Growing up, I started becomingself-conscious about my body.I noticed how my group of friends were much thinner than I was,and I would be called ugly and fat by mypeers. The bullying I experienced made mefeel petrified about attending middleschool. My first day was not so bad, butdefective when it came to PE class andwe had to run miles for a specificamount of time around the field, and Ijust couldn't catch up to everyone else.
As I was the last runner to approach myPE teacher to give my time, she said that my time had to be better.I felt really down about it and vowed to start losing weight after that.I started to exercise excessively and have a strict diet.Weeks passed and I rapidly shed the weight off. I started noticing huge changes andeveryone noticed and gave lots ofcompliments on my appearance.It made me feel validated and accepted for the first time ever.
After receiving those compliments I kept going with my unhealthy habit of dieting and excessively exercising.Working out an hour a day turned to three hours.I became more and more obsessive with food and my weight. Each day, it got worse after I waspraised by my PE teachers because of mybest mile times.It got me to believe that being skinny was the solution to everything.Months passed and I spiraled out ofcontrol.I feel like my eating disorder was gaining control of my life. I would stop doing hobbies I enjoyed, such asarts or singing. I would feel tired,distracted and depressed.My family and friends got really worried.I was skin and bone and veryunrecognizable.
My dimples were gone. My paleness overcame my rosy cheeks, and Ijust felt helpless.One day, my two sisters had aconversation with me about gettingbetter, and my niece, named Nazareth, whowas about five years old at the time, begged me to recover. After that,I realized how worried she was. I wasashamed about my behavior because shelooked up to me as an older sister, and Ididn't want to influence her that way.
Reluctantly, I agreed with my mom aboutgoing to the doctor at a nearby clinic.After talking, she diagnosed me withanorexia.The process of recovering was difficultbecause I was tempted to go back to myold habits until I researched abouteating disorders for the first time, andas I saw the word death, I just freakedout and felt helpless, but decided to notgive up on myself. iIt was not a perfectprocess. Recovery and change is hard, butit's worth it. Currently, I'm in college and I'm stilllearning to love myself. I have ahealthier lifestyle and I wouldn'tchange anything from the past because ithas made me appreciate life and it hasmade me stronger than ever. Not only didI learn about self-love, but I alsolearned that perfection of beautystandards does not exist.If you or anyone is struggling with an eating disorder, just know that you are strongerthan you think you are, and it is okay toseek help. You are worth so much and yourweight does not define you. If I recovered, so can you.
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