Women’s News: An Open Letter to My Body


Jessica Lovejoy

Body positive advocate

Dear Body:

I’ve known you for almost 24 years and we’ve had some serious ups and downs haven’t we?

I’m sorry for all the times I told you that you were ugly and that no one would want me because of you, I’m sorry for starving you those times and I’m sorry for making myself sick those other times. All in the hope of making you smaller.

I apologize for taking two Fat Blaster pills every day before school, and two when I got home.

I apologize for hurting you, the cutting, the burning and the pinching.

It’s been a long time coming, but I should have loved you all along. You’re what makes me me. One day, you’re going to grow us a baby!

You’ve given me my big hips, my “more-than-a-handful” breasts, my thunder thighs and my tummy. All of which, at one point or another, I hated you for.

Please forgive me, it’s hard growing up and everything I said and did to you was out of spite and fear.

It’s ingrained in us to hate ourselves unless we look how society wants us to, I’m sure you understand.

When my hips came in, I thought it was the beginning of the end. Small, transparent scars appeared on my skin where it stretched to accommodate my new growth, but now I embrace these big hips of mine (even though they sometimes get me stuck between the seats on the bus…)

When my breasts didn’t get bigger, I felt like less of a woman, I was a big girl, big girls are meant to have big boobs! Why didn’t I have big boobs?!

Then I learned to accept that all bodies are different and that not all bigger girls have bigger breasts. I’ve also come to realise that they aren’t as small as I make out. They’re mine and I love them.

I’m sorry I let other people’s opinion of you change how I saw you, and I’m sorry for letting those opinions get to me and upset me.

It’s my opinion of you that counts. You’re my body, and how I care for you, and what I give you for nourishment, is the business of no one, but myself.

My mother grew and nurtured me for nine long months, as you grew inside, she grew and changed outside, just so that I could be.

I am loved, by my family, by my friends, by my partner, I am loved. And if I cannot love myself, if I close myself off to that love, that’s just like telling those people who matter that their love for me means nothing. That is another reason why I have grown to love my body. I surrounded myself with the love of others, and closed my ears to complaints on my size, shape, eating habits etc and only listened to what really mattered, and to who really mattered.

I want to thank you for being so strong.

I want to thank my chubby little legs for all the miles they’ve walked.

My wide hips because one day they will be “child-bearing.”

My scars for reminding me that the past is behind me.

My “more-than-a-handful” breasts because, they are more than a handful.

I want to thank my whole body for making me who I am, for never faltering and staying strong and healthy for these 24 years.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-lovejoy/an-open-letter-to-my-body_b_4465906.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s Health: Coming Out of the Mental Illness Closet


Literally, Darling

Online magazine for twenty-something women

The content of this post may be sensitive to some readers.

By Kelsey Wallour

Originally posted on Literally, Darling

As a rule, I do not generally tell people about the items in my mental illness closet. Like never ever, except for my close friends. So consider this a maiden voyage into the world of being a more authentic self — a world fraught with peril, but I still think it might be better.

I have struggled with anorexia nervosa, restricting type, for over eight years now. For most of my life I have also dealt with generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, dermatillomania (skin-picking), and bipolar II tendencies. Oh, and to top it all off I started self-harming about two-and-a-half years ago, and when I’m really depressed, my suicidal ideations increase. I have written about my eating disorder and self-harm anonymously on my friend’s blog, so I’m not going to rehash that all here. I’ve been in an inpatient facility where I had a nasogastric (NG) tube; my weight has fluctuated through a 50-lb. range over the past eight years; I’m on three psychotropic medications that help keep the cray-cray at bay; and I’m like a freakin’ walking calorie book. I’ve been working on this whole eating disorder recovery process for almost three years now with a psychologist, dietitian, and psychiatrist.

Furthermore, I’m a second-year nutrition graduate student and I’m working so I can earn my registered dietitian (RD) credentials. Awkward, right? I’ve been studying hardcore nutrition for over five years and I’ve only very recently been able to consistently, and adequately, feed myself. I’m awesome at helping other people eat better, but on a standard day I struggle to apply those principles to myself. But you see, I am intelligent, insightful, sensitive, and I’m going to be a kick-ass dietitian that’s going to help other patients with eating disorders when I graduate.

I’m sharing this with you because, for better or for worse, my mental illness is an intrinsic part of who I am today — it is a biopsychosocial problem. There are experiences that people normally encounter in high school and college that I was mentally and/or physically absent from — like dances, partying, dating, and more. But, I have not disappeared from the normal developmental “curve,” and lately I’ve been moving forward in leaps and bounds. Ahem, hence this post. I am owning my shit and moving forward with what I want my life to look like. Yes, there are people that I know, or will know, that will be rude and insensitive about this to my face, or behind my back. But the way I figure is that regardless of the information that I share with certain people, if they’re going to bash me behind my back then they’re going to do that no matter what facts they know about me. So I don’t care because those people’s opinion of me is insignificant.

I am slowly beginning to accept that I can make my life look however I want, but under no circumstances can I sit back and wait for things to get better. Life is what you make of it. You have a choice. I didn’t have a choice regarding the fact that I was struck with severe mental illnesses, but with awareness of the situation comes increased responsibility. I know my triggers and, therefore, I can choose how to respond to what life throws at me. Some days I cave and fail at recovery, or depression crushes me and I walk around like a zombie; but more often these days I succeed and I own that accomplishment.

Maybe you have items that are collecting dust in your closet. Maybe they are a heavy burden on your soul and relationships, and every day you wish they didn’t exist. Maybe you feel shame for existing, shame that courses through your and blood and bones. Shame thrives in secrecy, and it leeches the joy out of life. You deserve to have more in life than dusty items in your secret closet, a shame monster, and a humdrum to miserable existence.

Just start small by finding those safe people in your life who love you despite, and for, everything that comes with you being you. You can’t do life alone, and that is OK. Draw from your support to build up your confidence, and eventually maybe you’ll take on the world. Be you, and screw what the rest of the world thinks.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Literally, Darling is an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/literally-darling/coming-out-of-the-mental-closet_b_4455097.html?utm_hp_ref=womens-health

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