad again, please seek help. There are people who specialize in things like this just so they can help others.

Having an eating disorder isn’t easy, and asking for help is even harder. However, once you make that transition, I guarantee you that your life will get better. Take baby steps, and eventually you’ll reach your goal. Love yourself, and please don’t ever give up.

Cover Image Credit: Sabrina Debroux

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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Body Acceptance Is Important, For All Sizes, For All People, At All Times

Self-love, dude.

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I'm a relatively scrawny individual. What's worse, I believe, is that I'm a relatively scrawny male (It seems to be much more preferable to be a "scrawny woman' than it is to be a "scrawny man"). Society's view of what people should be sucks; we all know that. Society wants big, muscular men and thin, fit women. When one does not align with these guidelines, they are left feeling like an outsider who needs to conform to be a part of the larger whole. Sometimes these guidelines are helpful, though. It is not healthy to be very overweight NOR very underweight. These can be very dangerous and ought not to be ignored for one's sake.

However, wanting to simply be smaller or larger has too much of a negative effect on our psyches. A lot of the social spotlight recently has been set on those who are overweight, however, there is another side to body acceptance. As a scrawny male, I'm sure I have experiences that are in line with other skinner individuals.

All of my life I have been on the skinner side. Especially as a younger kid, it would really bother me. "Scrawny," "boney," and "weak" were not very foreign words to me growing up. I would love the winter time because I would wear long-sleeved shirts to cover my thinner arms, and to wear jeans to cover my legs as well. I remember never really liking the pool because I would have to take my shirt off and therefore become very self-conscious about my then-visible ribs. It just kind of sucked.

Thankfully, I am much happier with how my body looks in terms of weight and appearance. I will more comfortably wear more revealing clothes and think better about my physical self. However, it still affects me. I count calories. Not to lose weight, but to make sure I am eating an excess amount of calories so I can gain weight. I love to run, but recently I have been holding myself back because losing 500+ calories per run is only going to set my weight gain back.

Are these issues the end of the world? No, of course not. Things are definitely worse than not liking where our weights are at (as long as it is not really affecting our overall health). But, they affect us regardless, and we can help ourselves out. It is fully within each of our own powers to be however we physically want to look. It takes effort though, to lose OR gain weight. We are not all the same, and we all have different problems. I just think it is important to shed light on the feeling of being too skinny because I find it is not usually addressed.

No matter what size we are now and what size we want to be in the future, the important thing is that we work towards our goals little by little. On a physical level, if we want to lose twenty pounds or gain ten, or getting a bigger butt or bigger pectorals, we have the ability to change that. We just need to put time and effort into it. On an emotional level, it is important for everyone to learn to love ourselves regardless if we are skinnier or larger than we would like to be.

No matter what our bodies look like, our essence will always be a constant so we should learn to love that.

Cover Image Credit: Disney

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