I remember my first eating disorder thought. I was complaining to my mother about my ‘love handles’ and vividly I recall her response – “you’ve got a lovely figure, a swimmers figure”. Her words still haunt me today…A swimmers figure?! How disgusting! To me, that meant fat, broad shoulders, big legs and wide hips. I wanted NO curves! I wanted to be thin, not just slim. I wanted a child’s body. I really did. Being thin made me believe I would be more attractive and I did it. I crushed my body into something that made sense to me.
Before seeking treatment for my anorexia I believed that I was more powerful with my eating disorder. The feeling of being in control – what a load of rubbish! The vivid memories of lying in the bath in the evenings to warm my purple withered body, even seeing myself like this gave me some sort of sick satisfaction. The times I fainted in public – complete strangers helping me into the backs of ambulances where I was taken to hospital and treated for dehydration and physical exhaustion. Why didn’t it shock me? I was told that I had an irregular heartbeat and this still didn’t change my behaviour. Knowing my ideal and ways of thinking could kill me, deep down I knew it, and I just didn’t want to entertain it.
What is beautiful to me today?
Through treatment I have learnt that beautiful DOES show from within. Beautiful is confidence, love, happiness, honesty, friendship, kindness, and courage. Beautiful is to be a woman, to live life and to create life.
Today I am a woman, and today I can be beautiful.”