Whenever my female friends tell me they’re travelling somewhere tropical, it’s almost always followed with a commentary on their strict diet and fitness schedule. They tell me all about the hell they put themselves through, so they can have a so called “bikini body” for their trip. Good lord. It truly breaks my heart. As someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder, many years of my life were spent trying to get a “bikini body”. I would go to such extremes to try and reach the ridiculous standards I had set for myself. No matter what the number on the scale was, one thing was the same: how much I hated myself.
Believe me girl, I’ve tried literally all of the diets/workouts/weird f*cking Instagram teas, and at the end of the day, I was still so sad. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the “before and after” photos and think that by eating this and exercising that, we’ll somehow feel better about ourselves. Feeling comfortable in our bodies comes from a deeper place. It is not something that happens overnight and it isn’t easy, but it is so very worth it. I would be lying if I told you I’m 100% comfortable in my own body. But I can say that I’m in a much better place then I was 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago. It’s something I work at every damn day. There is nothing more freeing than loving yourself, and that is something that only you can do, my dear! During the time my eating disorder was at its worst, I cancelled so many holidays and fabricated the most ridiculous excuses to avoid being in a bathing suit. Next week when I am in Costa Rica on vacation, I will enjoy the feeling of the warm sun on my bare tummy and sand against my thighs. Rather than passing on having a second margarita, I will happily accept and ask for a side of guac and chips, because duh. I am determined to enjoy my time on the beach and fight the negative thoughts.
So ladies, the next time a holiday approaches or you find yourself at the beach, remember that your body is sexy AF exactly how is is. But if I’m being really honest.. The way you laugh, how you move, and the energy you possess as a human being is far more magical and beautiful than any physical trait. Thank you for allowing me to be open and authentic.
With all of my love, Lauren Will
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If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, NEDIC (Canada) and NEDA (USA) have lots of great resources that can help!