Many of your probably know me from this Tumblr post that went viral. The transformation caught the wind.
With this being a blog chronicling my recovery, I wanted to have a page dedicated to my “before and after.” I am not going to include all of the pictures I have posted on Instagram, but I have chosen some of the ones I have found to be the most impactful on myself. I also chose to incorporate some of the captions from when I originally posted these pictures. Thank you for your respect in viewing these pictures. Please remember you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or simply need someone to talk to.
If you or someone you know if suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating, do not be afraid to seek help. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I have listed a few websites and hotlines at the bottom of the page where you can easily contact someone and seek help.
The picture is explained in this blog post. 🙂
The girl on the left would go on five-mile runs and half hour elliptical sessions every day. The girl on the left would eat an apple, a cup of oatmeal, and buckets of coffee a day, thinking that would be enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The girl on the left hid away in her bedroom looking up recipes on Pinterest that she knew she would never recreate. The girl on the left made her mom throw up from heartbreak when she stepped on the scale and showed her mom how low her weight had gotten. The girl on the left made her family miserable. The girl on the left threw a tantrum when her mom asked her to have a glass of milk. The girl on the left stuffed food into her socks when her parents were not looking. The girl on the left was dying. I never want to be the girl on the left again. Today, I am the girl on the right. The girl on the right laughs and smiles. The girl on the right goes out to the movies with her mom. The girl on the right participates in the dinner conversation. The girl on the right challenges herself everyday. The girl on the right gets to eat pints of ice cream. The girl on the right has a future. The girl on the right is going to fall in love and have kids one day. The girl on the right is who I choose to be. The girl on the right is who I choose to be every day for the rest of my life. I am not weight restored, but I think I look pretty damn good. I can HONESTLY say I like how my body looks in the second picture better than in the first. Just look at the facial difference. And am I fat? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I am getting healthy! I will never go back to the girl on the left.
Same girl. Same outfit. Completely different mindset. Same outfit, approximately 6 months apart. I may not love what I look like now, actually there is a lot I wish I could change, but I know I have made the right decision in choosing recovery. The day I took the picture on the left, I water loaded myself to weigh ten pounds heavier. I had woken up at 3:30 in the morning to exercise like crazy until my parents got up to monitor my weight and make sure I ate every ounce of my breakfast. The picture on the right was taken a few days ago. I didn’t mean to put on this outfit to take a before and after picture, but the minute I put the shorts on I remembered this picture. I cannot believe the difference. I do not even know the girl who was on the left. Yes, I may have been skinny, but I was days away from killing myself. Literally days. Today, I actually want to live my life and have a future. Today, I may be uncomfortable with my body, but I am learning how to accept that.
I cannot believe that was me in September. This was a candid shot of me. I did not force myself to look that bad… I just did. I don’t even recognize that girl. She is a walking skeleton. I am so grateful that God has given me the courage to crawl out of the hell hole I dug for my self. I still have miles to go in my journey… But the finish line is beginning to be within my eye sight. I’m so close to remission. I can taste it. I just want to cry.
191 days. 6 months and 1 week. That is how long was in between these two pictures. After the horror of today, I really needed something positive to focus on. I need to focus on my progress. I am proud of myself. To be honest, I don’t even care how others view me anymore, because I know I will never measure up. I sure wish I did, but I just know that I will never suffice. I am going to stop trying to be the perfect daughter. That is what got me into this mess in the first place. I am not perfect, and I no longer claim to try. I am giving up fitting other people’s standards. I like who I am becoming right now. I am now a person who openly makes mistakes. I am now a person who can see a future for myself. If i do not live up to my parents demands, then so be it. I am living up to my own demands. I am living for my future and what I see, not what they see. I am trudging along, but I am going to keep fighting.
I need this as reminder. I have come SO far. Jeans look better when you have legs to fill them out. I have done a good job. I just need to keep reminding myself of how far I have come.
1st picture: September 2013. 2nd picture: Thanksgiving Day 2013. 3rd picture: Today. I cannot even believe that was me. I do not recognize that girl. It was not even a girl. It was a skeleton masked as a girl. I do not regret my recovery one bit. I was called in to the assistant principal today to figure out a few forms for college, and we ended up chatting for an hour about how much better I am doing. She told me I had this unexplainable radiance about me that was simply indescribable. She recalled how helpless she felt when she saw me on the first day of school this year. She told me she was plain speechless about how much I have impressed her with my recovery. She cried. I was overwhelmed with the presence of The Lord as she sat there and told me how proud she was of me. I can truly feel recovery taking over. I have done things recently that I would have never dreamt of doing a few months prior. This past weekend, I was home alone for the good majority of it. In previous experiences, I would have spent the day obsessively exercising and restricting my intake. Instead, I devoured ice cream and LITERALLY sat on the couch, read my lines, and watched television. I sing in the car now. I laugh with my family. I smile. I can wear a bathing suit now and not worry that all anyone will see are bones. I can go out with friends and not solely focus on the food I may have to eat. I can now act! I now have an inner presence in me. Gahhhhh- I wish I could adequately articulate how much recovery has meant to me and how worth it truly is! Please, please, please: look at me. Do not let it get this bad. Your eating disorder will never tell you that you are “sick enough” in order to recover. Recover now. Don’t allow this disease to take another day away from you. Your loved ones miss you. I guarantee, you will not regret recovery. My body image is FAR from perfect, but it is a helluva lot better than it was in that first picture. It is a journey. A journey I am grateful for taking.
The only time you should look to your past is to see how far you have come. I’m truly grateful for the support I have received last year. I’m one heck of a blessed girl. I have a second chance.