What I didn’t realize however, until much too late, was that my quest for perfection did the very opposite. It robbed me of my confidence, made me push away friends, and forced me to miss out on fun experiences and opportunities. It isolated me, always left me feeling inadequate, and almost cost me my life. No matter how thin I got, how many complements I received, or how many people expressed a romantic interest in me, I never felt good enough. No amount of external validation and no number on the scale was ever enough to make me feel happy, whole, or beautiful.
It was only after the relentless attempts at finding happiness and fulfillment through losing weight, and failing each time, that I realized my happiness couldn’t be contingent upon a number. It was only after my eating disorder stripped me of everything and everyone I cared about that I was able to choose another path. When I found the strength to reach out for help, the courage to identify and confront the real issues causing me pain, and the will to keep going, no matter how hopeless things seemed, life got better — I got better.
Yes, my body is a lot bigger now, but so is my life, because I’ve gained so much more than just weight. I’ve gained confidence and energy and happiness. I’ve gained new friendships and life experiences and opportunities. I’ve found my voice and my personality and my passions. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of growth and learned so much about who I am and what I’m capable of. I’ve made peace with my past and I’ve created room for my future — all things that would have never been possible had I continued to pursue perfection and thinness.
So when your body hating thoughts get loud and you hear that voice in your head promise you that losing weight will solve your problems and remedy the pain, remind yourself of this. And ask yourself, “What is more important to me — the size of my body or the size of my life?”
- Daniell Koepke