[ f o o d ]

i can’t really believe i’m about to write about this…it’s been something i wanted to hide and never tell a soul. but i feel it’s important. and apparently it’s eating disorder awareness month..so…here goes nothing..
it has always been a touchy subject with me. only two people really know that i’ve had this problem. i was extremely good at keeping a secret. i covered it up with multiple things ballet, stress { which with my family, is very believable } or just not being hungry at the time.
i’ve had a problem with body image since i can remember. 
>> wanting bigger boobs, a smaller waist, smaller stomach, thinner thighs – you name it, i probably thought it.
i remember being little, like 10-12, and i was already worrying about how much i weighed. i would spend way too much time in front of a mirror, and not enough playing with barbies or riding my bike. it’s scary to think about how early it all started. 

you remember that spongebob episode? the one about chocolate?
well, do you remember that old lady that hated chocolate? that is how i was about food..any kind. it didn’t matter how healthy, green, or unprocessed it was. i would make up some excuse to not eat it.

i remember being a freshman in high school, that was the hardest year for me. i got made fun of a lot and harassed quite a bit. looking back, i could’ve done a lot more to stop it, but i just ignored it. 
my life revolved around one thing.. ballet. there is a lot of pressure when you’re doing something like that. i had my whole life planned out. i wanted to get married, but i also knew i had to be a ballerina. it simply had to happen. so school took a backseat, all my efforts were put into ballet.
i also had a boyfriend, and at first, it was great. but then it seemed like he only liked me for my body and the way i looked. i got a little too used to that kind of attention. i thought that was how it was supposed to be. i thought that, that is the way love worked. i wanted to be loved and i wanted to be accepted, but i was doing it for all the wrong reasons. i didn’t know who i was, or what i was doing with my life. i wanted to do ballet, i loved it, and i thought i loved my boyfriend, but i was so unhappy. i didn’t know what was wrong with me. 

then we moved..and it felt like my world was crashing down around me..
that was so hard. i was devastated. i had all these big plans and my parents decided to pick up and move to key west. to put it plainly, not many professional ballerinas come out of key west. i hated it.
then my mom left for a few weeks, and i was left alone with my dad and two nephews. at the time, my dad was really sick, so naturally, i had to take care of my nephews.
i was 15 at the time so i couldn’t drive. it was so hard to take care of them and myself when i couldn’t go to the grocery store or anywhere else.
and that is where my problems truly began.

i had already had the issues with confidence and self worth. but when my mom left and i knew ballet was pretty much out of the question, that pushed me way over the edge.
that is when i stopped eating. i can make excuses for it all day long.
> i had to take care of my nephews
> i was depressed
> i was stressed
> i missed my old home
> i wanted to do ballet – that bad
> i needed someone to make me feel beautiful
> i was “bullied”
> society makes you believe that you need to be unrealistically skinny

but in the end, i can’t blame anyone else. yes, those all added to the problems i already had, but i can’t put the blame on other people. it is all a composite thing – that is very true. but i should have spoken up. i should have told someone i was hurting and that i was not okay. 
i went back and forth between being anorexic and just not eating as much as i should. i still don’t have a “normal” diet, but i can see myself as beautiful.

i never went to treatment. how? honestly, i’m not sure how i got away with it for so long. my mom would ask me if i had lost weight and if i was eating. i would just say i’m fluctuating, which for a teenage girl, is very believable. i would eat enough dinner to not make it suspicious, but not enough to need to throw up. 
Sonny, my friend, eventually figured it out. which only makes sense. we were always together. but he didn’t freak out. he didn’t force me to eat { usually } he knew that wouldn’t work. instead, he did things, to make me know that i was special. 
if someone didn’t love me for who i am, why should i try to change myself? 
he was the first one to really prove that he cared, not by force or by anger. but by love, and acceptance, and through showing me that i am a Daughter of God. He made me. and He doesn’t make mistakes. i am exactly how He wants me to be.

society today does awful things to the mind of our young men and women.
it makes women feel awful about themselves if they aren’t a size 00-4, or if they decide to eat an extra cookie.
it gives men distorted images of what we, as females, should look like. i’m not saying that every single guy thinks that, but it doesn’t help.

i’m not trying to be rude to those women and girls that do have that “perfect body.”
it doesn’t matter what your body looks like. it is perfect the way it is. but we can’t expect each woman to look the same or to have the same body. not everyone is a size 0, and not everyone is a size 10. but it doesn’t matter, because your beauty is not just the number on a scale, or the size of your jeans.
it is what’s on the inside. it is how you portray yourself. if you can act confident, and have people believe you, you’ll eventually believe that you are confident and you are beautiful.

this is a real struggle and isn’t something that should just be tossed around. people of both genders fight this battle everyday, and they don’t always win.

do me a favor and think twice next time you call someone ugly or fat, even if you are “just kidding
because you don’t know what goes on in their mind. that could be the comment to push them over the edge.

all of these women are beautiful. and they are all different. size, color, height, weight. none of that should matter. be who you are. and be who God made you to be.


xoxo,

jacquelyn

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