Talking about eating disorders is hard. That's why I avoided it for over two years. But I realized that I must share my struggles and how I overcame them, because you never know who else is stumbling on the same problem.

I'll start off by saying that if you've never had an eating disorder, you'll never fully understand them.

When I struggled with Anorexia I can't tell you how many people told me to "Go eat a hamburger." I wish it was that simple. Eating disorders are not a choice. They are a mental illness and can stem from many different things. Mine came from a combination of my Grandma being sick, and not accepting who I was. I thought if I physically changed myself, then I would be happier, but eventually it got out of control. Because that's what eating disorder are...Control. Control over food. Control over when I ate, what I ate, how much I ate. Control over my life. Eventually I reached rock bottom. Extremely malnourished and near death, I realized what my life had become. After lying to myself for months I finally understood the damage I had done.

Slowly I began to recover. And with the constant prayers and support from my friends and loved ones I regained my health, but not after realizing a very important lesson about myself; my weight never mattered, but my health did. And I jeopardized it with something out of my control.

I didn't choose an eating disorder, nor did I want one. It creeped up on me like the pure evil that it is and almost ended my life entirely.

Even after I've fully recovered, unhealthy thoughts still slither their way into my mind and try to drag me back to hell, but anytime I sense those thoughts returning I remind myself of the pain. I remind myself of how strong I am and what I overcame. I remind myself to love who I am, everything I am, and everything I've always been. Because the things we do in life, and the obstacles we overcome are what fabricates who we are. I am proud of conquering the most difficult mountain in my lifetime, and how I discovered myself in the process. Each day I fall in love with myself a little bit more, and with each passing moment, I become more comfortable with who I am.

"Every 62 minutes someone dies as a direct result from an eating disorder. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life."

Eating disorders affect millions of people and cause thousands of lives to come crashing down. But regardless of your body shape, and regardless of your weight, you are perfect as is. It only matters if YOU truly believe this.

Your health is of maximum importance, and your life is not worth risking in search of a specific body type. Strive to be the best, aspire a stronger you, and never allow anyone to criticize your body.

What you think on the inside, you manifest on the outside.