Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be the first woman president (I thought Hilary Clinton would beat me… looks like I still have a chance), an astronaut to Jupiter, a missionary, a ballerina… I wanted to learn to speak dozens of languages. We all have our own childhood dreams. Somewhere along those lines our dreams at being inspiring, at doing something important, the things we hope for are reduced to our physical appearance.

Part of the lie of an eating disorder is that you can’t be anyone or do anything until you accomplish being skinny, thin, and fit. But that obsession leads you to losing everything else that ever mattered to you. 

Don’t lose your dreams to be thin.

Become inspiration and not thinspiration.

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Welcome!

If you’ve been following my campaign for a while, you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time. I am sorry. If you’re new, please take a look around at my about page and other posts. And I encourage you, if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, journeying to recovery, or have found freedom from the lies, these are all great reasons to leave me a comment or email me about YOUR story. This campaign is about the truth, and if you have any truth to share we want to hear it! I am only one part of the story of this campaign, the rest of the story is found in anyone else who has battled with self-hatred because of their appearance.

Today I’m going to let my darling friend of 4 years take the mic. Kelsey and I were nothing alike, (or so we thought), until we realized we both fought the same battles. For a long time I seemed confident, for years she seemed tough, and on the inside we fought battles of loathe and weakness as the lies we’d been fed became our only food.

A few months ago Kelsey offered to share her story here and I’m finally getting around to publishing it. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

 

KELSEY’S STORY:

Everyone in my family is athletic.

Not like, play every sport in little league and make all stars athletic. Like, pre-olympic training multiple state record holder athletic.

Except me.

As long as I can remember, my parents, my dad especially, warned me not to eat junk food or get lazy because then I would get fat. They told me stories about girls who hit puberty and got so fat so quickly, so I better drink water/eat veggies/go to swim team practice/etc.
I never had an unhealthy lifestyle. I eat organic healthy food as much as I can possibly get it. I exercise fairly regularly and enjoy it and I drink water and tea by the gallon. But when I hit my teens, I filled out and got curvy pretty quickly.

Then came the small comments, the sidelong looks, the hints. I felt like I was in a spotlight with everyone, from my family to friends, watching and judging me because of my weight. I dreamt of being beautiful, of being skinny and it quickly became an obsession.

I’d read and heard about eating disorders. I knew the side effects and the dangers. I didn’t care because being beautiful was worth anything to me. So I decided to try it. I used details shared by survivors as well as dark instructions found in other places to learn how to starve myself, or purge what food I had eaten. [I will not share details so that no one else can do what I did and make this story a how-to lesson on getting an eating disorder]. So the cycle of binging and purging, starving and then giving in and hating myself for eating a sandwich began.

For years, it did nothing. I still don’t know what is up with my metabolism because even with eating disorders I didn’t lose much weight until I was about 17. Then I finally lost 10-20 pounds and people immediately began to comment and see me differently. I was thrilled and it drove me even deeper into my obsession. I wasn’t beautiful yet, but I was getting there.

Yet the deeper into the lies I dove, the more depression crippled me. I battled suicidal desires and fantasies daily, turning to cutting and running alone at night as a release from pain. On the outside, I maintained my good-girl front. On the inside, I died a little more each day. Eating disorders rely on and are founded in lies and lies will destroy every part of you. They will eat away at your soul and leave you hollow, alone, and broken. The lies will tell you that it is worth losing some friends, worth losing some health to be pretty. But what is beautiful other than our desire to be loved and treasured? Is it truly worth it to be what [you think is] the most beautiful if there is no one at all in your life to notice or care? I learned this lesson the hard way when I had lost the weight I had initially wanted and still saw a monster in my mirror. When I looked around and saw that I was completely alone…that no one truly knew me, much less loved me. I was starved for love.

