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Growing up, I was a team player, a go-getter, a competitive little kid, with dreams and ambitions. I didn’t care about my weight, nor did I grasp the concept of “fat” or “skinny.” I just simply lived every day and ate what was fed to me. After I hit puberty, I began to eat what I wanted, when I wanted without caring about anything. In grade ten I realized that I was “thicker.” I would get attention for my “huge assets, ” and it made me feel super uncomfortable. I remember getting called by nicknames. I wouldn’t consider it bullying, to them, it was for a good laugh, and trust me… to anyone else, it would be a good laugh too. I used to laugh it off. I used to pretend that I thought it was hilarious. But to me, it was much worse than a nickname or a joke. Those comments haunt me everywhere I go, and especially every time I try and eat something. A few years ago someone told me I looked “so thick” in jeans. I didn’t wear jeans for two years after that, and to this day it takes me a tremendous amount of courage to wear them. Those names and words would pop up in my head, and it left me hating my body, and everything about it. It led me down an unhealthy path, and one I am still struggling with today. I used to see how long I could go without eating, I'd even vomit up the artificial expectations people had for me. I believe everything happens for a reason and you face things because you’re able to get through it.
Today I made a promise to myself,
What you’re looking at appears to be a simple photo of a girl. You may have met her once or twice, you may have walked the same hallways in high school with her, you may have worked with her, you may be related to her, or you may have never even met her.
But what you're actually looking at is a picture of me, a girl who has been fighting with an eating disorder since 2010. It's not something that’s easy to talk about and it's something that not a lot of people would understand. People's words would haunt me; simple jokes were not a joke to me. And comments about my body would drag me down and made me hate everything about how I looked.
I used to see how long I could go without eating or I'd even vomit up the false expectations people had for me. Recently I've gotten the strength, and have opened up to the people around me.
I'm not writing this for anyone to feel sorry, or gain sympathy, or for attention. I am posting this because I want people to understand the impact peoples words have on one another, words matter, words cling, and most of all words haunt people.
To some, it may seem like you're making an innocent joke, but you don’t know anyone’s story, where they came from, or what they are struggling with. So before you’re so eager to comment on someone’s appearance, think about it. I don’t hold the responsibility on anyone. I am the outcome of my personal emotions, I may not be able to prevent things from being said, or prevent particular situations from happening but I can control the way I feel about them, and that’s something.
I am managing every day to improve my life and understand who I am as a person. I am on the path to recovery, and I am very proud of myself. Today I let go of seven balloons into the air, each balloon representing a year of my struggle. I promised that when I released them, I let go of the negative feelings with them. I promised to try my best to better not only my life but others around me too and become the best version of myself I possibly can.
Today, I chose happiness.