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Trigger Warning: Talk of Eating Disorders

As a person who loves routine, I’ve always been scared of change. As a toddler, I would give my mother a hard time when I had to change out of my favorite shirt. On my first day of kindergarten, I made my grandmother follow the school bus on our thirty-minute ride to school, so I knew she was just as close to me. When I was eight, I cried for hours when my mother had turned in her car for a new one. Moving in seventh grade crushed me, so much that I didn’t even try to love my new home and school. Little changes on the daily, to drastic changes in my life, scare the shit out of me. Especially now, as a bulimic in recovery.

Of course, I want to get healthy, but getting to that point isn’t easy. I’ve been mentally obsessed with food portions since the age of six, around when my extended family would obsess over how much of a “skinny minnie” I was: watching me eat copious amounts of food at family events, followed by “where did it all go?” and being told that my metabolism wouldn’t grow old with me. I was six years old when the irrational fear of gaining weight was drilled into me, leading to my disordered eating at the age of thirteen. The cycles of binging and purging are all I’ve known for so long.

And now, in trying to break those habits, change is scary.

I’m not saying that it isn’t a good change; it’s the best possible change I could be making for myself. But it’s still change. Leaving these unhealthy habits behind is more than just change, but it’s a complete transformation.

Something my dance teacher said has really stood out to me: “Our bodies are always changing, you are not dancing in the same body today as you were yesterday.” And it’s true. Our bodies are not the same now as they were in the past, and our bodies in the future will not be the same as our bodies now.  I was afraid of change for so long but little did I know, my body was constantly facing my biggest fear.

So I’m trying to do this new thing where I embrace change. Knowing that my habits no longer have to hold me hostage. I take comfort in knowing that while it feels like I’m moving into a new body, my body has never once been the same.

For those of you also struggling with an eating disorder, the ability to get better is within you, even if doesn’t feel like it. Recovery isn’t by any means easy, but it is possible. There’s going to be ups and downs; the ups truly give you a sense of liveliness that you haven’t quite had before, but the downs can sometimes feel as though you’ll never get out. But remember to notice your strength in your bad days; don’t beat yourself up for having them, they’re there to remind you of the power that you truly have to embrace change.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

 

  Kaylen, a Campus Correspondent for HC at Wells, is a senior at Wells College studying Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology.  "Like Ivy, we grew where there was room for us"-Miranda July
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