I met a girl; a girl who’s personality was seemingly exactly the opposite of mine. She was a girly girl; I was a hardcore tomboy. She knew everything about fashion and makeup while I knew nothing. She was beautiful…small and light and lithe, a dancer. I was secretly, deeply jealous of her. Then shared tragedy, the death of a mutual friend, threw us into a deep level of friendship I’d never experienced before and I learned that she, my ideal version of beautiful, struggled with the same things I did.
Honestly, it was horrific. I had come to care deeply about my friend, and I couldn’t ignore the torture she was inflicting on herself. I couldn’t ignore that any word I said was pure hypocrisy; that I was right there with her. It was a black, terrifying time as I was forced to really see what I was doing to myself as I watched one I loved in the same place. Sometimes we fed each other the lies we didn’t believe about ourselves; but other times, even worse, we supported each other in terrible acts and habits. I desperately, deeply wanted to see her free of our lifestyle but even more wanted to dive even deeper myself.

It came to a climax one day while I was at school. My sweet friend was in such a dark place I was scared for her life. Not worried, or concerned but faced with the awful reality of how far gone she was. I faked sick (it wasn’t hard I was legitimately nauseous) to go to the nurse and text her uninterrupted. I didn’t know what to do…call her mother, call the police? If I did, would she go too far in despair that they knew? In absolute desperation I prayed; I told God I would do anything, absolutely anything if only He would save her. In that moment, crying about her, something finally clicked within me. The words and seeds from other friends trying to tell me what I had become, trying to pull me out, came to my mind. For the first time, I clearly understood that I had become a monster not because of my weight but because of my choices. Yet those lies, that lifestyle was still so incredibly appealing. I knew it was poisonous but I wanted it still. So I prayed again…simply that God, if He wanted me free, would please get me there because I knew I wasn’t strong enough. And that please, that He would drag my friend to freedom along with me.

And so started my long, arduous, painful journey out of the prison of lies and eating disorders. It was over a year before I finally began to feel free from the temptation to skip meals or purge. It has been almost three years now, and frankly, I still wrestle with the lies sometimes. With time, it has gotten easier and easier to choose the truth but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. I struggle with the looks and comments from my super skinny super athletic family. I struggle with my weight and figure. I struggle with lies telling me I’m not good enough.

But I have hope. I have hope because I am loved by a Savior who loved me enough to save me from that darkness. I have hope because I am loved by many, many others despite my looks and my tendency to believe lies. I have hope because of how far my God has brought me. I don’t cut, purge, or starve myself anymore. I have no need to despair, and I am not alone.


I’m curvy, even fat, but there are a heck of a lot of people who are think I am beautiful. However, honestly, I don’t care much anymore what people think. To my great joy, I am being used for great things. Whereas once I needed to be healed, now I am used to serve, help and heal others. That I am healthy enough to speak into others’ lives is the greatest encouragement of all to me. I’m still on this journey, but every day I am learning a bit more about love, beauty and freedom.

And right alongside me is my friend who did not die but also has grown into freedom. Whenever I look at her I am overwhelmed with how far she has come. She knows she is beautiful and free; every day I see her growing in Truth. In fact, she started a blog and a movement that is changing lives with her story, passion, and great love. Just as she changed my life. My beautiful sister Merry; whose blog you are looking at right now.
Merry and me, we’re not superheroes. Our stories aren’t way out there, once in a lifetime, nice but totally unrealistic. I’m real, I’m very imperfect, I’m me…a run of the mill, everyday girl not so different from you. I’m also free, beautiful, and loved. Remember that, remember that whoever you are, wherever you are on this long hard road, you are not alone and you are not a lost cause. There is hope and freedom even for you…even for me. Keep fighting, keep going, and keep getting back up no matter how many times you mess up. Skinny is a lie. You and me; we are so, so much more.

Can I Get A Diagnosis?

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Am I anorexic?

If you’re asking yourself this question, and you’re hoping the answer is yes, then you are. Let me explain why:

Anorexia is typically diagnosed under extreme, hospitalization-worthy, circumstances. Before then, it seems like everyone is basically saying “no, you’re not skinny enough… to be anorexic.” I think many people mean this with the best intentions. They don’t want you to have a problem. But being in that place, what we’re hearing is “we’re not thin enough.”

You do not have to be severely underweight or a size zero to have an eating disorder. If your obsession with being thin is changing your eating habits to the point where you are either purging (or have thought about it) or constricting calories to an extreme degree, you are, at the very least, at the beginning stages of Anorexia or Bulimia.

