Since it’s #NedaWeek or #EDAwarenessWeek I thought I would dedicate this post to ED awareness and to share my story.

I personally have suffered from disordered eating for a big majority of my life, and suffered from anorexia for over 4 years. After years of being severely bullied, at the age of 17 I began my weightloss journey. What started off as a healthy lifestyle change, soon turned to obsession and dangerous habits evolved. As I began my downward spiral, I silently struggled with hating my body, hating myself, and the emotional torment of punishing myself for never being good enough. With each passing week, and the more weight I lost I noticed a change in my peers; I gained new found popularity at school, attention from boys, and all of a sudden people started to comment on how “healthy”, pretty, and good I looked. I was actually killing myself each day on the inside.

By the time I was 18 years old, I was living off of 200 calorie maxes per day, and often starving myself for full days at a time. I barely had the energy to get out of bed, and many days I actually couldn’t. I began my first step towards recovery, only to be told by my then boyfriend that he preferred me when I was thinner. I went through therapy, medication, and another relapse. This cycle repeated itself until I was 21.

I made the conscious decision to change. I couldn’t handle the vicious cycle of relapse and recovery, weight gain and weight loss, self hatred, acceptance, depression, and so on. For almost 2 years now I have worked day in day out in the gym to become strong and healthy, with that was also an immense amount of daily effort to accept my body, and eventually love myself. I am very grateful for my incredible support system of family, friends, social media, and new connections.

I still pick apart my body at times, and often are embarrassed by my “flaws”. I’m not perfect, it’s a process. I see pictures of my body and I doubt myself and my progress but I remind myself that I am not defined by the number on a scale, or the size of my jeans, the amount of cellulite on my thighs, or the shape of my ass. I’m so much more than all of that.

Now, I’m asking you all to show others the same love and compassion that I have been shown these past 2 years. To lift others up, cherish them, applaud them, and love them. I hope that no other child, teen, or adult, will have to go through the bullying and torment that I did. That no one else will have to stand in front of others and be told that they are “repulsive to look at”. You deserve better. You deserve to love your body — thick or thin, tall or short, scarred or unblemished. You are beautiful just the way you are, you do not need to punish yourself to fit into a certain category, mold, or societal expectation. Together we can all be each other’s #RecoveryHeroes 

Angie Taylor