CW: eating disorders, calorie counting
Skinny model cut-outs plastered on my bedroom wall used to stare me down every waking moment. ‘Take them down,’ my mother would scream whilst I drew little red hearts around their ribcages and hipbones.
I idealised the photoshopped, wishing for a body that resembled those on the catwalk.
The day I downloaded my fitness pal, I cried at the fact that there was 85 calories in a glass of red wine. The red richness slipped through my fingers as I became imprisoned in the numbers. I was more scared of the calories going up on this app than I was of the dropping of grades at school.
Once upon a time, the calories in my food were my entire existence. I couldn’t understand why people were worried until I fainted in the gym and was rushed to an A&E service where they gave me the ultimatum: choose recovery or risk spending the next 6 months in hospital.
That day, I chose recovery, and let me tell you, it’s beautiful every single day.
My body needs to be fulfilled; food is fuel, and my body is beautiful for this reason.
By eating again, I could go to the shops with my friends. I could look at my body in the changing room mirrors and pose for photos in trendy new outfits.
By eating again, I rebuilt my relationship with my mother and we could go out for dinner. We could laugh over a glass of wine. I could believe the compliments she gave me on my body.
By eating again, I could start running. My body is so powerful with sport, and this is impossible without protein.
By eating again, I could look at myself in the mirror and jump with joy with how amazing I look. I love the beauty marks I have by my ankles and the way my stomach looks.
By choosing recovery, I choose to love myself a little bit harder everyday. At times, it’s difficult when the pictures of these models are promoted on social media, but during these times I remind myself how beautiful and nourished I am.
I’ve gone from complete hatred of my body to an acceptance and a love for myself. And that feels damn beautiful to me.