Let me be the first to say, you are THIN ENOUGH to have an eating disorder. There is something in the affirmation that what you’re feeling and dealing with is real.

If you are struggling with body image and the lies that the world is throwing to you about skinny, you are on the very front edge of an eating disorder. And it is okay, to tell someone, and it is GOOD to confess to this struggle.

Regardless of your place in this journey, if you are afraid you have an eating disorder, if someone has told you that you aren’t skinny enough to be struggling with an eating disorder, or if this has been part of your life for many, many years, today can be the day when you recognize that you’re struggling and that it’s okay to struggle, and today can be the day when you get help. You can be affirmed in knowing that the pain you feel is real and so is your struggle. Your pain is recognized as being legitimate. What you feel and what you struggle with is legitimate.

When we acknowledge each other’s feelings, pains, and struggles, we are telling someone that they matter and what they are feeling is real. Things that are real also have real healing and real escape and real freedom.

Your legitimate struggles have legitimate freedom.

Not being skinny enough to have a struggle with an eating disorder is a lie.

Skinny is a lie.

Hope and healing are real.

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I read quote by J.K. Rowling that said: “Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

I think she’s right. First of all, fat isn’t a personality characteristic. And it’s not the worst thing a person can be. And being skinny is not the best thing a person can be. I read all these quotes about how you should be willing to give up all of these things to be skinny. But why? Why would you give up time to love your family & time to do things that are important just to be skinny?

I’m not talking about becoming healthy, being healthy is important. But wasting your life to be skinny is just as unhealthy as being obese. It’s just not worth it.

The way you look on the outside doesn’t define who you are on the inside.

Beauty does not come from comparing yourself to others. That steals your beauty. That’s what the lie wants you to do. To stop believing you are beautiful.

Whenever I feel like I could lose a few pounds I remember what I would be giving up. It’s not the food. It’s the mindset. I give up the mindset of being beautiful. I give up the mindset of being happy with myself and I give up the FOCUS on things that matter.

 

How can I be my best for God when I’m giving my best to be skinny? When I decide skinny is more important I’m making it a god in my life. Even if you aren’t religious, hear me out. Skinny isn’t a god worthy to be served. At best it will give you vanity. But it probably won’t even give you that. It will only give you the feeling of inadequecy. If you believe it through and through you will have wasted your life and died to be skinny.

When people look back at your life do you want your legacy to be that you were skinny? That you exercised all the time? When you give an account for all you did in your life and everything you accomplished, do you want “achieved a perfect weight” to be on the list? What lasting value does it have?

Be healthy, not for the sake of being healthy, but be healthy so you can be strong enough to carry out responsibilities and make differences that really matter. Be healthy so that you can spend time with your kids. Be healthy so you can serve for a long time. Be healthy so that you don’t wear out during the day because you’ve not been eating right. Be healthy so you can be strong enough to love, and free enough to serve, and happy enough to smile.

 

Control Is an Illusion

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

#thenewcampaign

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Everywhere I see the “thinspo” I see posters that have weight loss “inspiration.” Many of the girls in the pictures don’t look inspiring. They are pictured with words about how being skinny will make you perfect, being skinny will make you happy. None of these girls look happy, many of them are ridiculously bony and have scrawled sharpie on their bodies saying “fatty” “Imperfect” “ugly”. These girls aren’t happy.

Skinny is a lie.

The other day I was telling my mom that I really hate these posters on pinterest. She told me to start a new campaign. I hope my campaign will be as influential as the thinspo campaign. I’m calling it #thenewcampaign and we’re going with the catchy line “Skinny is a lie.”

Skinny will not make you happy, it won’t make you beautiful, and it won’t make you perfect. The skinny you see in magazines, on pinterest, advertised is rarely healthy. Skinny, if followed through, gives birth to death. I recently saw a picture of a girl pinned that I had seen before. This time I saw her pinned with the words “inspiration” the last time I saw her picture it was in a story her sister wrote, the girl had recently passed away from starvation with the photo was shot.

TODAY YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

The skinny lie will only make you unhappy, feel imperfect, hate yourself. I believed the lie. I was very sick for a long time. I was paranoid about people, about food, about everything. These lies eat you up from the inside. Don’t put faith in SKINNY!