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You Are Perfect

It’s not a secret that I hate my body. I hate everything about it…except for my dazzling smile. It’s also not a secret that my body looks the way it does mainly due to mental illness. Over the years I have had so many medications with “may cause weight gain” as a side effect, and guess what, it always does. We have discovered over the years that I NEED an antipsychotic, all of which make you gain weight, or, at the very least, make it ridiculously difficult to lose weight.

I have tried everything…healthy and unhealthy…to lose weight and look what I think is beautiful. This is a diet culture, and people think that you should always be working to get thinner, and judging you, or feeling sorry for you if you aren’t. But I’m here to tell you that has to stop.

If someone had cancer and lost their hair and rocked out the beautiful new them, would you think, “Oh, that poor girl, now she can’t be beautiful.” I hope not. It’s the same thing for weight. Everyone has a different story, and you have no idea how your thoughts or looks of pity affect the other person. You’re not perfect either. We all have our things.

When I work with my eating disorder specialist, I’m supposed to write down what I eat each day. In part to hold me accountable so that I don’t starve myself or use laxatives without anyone knowing. But I’m so ashamed. No matter what I eat or how much I eat, or if I eat at all, I am so ashamed. I’m ashamed because I don’t look like everyone else, so I must be doing something wrong. Sometimes I don’t want to tell her what I’ve eaten because she’ll judge me. But the thing is, she is NOT judging me. I am judging me, and I’m just projecting it on her.

Sometimes I get so angry with who I am that I want to punish myself. The punishments look different for each person, but I know I’m not alone. But then my eating disorder specialist suggested something that was a huge paradigm shift, which I’m going to paraphrase: What if you don’t have to lose weight to be beautiful, what if you just got to the point that you could just be okay with who you are? Maybe even like who you are?

Whoa. Is that even possible?

What would it look like if I was okay with who I was?

I wouldn’t feel like I had to put on makeup and jewelry just to be seen in public. I could do it if I wanted to, but I wouldn’t have to.

I would wear t-shirts that I like without hiding them behind bulky sweatshirts, even in 100-degree weather, just so that my body isn’t seen.

I could go to the hot tub at my gym in just a bathing suit, because who is looking at me?

It would change my world.

And so that’s my new goal. Not to keep changing me, but to be happy and healthy. To see my “real” smile, not my “fake for the masses” smile in the mirror and know that I am beautiful. To stop hating me, and to start loving me, because I am enough. I don’t have to be skinny to change the world, and neither do you. Now I just have to remember!

Love, Liz

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Sep 06, 2023

Such an important message, Liz! Our bodies are not an apology. (I highly recommend Sonya Renae Taylor's work)! Thank you for sharing! - Shelley

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