You can spend your time meeting society's standards but your confidence will not follow. When you wipe off all the makeup, when you can remove the mask and still smile back at your reflection -- this is when you can feel at peace. It is our actions and behaviors, our morals and characters that should provide self-worth, not someone's assessment or a number on a scale.
Most discussion about suicide focuses on depression. Major depression accounts for many suicides, and the need for improved identification of, and optimized treatment services for, depression is an important message during a week dedicated to preventing suicide. Yet, it is not the only message.
While many of the health effects of binge eating on veterans are similar to what has been found in civilian populations, it is clear that the disorder doesn't affect them exactly the same.
The truth is, for the better part of eight or nine years, I've managed to hide a rather ugly secret. Not totally -- I'm not the slickest person on the planet, and I've been known to leave behind chocolate-coated fingerprints and cookie crumbs in my wake -- but well enough.
Learning that I am more than the size of my body is allowing is about learning to love myself from the inside out through thin and thick times.
By reducing my fat intake to zero and running for an hour at a time, I knew that I'd destroy every fat cell that existed in my body. I had commenced an all-out attack on the demon inside me that made me feel that way: my homosexuality. With the strategy that combined running and starving, I was sure to waste away and starve the gay within.
I was set to get married to my fiancé in less than two months and all I could think of at that moment was, "I am going to be a newly-married bride with one breast hacked off."
"You're not fat," he said, answering a question I hadn't asked. "You just need to tone up." I stood in my bikini at the lake's edge and froze. I wished I could sink into the sand and never re-emerge.
Are you willing to embrace the weight of valuing yourself from the inside out and give up valuing yourself by your body weight which is merely a number on a scale, which can not tell you anything about your true worth?
The truth is, I still struggle. But, I'm happy to say that there are more good days than bad ones now. As they often say in AA, it's about "progress, not perfection." I have made progress.
My hunger, my appetites, my longings, my skin, my bones, my size are mine for the taking. I take back my worthiness, my belonging in the world of beautiful and diverse beings. I live without apology for the straight lines and curves, living tissue, vulnerable heart that hold my living, breathing manifested story.