My post got 3,000 views in the first three days, and I received not only support, but countless personal stories from others about their own struggles. I was shocked when strangers thanked me for my courage.
For nine months now, I wasn’t sure how to follow it up – honestly, because I wasn’t sure I how felt. I kept waiting to be able to post something that said “See? It’s all behind me – I’m healed, I love my body 100 percent, and I have a perfect relationship with food and exercise and I’ve never felt more at home in my skin. “
So here’s my follow: I’M CUTTING THE BULLSHIT. I’m speaking the truth that I know.
THERE IS NO AFTER. Healing is slow. Trauma scars.
Disordered eating and body dysmorphia aren’t things that just go away. I struggle in small ways almost every day. I am learning how to give myself what I need, and the meaning of balance. It is work, and it is far from perfect.
There’s a lot of media out there about how to lose weight. There’s not a lot written on how to heal yourself, mentally and physically, after the pursuit of that perfect body lands you broken.
So this is me saying, fine. I’ll be your huckleberry. I pledge to I’ll tell you the truth, which is that we are ALL HUMAN, which means we all struggle, and our deep problems don’t magically disappear, but because you don’t feel 100 percent healed, doesn’t mean you’re broken. It doesn’t mean you give up on yourself.
Here’s some truth: Last week, I wanted to cancel an upcoming vacation, because it my head, it was a deadline to show off a “healed body” – tight, toned and “sane,” with obsessive eating, body dysmorphia and anxiety as a thing of the past. I only didn’t cancel because I know that would make me a hypocrite.
Yes, that’s real. And I believe I’m not the only one who thinks shit like that.
I know I’m not alone because my heart breaks every week when I hear/see a gym-goer grab parts of the body and say with disdain, “I HATE this. How do I GET RID OF THIS?”
I’m heartbroken because I feel the irony when I say, “Can’t you see how amazing you are? How beautiful, how strong, how smart you are?” But I understand, because I’ve been there. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are all human.
So here’s my second pledge – if I can’t make you see how perfect you already are, I’m at least going to help you see HOW MUCH YOUR BODY AND MIND ARE CAPABLE OF. That’s my mission, with every body and soul I am able to work with. That’s what drives me. I want to help you see how strong you truly are, because I understand how it feels to feel broken, to feel weak, to feel lost.
Remember that muscles are built from tearing. That your body knows how to heal, with time.
Fuck the stigma. Fuck the stereotypes. Fuck the pity. It’s ok not to be fine. Let’s all move forward, with all our scars, and keep learning. Keep living.