Growing up, I was, the child who loved to sing Disney anywhere I went. I laughed at everything and loved everyone I met. I danced because it was joyful. That child was beautiful, happy, and fun but I was different.
At six years old, I was thick, big-boned, and chunky. I didn’t eat bad nor had a bad diet, I was just made that way. There was nothing a six-year-old could do about being big, nor should a six-year-old worry about their size; but other people did. I got bullied daily by my peers for my size.
This caused that beautiful, sweet, expressive child to put up an emotional wall, that I would not let anyone into, in order to escape the pain. I was blessed with two amazing parents that constantly worked to build me up because others tore me down. The outside voices got to me and caused a constant hunger thriving to be deemed “beautiful”, “perfect”, “smart”, “accepted”. I would compare myself to other people; classmates, friends, models, anyone that was viewed in society as “successful”.
I was used by a man who I believed loved me. I spent three of the best years of my life torturing myself to become the perfect image for him and my career. Developing unhealthy habits and an eating disorder, losing 45 pounds in 3 months by starvation, excessive physical activity, and abusing dietary supplements. I was beating myself into the ground. Keeping that lifestyle up would have put me in a grave.
I looked at myself daily in the mirror, hating the person I saw, inside and out, ashamed of who I was. Even though I was a beautiful soul, I could not see it. The woman I was on the outside looked put together, happy, had an amazing drive, and was trying to be “perfect” for everyone except the only one that matters…. Me!
On the inside I was struggling. Never knowing the internal daily tortures I put myself through; guilt, performance, anxiety, comparison, perfectionism, conformity. That led me to depression, an eating disorder, and a constant comparison that controlled my being. Effecting my; emotions, relationships, and life. It took me over. My past does not define me, though it shaped me. I am a strong, beautiful, driven woman with the world at my feet and a heart as big as the world.
This is MY life and journey of MY salvation, with the help of family, friends, and most importantly God. I will be honest and transparent. I know that I am not the only person to have struggles and won’t be the last. But, I am willing to be the voice. Hopefully, I can encourage and inspire the lives of society’s young women going through similar struggles. Everyone deserves to know that they are beautiful pieces of work, made in God’s perfect image. “You are beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7). The good Lord put you on this Earth to make it a better place!