To dedicate an entire article to one person must mean something right? Absolutely yes. Alyssa Cristadoro is an inspiration and wants nothing more than to help others. She proudly shares her story, her strength and everything that she has been through on her blog at www.blissful-lyss.com, where you can read her full story and learn more about her! I want you all to hear her story and to learn about her strength while she stays eating disorder behavior free at college. No amount of writing could ever give words to describe her inspiration. Alyssa has a powerful story that deserves to be shared with the world; she is truly a self-love advocate and a main desire of hers is to spread this self-love.
Her strength never fails to inspire those around her and one day, Alyssa wishes to use her experience to help others going through similar disorders, along with depression and anxiety. Her journey has led her to spreading self-love and body positivity; she is a lover of supporting and helping others. "I believe that everything happens for a reason in life, and through my struggles I have stumbled upon my strength." She has learned to love her body and constantly reminds others of what healthy bodies are capable of, "Shout-out to my body for being able to do pretty amazing things, like taking long walks to explore nature and all of the beauty it has to offer."
Her story never fails to get to me. It constantly reminds me that anyone can be capable of anything and that we are all enough. "Something clicked" in her mind one day in December 2013; from that day on, she fought and fought. As a resultant of her constant perseverance, she is where she is today and healthily doing what she's doing. She's recovered and she aggressively beat her eating disorder.
I'd like to share some of Alyssa's most powerful words spoken throughout her blog and other social media sources:
"Almost losing my life twice to anorexia nervosa gave me the outlook that my battle with this disease and mental health in general all happened so I could give back in some way, so I could help at least one person struggling and suffering in the same way I once did."
"If you are struggling, please seek help. Life with an eating disorder is not living. Always remember that you are good enough and beautiful no matter what."
"I am stronger than my eating disorder."
"I know for a fact that so many girls and boys out there are fighting for their lives and for a life free from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, etc. and are ashamed of it or are ashamed of the fact that they once struggled with these things...Winning a battle with any of these things is something that one should be extremely proud of and not embarrassed to talk about or share."
"I have accepted my imperfections, my not so perfect skin and I have come to peace with a body that carries fat. Now I have energy, genuine smiles, gratefulness for all my body can do, and I realize that a body is so much more than just something to look at...I know I am far more than my weight, I know my body is a gift: a gift that I will forever appreciate."
"I don't care how others perceive me because the confidence I have inside, the confidence that I AM beautiful is enough. The rest doesn't matter."
"Just like my tattoo on my shoulder says, love yourself: loving yourself unconditionally and every single day will be the greatest choice in your lifetime."
The Warrior Within by Alyssa Cristadoro:
"And the scars will stay, the memories don’t fade, the darkness comes and goes."
"But as I lay, three years later, oh how I am glad I know."
"The numbers don’t define me, that happiness is real, that I am more than the size of my jeans."
"And I’m glad I came to realize that I am far more than the number on the scale beneath me."
"And how I am thankful, and came to understand, that ending it all, that giving in-that wasn’t part of the plan."
"And I am glad I began to learn that starvation wasn’t my only call; that there is more to life than being thin."
"So the scars they remain and the memories still hurt; and on some days, I just can’t escape the pain."
"But I think, and I remember what happiness feels like to me. And I think, and I remember how amazing it feels to be free."
"So I throw out the scale, and I burn the food diaries, because never again will I be so frail."
"And I trudge on, and I continue moving. Because god, god if I give in; then I am just letting this disorder win."
I'm so happy and lucky to have met this beautiful and inspiring girl! The amount of inspiration and hope that she spreads is indescribable. Thank you for being you Alyssa, thank you for spreading the importance of self-love, thank you for helping others who are suffering and thank you for letting me share your story with the world!